Haloluwa Katarangala Rajamaha Viharaya (හල්ඔළුව කටාරංගල රජමහා විහාරය)

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Katarangala Rajamaha Viharaya (also called This temple is called “Nilabbapathraramaya” or “Nilpauwa”) is situated in Pallegama within Kulugamanasiya pattuwa in Kandy district. After proceeding a distance of 5 kilometers along the road from Peradeniya-Katugastota via Gannoruwa to Halloluwa junction Katarangala viharaya is met with a short distance along Barigama road to the left. The Viharaya is situated on a hillock overhanging cliff and a large cave with Brahmi inscriptions indicating the donations of the caves to the Buddhist monks. Halloluwa referred to in the Saddharmalankaraya has been identified as the Katarangala viharaya.

Based on the cave inscriptions, its clear that the history of the cave as a dwelling place for meditating monks dates back early christian perods and converted to an temple at a later stage. According to tradition the current temple has been built during the reign of king Kirthi Sri Rajasingha (1747 – 1781) of Kandy kingdom by Weliwita Saranankara Thero.

More than is historic value, Katarangala temple is popular for its Gold Buddha statue under a dragons arch weighing about 80 pounds (36 kilograms). This statue is believed to be one of the four valuable Buddha statues which has been brought to Sri Lanka from India by Arahat Maliyadeva (The last maha arahat to live in Sri Lanka). These four statues are said to be made from the gold collected from the funeral pyre of Buddha on his parinirvana. This statue is very similar to statues at Kotmale Pusulpitya Rajamaha Viharaya and Madanwela Rajamaha Viharaya.

It is said that this image was brought to the temple from Devanagala Rajamaha Viharaya. At the bottom of the statue year 2310 is marked. This is the year 1766 which falls under the reign of king Kirthi Sri Rajasingha (1747 – 1781. This golden image was stolen multiple times and recovered though it has been heavily damaged.

There was a miniature dagaba within the vihara which had been shifted to an outside location later. The ancient Bo-tree is not found now. A new Bo-tree can be seen it its place. Among the other objects of worship are a ancient stone flower altar and an impression of a footprint of the Buddha (siripathul gala).


  1. 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.
  2. Seneviratna, A., 1983. Kandy: an Illustrated Survey of Ancient Monuments With Historical, Archaeological and Literary Descriptions Including Maps of the City and Its Suburbs. Colombo: Central Cultural Fund, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, p. 158.

Also See

Map of Haloluwa Katarangala Rajamaha Viharaya

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

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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Travel Directions to Haloluwa Katarangala Rajamaha Viharaya

From Kandy to Haloluwa Katarangala Rajamaha Viharaya
Though :
Distance : 5 km
Travel time : 15 mins
Time to Spend : about 30  minutes
Driving directions : see on Google Map

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