Anamaduwa Paramakanda Rajamaha Viharaya (ආනමඩුව පරමකන්ද රජමහා විහාරය)

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The historic Paramakanda Rajamaha Viharaya lies on the majestic and mysterious Paramakanda Rock in Anamaduwa belonging to the Putlam District.

The ruins indicate that once the complex covered the whole rock formation. The cave temple is believed to be the work of King Walagamba (89-77 BC). The inscription at Thonigala states this temple was built by a priest called Mahatissa Thero during King Walagamba’s time. The Temple complex contains several caves and the rock itself is interesting due to the peculiar formations in different parts of the Rock.

The temple complex mainly consists of two terraces. The lower terrace includes the Stupa, Bodhi tree, drip-ledged rock caves, Bikkhu dwellings, the main image house, and the bell tower. Another small image house, a Stupa, and a footprint of Buddha are found on the upper temple premises. The main image house of the lower terrace is adorned with paintings and sculptures belonging to the Kandyan tradition as well as the newer styles.

There are two rock inscriptions at the temple. One is on a rock at the ancient Bodhi tree. The other is at a natural rock pool on the rock.  The oldest of the two belongs to the 1st century and is written in old Sinhala in early Brahmi script. It describes a cistern by brave mariner Chief Thissa, the son of Chief Abhaya. The second inscription belongs to the 3rd to 4th centuries and is written in old Sinhala in late Brahmi script. A paddy field called Vajara has been donated to the temple by Kalayasiva, son of minister Naga for the construction of the stupa. It also refers to a donation of paddy fields amounting to an extent of 10 Amuna and 9 karisas for the use of Sanga. The inscription is badly weather-worn and a complete interpretation is difficult to make.

Unfortunately some years ago all the statues of the upper-image house were destroyed by treasure hunters. Most of the heads in statues have been attacked including the large reclining Buddha statue.

  • closest town: Anamaduwa
  • Local Authority : Anamaduwa
  • District : Puttalam

Also See

Map of Paramakanda Cave Temple

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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Driving Directions to Paramakanda Cave Temple

Traveling from Kurunegala, the temple can be reached by passing Anamaduwa town.

Distance from Colombo Galle Face to Paramakanda Cave Temple Distance From Kandy to Paramakanda Cave Temple
Through : Chilaw ( Halawatha)
distance :140 km
Travel time : 2.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Kurunegala
distance :105 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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