Kosgoda Ganegodella Rajamaha Viharaya – කොස්ගොඩ ගනේගොඩැල්ල රජමහා විහාරය
Ganegodella Rajamaha Viharaya is believed to be built by Minister Devapathiraja on the instructions of King Parakramabahu the second in the 12th century during Dambadeniya period. In addition to this temple there are number of temples and devalas built by this minister in the Ahungalla, Balapitiya and Kosgoda area.
The description below on the Chulavamsa, the minor chronicle of Sri Lanka is believed to be the description of the building of this temple with a 3 storied building by the Devapathiraja
“……. Hereupon he had this whole occurrence in its true sequence from the beginning written down on a lofty stone pillar and had this monument of the glory of the Great king of kings Parakkamabahu set up with rejoicing. Thereupon he informed the King of the whole occurrence by the mouth of a messenger and sent (the message) off, since his wishes had been completely carried out, After that Devappatiraja betook himself to the Hattha-vanagalla-vihara and had erected there at great cost, in the manner commanded by the King, a three-storeyed pasada with a lofty point and gave it over to the Grand master, the wise Anomadassin by name.”
The access road to the temple lies to the left just as you pass the Kosgoda police station when traveling towards Galle. A yellow color sign board directing to the temple can be seen at this junction. The Temple lies 200 meters away and as enter you will come to the area of the living quarters of the monks.
Passing that you will come to the temple area and the ancient Image house built by Devapathiraja during the 13th century. It is said that that this was destroyed by Portuguese and the Dutch but built again during the era of the Kandyan Kingdom. I was told all the statues inside this image house is built with clay. An eloborate Dragons Arch (Makara Thorana) greets you to the inner chamber of the image house. The inside walls of the outer chamber is covered with Buddhist murals in various stages of decay.
In the inner most chamber lies a Samadhi Buddha Statue and 2 other standing Buddhas at the sides.
To the right of this building lies a Sri Pathul Gala ( a footprint of Buddha carved in rock) which has been unearthed during excavations in 2014. Sri Pathul Gala was the primary objects of worship before the times of Buddha statues. Therefore this temple would have existed during the 3-1 century BC when the Sri Pathula Gal were worshiped.
Passing the the Sri Pathul Gala lies and octagonal image house which houses one of the largest marble buddha statues in the country. About 5 feet high, this image has been donated by the king of Siam (now Thailand) in early 1900’s.
Unfortunately the part of the head has been damaged by treasure hunters recently and has been rebuilt.
At the far end of the temple lies the third image house which too had been built with the sponsorship of the Thai King who had laid the foundation stone in 1929.
Legends states that the popular ‘Pujavaliya’ and ‘Sidath Sangarawa’ published under the sponsorship of minister Devapathiraja was written at this temple.
Map of Kosgoda Ganegodella Rajamaha Viharaya
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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Route from Ampara to Kosgoda Ganegodella Rajamaha Viharaya
|Distance : 94 km|
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map