Kahawilgoda Algiriya Raja Maha Viharaya

Algiriya Raja Maha Viharaya

Algiriya Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: කහවිල්ගොඩ ඇල්ගිරිය රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple in Kahawilgoda village in Algiriya in Matara District, Sri Lanka.


A broken Attani pillar containing an inscription that was unearthed from the Kahawilgoda premises reveals that this temple received a grant between the 9th and 10th centuries A.D. According to Vanarathana Thera's view, this inscription probably belongs to the time of King Kassapa V [(914-923 A.D.) Vanarathana, 1994].

Kahawilgoda inscription

Kahawilgoda Pillar Inscription

Period: 9-10th centuries A.D.
Script: Medieval Sinhala
Language: Medieval Sinhala
Content: This inscription contains information about a grant received by the temple and directives that should be followed accordingly.

Reference: The information board at the site by the Department of Archaeology and the Ministry of National Heritage and Cultural Affairs.

It is said that King Parakramabahu IV (1302-1326 A.D.) of Dambadeniya erected a two-storied long building named Parakramabahu Pasada at Weligama Agrabodhi Viharaya >and granted it the village of Saligiri (present Algiriya) where the Kahawilgoda Viharaya located (Nicholas, 1963; Vanarathana, 1994; Wikramaratne, 2015).

The image house of the temple preserves a valuable collection of sculptures and murals belonging to the art tradition of the Kandyan Period (Wikramaratne, 2015). The stone step at the entrance of it is engraved with the figures of two elephants and a Katapaya-type inscription "Saka Badam Gauri Satyam" which means the Saka year 1723 [(1801 A.D.) Wikramaratne, 2015]. The mural depicting two foreigners holding a coconut flower in a trophy is considered a special piece of work (Wikramaratne, 2015).

A Protected Site

The inner shrine with ancient frescoes and sculptures of the shrine situated in the premises of Algiriya Rajamaha Vihara belonging to Kahavilgoda village in the Grama Niladhari Division Algiriya in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Akuressa are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 7 July 2016.

Algiriya Raja Maha Viharaya


1) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.72.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; Extraordinary, no: 1974/16. 7 July 2016. p.2A.
3) Vanarathana, K., 1994. Matara Puravidyathmaka Ithihasaya (In Sinhala). ISBN: 955-9325-00-0. p.195.
4) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. pp.13-14.


#) LankaPradeepa.com 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 23 December 2023

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