Rakkhiththakanda Rajamaha Viharaya at Karandagolla (කරඳගොල්ල රක්ඛිත්තකන්ද රජමහා විහාරය)

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Rakkhiththakanda Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient cave temple rarely visited by the average traveler. The temple lies 2 km off the picturesque Ella – Wellawaya Road in the village known as Karandagolla in the Wellawaya DS area of Monaragala District.

The early Brahmi script cave inscriptions at the temple dates the existence of the temple to the 2nd century at earliest (Urugodawatte, 2022). According to tradition, this cave temple believed to be built by king Walagamba (89-77 BC) and carries signs of Kandyan Era renovations. 

Today this cave temple consists of elegant paintings of Kanyan Era. The date 1886 can be seen among the paintings but further study of these paintings indicate some of the paintings predates 1886.

The British influence during this era can be clearly seen on these painting. At the top of the entrance to the cave temple lies The British royal symbol and a painting of the queen and among the cave paintings you could see two hand shaking hands.

Only one priest resides in this remote temple now.


  • Urugodawatte, B. (2022) ‘Church Missionary Society School of Kotte’, Archeo Sri Lanka – Newsletter of the Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka, 2(2), p 7.

Also See

Map of Rakkhiththakanda Rajamaha Viharaya at Karandagolla

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 Rakkhiththakanda Rajamaha Viharaya at Karandagolla

Route from Bandarawela to Rakkhiththakanda Rajamaha Viharaya at Karandagolla
Through : Ella
Distance :26 km
Travel time :  45 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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