Soranatota Buduge Kanda Rajamaha Viharaya – සොරණාතොට බුදුගේ කන්ද රජමහා විහාරය

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Charcoal frescoes of Soranatota Buduge Kanda Rajamaha Vihara

Charcoal frescoes of Soranatota Buduge Kanda Rajamaha Vihara –
image : www.mawbima.lk

Buduge Kanda Rajamaha Vihara at Thanneyaya village at Soranatota is an ancient cave temple lying off the beaten track is a rarely visited site in the Badulla District. This temple is also called Soranatota Ancient Walagamba Len Viharaya.

Traveling 4 km from Badulla on the Mahiyangana Road, you will come to the Madithale Junction before reaching the entrance to the Dunhinda Ella Falls. From here take the left turn towards the carpeted Soramatota Road. This winding road will take you through remote villages and breathtaking views. Buduge Kanda Rajamaha Vihara can be reached traveling 13-14 km on this road.

The temple does not spread on a large area but there are number of caves above the temple on the eastern slope of the mountain which are not explored and encroached by the jungle. But the drip ledges on these caves tell us they have been used by meditating bikkus in the ancient past.

The Budugekanda Temple is most known for their frescoes drawn with charcoal. There are only a handful of temple where you would find such frescoes. The main image house inside a spacious cave is thought be the oldest building going as far as time Buddhism was introduced to the country. During late 1900’s the image house which housed these priceless charcoal paintings had been white washed. But the department of archeology has painstakingly removed this layer of paint exposing the ancient frescoes again.


The main image house is built with a  thatched roof on wattle and doab walls protects the cave with a drip-ledge. The entrance is adorned with a Makara Torana with the images of  two doormen placed on either side. A reclining Buddha image is found in the cave.

The walls of the temple is decorated with paintings of Buddhist events such as the sixteen Buddhist sacred sites, twenty four previous Buddhas and Jathaka Stories. The ceiling is painted with motifs of lotuses and the Twin Swans.The walls of the entrance has the painting of the Vessantara Jataka and the other walls are painted with the  invitation by the gods to Bodhisatva. The Buddha images and the paintings in this temple depict the typical Kandyan tradition.

On top of a small hill lies part of an ancient stupa. Its sides have carved in probably due to treasure hunting. Only part of the stupa shell can be seen of this stupa.

Also See

Map of the Soranatota Buduge Kanda Rajamaha Viharaya


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Driving Directions to Soranatota Buduge Kanda Rajamaha Viharaya

Traveling 4 km from Badulla on the Mahiyangana Road, you will come to the Madithale Junction before reaching the entrance to the Dunhinda Ella Falls. From here take the left turn towards the carpeted Soramatota Road. This winding road will take you through remote villages and breathtaking views. Buduge Kanda Rajamaha Vihara can be reached traveling 13-14 km on this road. This road is not mapped on Google and Bing.

Route from Colombo to Soranatota Buduge Kanda Rajamaha Viharaya (upto Badulla)

Though : Ratnapura – Bandarawela
Distance : 245 km
Travel time : 5  hours
Driving directions : see on google map
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