Holombuwa Viharaya

Holombuwa Viharaya (also known as Sthreepura Gallen Viharaya) is a Buddhist temple situated in Holombuwa village in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka.

According to folklore, the history of this site runs back to the time of King Valagamba [(103,89-77 B.C.) Abeyawardana, 2002]. It is said that he used this area temporarily to organise his troops against South Indian invaders. The cave of this place is named Sthreepura due to the belief that it provided shelter to his queens (Abeyawardana, 2002). A large pond in the cave is considered the water source used by these queens for bathing and drinking (Abeyawardana, 2002). It is also believed that there was an underground tunnel linking Yatahalena with Dedigama (Abeyawardana, 2002).

As mentioned in the text Kurunegala Vistaraya, a topographical description of the city of Kurunegala in the 13th and 14th centuries, this site was the last place where the battle between King Gajabahu I (114-136 A.D.) and the Yakkha tribe occurred. It is said that the women of the Yakkha tribe were imprisoned in the cave of this place with the help of the giant named Neelamaha Yodhaya (Bell, 1904).

The shrine room
The paintings and sculptures of the modern shrine room which is housed in the forepart of the cave have been done in 1935 (Abeyawardana, 2002).

A protected site
The Sthreepura Gallen Vihara in Holombuwa village in Galigamuwa Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected site, declared by a government gazette notification published on 8 July 2005.
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7. pp.60-61.
2) Bell, H.C.P., 1904. Report on the Kegalle District of the Province of Sabaragamuwa. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: XIX-1892. Government Press, Sri Lanka. p.36.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1401. 8 July 2005.
Location Map
This page was last updated on 17 April 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map
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