Bogoda Bridge at Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya (බෝගොඩ පාලම)

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Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya is most famous for its Wooden Bridge of the Kandyan Era. This bridge (popularly known as Bogoda Bridge) is built over the Gallanda Oya River which is a tributary of the Mahaweli River and is the only surviving bridge of such nature of this Era.

The bridge was initially made out of wood without a single nail and was in a very depleted state a few years ago. This has been now restored by the Department of Archaeology. This bridge is said to be lying on one of the ancient pilgrim’s routes from the Kandy Kindom to the Uva province where there is a large number of important Buddhist shrines such as Muthiyanganaya. Another unique feature of the bridge is that this bridge comes with a roof clad in flat tiles of the Kandyan Period. The reason for this is unknown but it is thought that the bridge would have been serving as Ambalama in addition to the main function.

Just at the bridge is an ancient cave temple with the image house built using a natural rock cave. This dates back to the time of King Vattagamini Abaya (better known as King Walagamba) in the 1st century BCE but the current building belongs to the Kandyan Era. On the far side of the building is a flight of steps which leads to a large rock cave. King Walagamba is said to have been using this cave during the time he was hiding from an Indian Invasion in the Capital Anuradhapura. On the side of the cave is a damp tunnel. This is said to be a secret tunnel built by the king as an escape route. This tunnel is said to be connecting to the tunnel at Dowa Raja Maha Viharaya which lies on the main Badulla – Bandarawela road and the Rawana Rajamaha Viharaya (Ravana Cave) close to the Ravana Ella. The tunnel is caved in today and is taken over by Bats.

It is also believed that these tunnels were initially built by Emperor Ravana, one of the most powerful Emperors of Lanka 4000 – 6000 years ago.

The Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya can be reached from the Hali Ela town on the Badulla – Bandarawela Road. The turn-off is at the main Hali Ela Junction itself and is marked by a small signboard. The distance to the temple is 11 km from this junction. The road is small but motorable and will cut across a few junctions before reaching the temple. As long as you don’t take any turns at these junctions you will end up in the temple where the road will end. To reach the cave temple and the bridge, you need to climb down about 100 steps towards the river.

Also See

Map of Bogoda Bridge at Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

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Traveling Directions To Bogoda Bridge at Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya

Route from Colombo to Bogoda Bridge Route from Badulla to Bogoda Bridge
Through : Ratnapura – Bandarawela
Distance : 230 km
Travel time : 4.5-5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Distance : 15 km
Travel time : 30 mins
Driving directions : see on google map
Route from Bandarawela to Bogoda Bridge
distance : 32 km
Travel time : 45 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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