Ridikanda Rajamaha Viharaya at Gomarankadawala (ගෝමරංකඩවල රිදීකන්ද රජමහා විහාරය)

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Ridikanda Rajamaha Viharaya (Rideekanda Rajamaha Viharaya) lies on top of a 400 feet high hill in the village of Kandamalawa in Gomarankadawala. There are more than 15 caves with drip ledges on the site and a large number of conserved ruins scattered around the temple grounds.  The main temple lies at the base of the hill but it extends up to the top where you can see a restored stupa and other ruins at the top of Ridikanda.

The ruins at the bottom include several stupas, remains of many buildings, a Yantra Gala and a granite torso of a standing Buddha and a granite seated Buddha. All stupas have been vandalized by treasure hunters at some time.

There are two ponds used to collect water for the needs of the resident monks. On this site, the remains of a stupa, pratimaghara, uposathaghara, Bodhighara etc. have been conserved. The Ridikanda Viharaya is believed to have been a ‘panchayatana’ (five-unit monastery system) temple.

Some of the excavated artifacts including the Buddha statues have been kept on display in the temple museum.

In 2022, the Department of Archaeology discovered one dripledge cave inscription written in the early Brahmi Script and the language was ancient Sinhalese. The inscription was dated to a period from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE. This inscription describes the donation of the cave to the Sangha (Urugodawatte, 2022).

The name ‘Ridikanda‘ (Rideekanda) literary means ‘Silver Mountain‘. Legends say that this site provided the silver to build the Ruwanweli Seya in Anuradhapura thus was called Ridikanda.

Gomarankadawala Town can be reached on the Trincomalee – Anuradhapura Road turning off at Pankulama Junction and proceeding towards Tiriyaya. Ridikanda is about 8km after turning to the left at Gomarankadawala.

References

  1. Urugodawatte, B. (2022) ‘Recovering Newly Identified Inscriptions in the Trincomalee District’, Archeo Sri Lanka – Newsletter of the Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka, 2(1), p. 4.

Also See

Map of the Gomarankadawala Ridikanda Rajamaha Viharaya

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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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 the Gomarankadawala Ridikanda Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Trincomalee to Gomarankadawala Ridikanda Rajamaha Viharaya
Through : Gomarnakadawala
Distance : 42 km
Travel time : 1 hour
Driving directions : see on google maps

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