Katarangala Raja Maha Viharaya

Katarangala Viharaya
Katarangala Viharaya (Photo credit: U Edg3, Google Street View)

Katarangala Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: කටාරංගල රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Halloluwa in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.


The Brahmi Inscriptions indicating the donation of caves to Buddhist monks in the large cave at the site testify that this place existed as a dwelling place for the monks in the early centuries of the Christian era (Seneviratna, 1983). The cave was later converted into a cave temple with a recumbent Buddha image in it (Seneviratna, 1983). The place Halloluwa which is referred to in the 14th-century text Saddharmalankaraya is identified as the present Katarangala Viharaya (Abeyawardana, 2004).

During the Kandyan Period, the text titled Vimana-watthuprakarana was translated into Sinhala by a Buddhist monk named Gammulla Ratnapala who had lived in this temple (Abeyawardana, 2004).

Gilt Buddha image

The temple has got attention due to a gilt Buddha statue that is said to have been brought here by Arhat Maliyadeva Thera from India or from Devanagala in Mawanella (Abeyawardana, 2004; Seneviratna, 1983). The Buddha statue under a Makara Torana (dragon arch) is similar in appearance to the ones at the Pusulpitiya Viharaya and Madanwela Viharaya (Seneviratna, 1983). On the bottom of the statue is a date indicating the Buddhist year 2310 (or 1766 A.D.) which falls into the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinha [(1747-1782 A.D.) Seneviratna, 1983]. A Pirith-nula and a Pirith-pota which are said to have been offered to the temple by Kirti Sri Rajasinha are preserved at the Viharaya today (Seneviratna, 1983).

Although the statue was robbed several times, it has been recovered and is kept in the temple (Abeyawardana, 2004).

A Protected Site

The Buddha shrine belonging to Katarangala Purana Vihara premises situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Halloluwa in Harispattuwa Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 21 October 2010.


1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.100-101.
2) Seneviratna, A, 1983. Kandy: An Illustrated Survey of Ancient Monuments, with Historical, Archaeological, and Literary Descriptions Including Maps of the City and Its Suburbs. Central Cultural Fund. Ministry of Cultural Affairs. p.161.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 6 June 2008. p.525.

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This page was last updated on 29 November 2022

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