Megoda Kalugamuwa Ganegoda Devalaya (මෙගොඩ කළුගමුව ගනේගොඩ දේවාලය)

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Ganegoda Raja Maha Viharaya and the Ganegoda Sri Kataragama Devalaya is found travelling 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 the paddy field connecting them.

According to tradition, this temple was built by King Rajasinghe II (1635 – 1687) in fulfilment 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 take over the kingdom of Kandy in the previous 3 attempts. With King Rajasinghe knocking on 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 several 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 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 the Kandyan kingdom. The Sinhalese army trapped them from all sides and at one point Melo realising the situation begged for an armistice from the king but his only response was the order his drummers to proclaim that if those Sinhalese who were with the Portuguese did not immediately leave, 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 Portuguese 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 on 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.

References

  1. Pieris, P.E. and Naish, R.B. (1920) Ceylon and the Portuguese 1505-1658. Tellippalai, Jaffna: American Ceylon Mission Press .
  2. 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.
  3. Abeywardana, M.Y. (2009) “The Antiquities Ordinance (Chapter 188) ,” The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, 1597, p. 445.

Also See

Map of Megoda Kalugamuwa Ganegoda Devalaya

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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

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