Galkanda Viharaya (Bambarenda)

Galkanda Purana Viharaya is a Buddhist temple located in Bambarenda village. An inscription in the image house mentions its construction date as 1802.
Not to be confused with Galkanda Viharaya (Horampella)

Bambarenda Galkanda Viharaya

Galkanda Purana Viharaya (Sinhala: බඹරැන්ද ගල්කන්ද පුරාණ විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Bambarenda village near Dikwella in Matara District, Sri Lanka.


The exact establishment date of this temple is unknown. However, the Katapaya-type inscription (Shakabdam Geerasatyam) which is engraved on the stone door frame of the image house mentions its construction date as Saka year 1723 [(1802 A.D.) Wikramaratne, 2015]. Therefore, it is assumed that Galkanda Viharaya at Bambarenda was established sometime before the year 1802, probably during the time of King Kirti Sri Rajasinha (1747-1781 A.D.) or King Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha (1781-1798 A.D.) of Kandy (Abeyawardana, 2004). The inscription on the stone doorframe further reveals that the image house was constructed by the villagers under the guidance of Dhammarama Maha Swami.

The name Bambarenda is mentioned as Brahmacola (or Bambaredda) in the Gramadarika Vatta story of the ancient Pali text Rasavahini (Vanarathana, 1994). It records a story related to a pious girl and a spring of water that emerged from the ground (Vanarathana, 1994). The water spring known as Uduwila Bibula which is located near the present Galkanda Viharaya probably has a link with this story.

A Protected Site

The ancient shrine in the premises of Galkanda Purana Vihara belonging to Bambarenda village situated in the Grama Niladhari Division No. 441, Bambarenda West in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Dikwella, is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 7 July 2016.


1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. p.85.
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. pp.158-159.
4) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. pp.41-42.


#) 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 18 February 2024

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