Kadurugoda Viharaya at Kantarodai Jaffna – කදුරුගොඩ විහාරය – ‍යාපනය

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Ancient Kadurugoda Viharaya (Kantarodai)

Ancient Kadurugoda Viharaya (Kantarodai) is one of the very few Buddhist sites remaining in Jaffna today.

The site was discovered in 1917 by the Magistrate P.E. Pieris where he reported that bricks from this site is being carried a way by cart loads by the residents around the area for building of houses. An excavation done in the 1917-1919 has unearthed remains of a shrine room, parts of Buddha Statues, Bodhisattva statues, Buddha foot imprints and coins belonging to pre christian era.

Kantarodai (Kadurugoda) in Chunnakam (Hunugama) has been identified as the Kadurugoda Viharaya in the Nam Pota, a book of important Buddhist centers in Sri Lanka, compiled in the Kandyan period.

The term Kantarodai is a corrupted form of the Singhalese word Kandavurugoda or site of a military encampment. The Kandavurugoda became Kadurugoda and it was tamilised in to Kantarodai.

In 1917, P.E. Pieris has located 56 Stupas in the area but today only about 20 remains. The largest is about 23 feet in diameter and the smallest is about 6 feet. There are also number of foundations of stupas which have disappeared. The stupas are made of coral stone and is gray in colour. They have a very distinguished design with small holes all over. The stupas doesn’t have the standard”Hathares Kotuwa” above the dome. Instead a pinnacle is fixed to the top of the dome.

Recently a very small dome, part of a stupa has been unearth end. This is about 1 1/2 feet in diameter. 1 1/2 feet tall. This is believed to be one of the original structure.

The Archeology department purchased an area of 7 acres in 1948 in order to protect this site. This land was grabbed by the tamil residents in the area and the area had reduced to 3+ acres in 1965. And today this area has shrunk further to less than 1 acre.

It is believed that these miniature stupas are built to enshrine the remains of 60 Arhaths who died due to a famine in the the area.

This site has survived the destruction of war mainly due the efforts by the Sri Lankan Army. Even today, this site is maintained and and looked after by the Sri Lankan army.

Also See

Map of  Ancient Kadurugoda Viharaya (Kantarodai)

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Travel Directions to  Kadurugoda Viharaya

Route 01 from Colombo to Jaffna

Route 02 from Colombo to Jaffna

Though : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavunia
Distance :400 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Puttlam – Anuradhapura – Vavunia
Distance : 400 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps

Route from Jaffna to  Kadurugoda Viharaya

Distance :24 km
Travel time : 30-40 mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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