Nuwarakanda Rajamaha Viharaya – නුවරකන්ද රජමහා විහාරය

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Nuwarakanda Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient temple located near the city of Wariyapola.

It is said that the temple was built by the regional king Sooratissa who was a brother of King Devanampiyatissa ( 250-210 BC). The king has requested Sooratissa to host 32 Arhats from Anuradhapura and he has prepared 32 caves for the priests to live in this location. Most of the caves are still undiscovered hidden in the jungles. Some caves are currently cleared and is being used by the temple.

It is believed that King Walagamba took refuge in this temple while fleeing from South Indian invation in 104BC and completed the temple which was initially built by King Sooratissa. There has been an underground tunnel through the caves of this temple to the Wewala Ancient Temple which lies nearby. Currently this tunnel has caved in and the entrance to the tunnel has been sealed and an small stupa has been built in front of it.


It is said that there has been a stupa in the shape of Sanchi which is believed to be the 3rd oldest stupa in Sri Lanka but no indication of this stupa remains today.  Infact nothing much of the ancient temple has survived  today but the Jathra Gala of the stupa can be still seen in the temple. There are few stone pillars marked with the sun and the moon which has been used as a lamp stands can be found in the temple premises.

One item of high historic significance in this temple is the buddha statues made of Dahaiya ( Rice Husk). These are extremely rare to find and is said to made by a mixture of rice husk mixed in clay, kurumba water, and Goraka (Red Mango) juice. These statues has been subject to  vandalism by treasure hunters as usual.

Another  building of importance in the temple is the “Nagul Geya” in its original form built on a rock cave. It is believed that this was used by the forces of king Walagamba as a weapon storage facility during his campaign to oust the invaders from the capital.

Alternate Names : Nuwara Kanda Rajamaha Viharaya, Nuwara Kanda Temple, Nuwarakanda Temple

Also See

Map of Nuwarakanda Rajamaha Viharaya

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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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Travel Directions to Nuwarakanda Rajamaha Viharaya

Temple can be reached from Padeniya – Kurunegala Road or from the Padeniya – Daladagama Road. Take the road to Neboda from the Wariyapola and travel approx 5 km and turn left from the Nuwara Kanda Junction. The temple lies approx 1.5 km from the junction.

Route from Colombo to Nuwarakanda Rajamaha Viharaya

Through : Airport Highway – Ja-Ela – Minuwangoda – Giriulla –  Narammala – Wariyapola
Distance :120 km
Travel time : 3 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map


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