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Getabaruwa Raja Maha Viharaya

Getabaruwa Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated near Kotapola. According to locals, history of this site goes back to time of Valagamba.
Getabaruwa Viharaya

Getabaruwa Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: ගැටබරුව රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Getabaruwa village near Kotapola in Matara District, Sri Lanka. The site is popular among devotees for its Devalaya Shrine dedicated to God Rajjuru Bandara, a local deity worshipped in the region.


According to traditional belief, the history of this site goes back to the reign of King Valagamba (103, 88-77 B.C.) of Anuradhapura (Ranaweera, 2015). It is said that the caves of this site were used by the king during the period when South Indian invaders ruled the Anuradhapura Kingdom (Ranaweera, 2015).

Over time, the site was neglected and remained swallowed by the jungle. It was rediscovered accidentally in about 1834 by a villager named Eliyashami who came to the jungle for hunting (Ranaweera, 2015). The site was then cleared by the villagers headed by Ketagoda Upasaka and after constructing a dwelling for monks, they bestowed it to a Buddhist monk named Weerasinhakande Sumangala Thera (Ranaweera, 2015).

The Temple

The temple is situated on a small hillock surrounded by the jungle. In the cave on the top of the hill is a large reclining Buddha statue accompanied by Buddha’s two chief disciples, Arahat Sariputta and Arahat Moggallana. On either side of the statue are Devalaya shrines dedicated to God Rajjuru Bandara, Visnu and Kataragama.

A Protected Site

The drip-ledged cave in the premises of Getabaru Raja Maha Vihara situated in Kotapola village in the Grama Niladhari Division of Kotapola South in Kotapola Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 June 2023.


1) Ranaweera, D. D., 2015. Matara Urumaya (in Sinhala). ISBN: 978-955-30-6285-7. S. Godage & Bros. pp.41-44.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; Extraordinary. No: 2334/41. 1 June 2023. p.3A.


#) extends its gratitude to Lalith Kekulthotuwage for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

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This page was last updated on 3 December 2023

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