Walwasagoda Kataragama Devalaya and Viharaya

Walwasagoda Kataragama Devalaya , also known as Wallahagoda Kataragama Devalaya (Sinhala: වල්ලහගොඩ කතරගම දේවාලය), is a Devalaya Shrine in Wallahagoda village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. It is situated on a highland along with the old Buddhist temple, Walwasagoda Raja Maja Viharaya. It has been dedicated to God Kataragama, a Sinhalese deity who is considered one of the patron deities of the Buddha Sasana in Sri Lanka. 

The Devalaya was originally constructed during the reign of King Buvanekabahu IV (1341-1351 A.D.) of the Gampola Period (Abeyawardana, 2004; De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). However, the present buildings at the site have been built during a later period (Abeyawardana, 2004; De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

The Buddhist temple at the site is called Walwasagoda due to its occupation by the forest-dwelling monks of the nearby Niyamgampaya Raja Maha Viharaya (Abeyawardana, 2004; De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). The name of this temple is mentioned in Nampota, an ancient Sinhalese text which is considered to have been compiled after the 14th century A.D. It has been the venue of the annual Esala Perahera procession since 1815 (Abeyawardana, 2004). The riot between Sinhalese and Muslims in 1915 occurred here over the procession of that year (Abeyawardana, 2004).

Walwasagoda Slab Inscription
An inscription engraved on a slab is placed on the temple premises near the Stupa. It records that this temple which was constructed by King Buvanekabahu was renovated in 2226 B.E. (1483 A.D.) by King Parakramabahu VII (1480-1490 A.D.) of Kotte (Kodithuwakku, 2022). The record further reveals that the king erected the small Stupa there (Kodithuwakku, 2022).

The Devalaya building
The Devalaya building is small and simple and reflects the architectural features of the Kandyan Period (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). It has been built on a raised stone platform and a wooden collonaded verandah creates a narrow ambulatory around the building (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). The shrine consists of two sections: the drumming hall and the Devalaya (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

A protected site
The Wallahagoda Sri Kataragama Devale premises and its ancient buildings and other archaeological remains situated within the limits of No. 1068 Wallahagoda Grama Niladhari Division in the Ganga Ihala Korale Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 8 April 2009.

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.74.
2) De Silva, N.; Chandrasekara, D.P., 2009. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo: The National Trust Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-0093-01-4. pp.79,109.
3) Kodithuwakku, N., 2022. අභිලේඛන සංග්‍රහය-1 (Abhilekhana Sangrahaya-1). Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-624-5840-17-4. pp.97-99.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 1597. 8 April 2009. p.445.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 18 June 2023
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