Ganegoda Raja Maha Viharaya and the Ganegoda Sri Kataragama Devalaya is found traveling from Kandy to Gampola through Hindagala road. The two places of worship is located inside a large paddy field 250 meters apart with a gravel path across thee paddy field connecting them.
According to tradition this temple has been built by the king Rajasinghe II (1635 – 1687) in fulfillment of of a vow taken before the Battle of Gannoruwa. This was a landmark battle for the kingdom of Kandy with the Portuguese invading army.
The Portuguese had failed to takeover the kingdom of Kandy in the previous 3 attempts. With king Rajasinghe knoking the door of the Dutch to expel the Portuguese, The Governor of Ceylon Diogo de Melo de Castro got an army of 900 Portuguese, 5000 Lascarins (indigenous soldiers fighting for the Portuguese) , and a number of Topasses, Canarese, and Kaffirs to attack the kingdom of Kandy.
Realising the danger which threatened him the King sent the friar who was at Court with a request to desist from his unjust attack. De Melo replied with a brutal scoff, echoing the words of his Captain Major, Damiao Botado : “The little black is frightened. We will drag him out by the ears.”
On 19 March 1638, Melo departed from Colombo and entered the city of Kandy with no resistance and found the city empty with all the people had vacated and gone into hiding. Having set on fire to the city, the palace and the temples, they retired Gannoruwa on their way back on 28th May 1638 only to face the last great Battle of Kandyan kingdom. The Sinhalese army trapped them from all sides and at one point Melo realising situation begged for a armistice from the king but his only response was the ordering his drummers made proclamation that if those Sinhalese who were with the Portuguese did not immediately leave than, they would all be put to the sword the next day. When the battle ended only 33 Portuguese and some Canarese, and Kaffirs were alive out of the total Portugues army.
According to another belief, this devalaya was built during the Gampola Era by king Wickramabahu III (1357-1374). However this Devalaya has been plundered in 2 occasions and during a fire all its Sannas and Thudapath have been destroyed.
The Ganegoda Sri Kataragama Devale Premises and the Ancient Building thereof and other Archaeological remains, the street and the throne hall situated within the No. 1159 Ganegoda Grama Niladhari Division in the Dholuwa Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Kandy District in the Central Province was declared as an protected archaeological monument by the Gazette dated 8th April 2009.
- Pieris, P.E. and Naish, R.B. (1920) Ceylon and the Portuguese 1505-1658. Tellippalai, Jaffna: American Ceylon Mission Press .
- Abeyawardhana, H. A. P. (2004) Heritage of Kandurata: Major Natural, Cultural, and Historic Sites. Kandy: Kandurata Development Bank, in association with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
- Abeywardana, M.Y. (2009) “The Antiquities Ordinance (Chapter 188) ,” The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, 1597, p. 445.
Map of Megoda Kalugamuwa Ganegoda Devalaya
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
Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.
Travel Directions to Megoda Kalugamuwa Ganegoda Devalaya
Route from Ampara to Megoda Kalugamuwa Ganegoda Devalaya
|Via : Hindagala|
Distance : 9 km
Travel time : 25 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map