Hindagala Rajamaha Viharaya Site - Sri Lanka

Hindagala Rajamaha Viharaya

Hindagala ancient cave temple is situated in Kandy District. There are six kilometres from Kandy to this temple. It is easy to reach this temple along the Galaha road from Peradeniya. It has a long history of 2000 years. Forest monks had been lived in this large cave for their meditation. The temple is situated on a mountain.

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Hindagala Rajamaha Viharaya - Sri Lanka
There are two accesses to the temple. One is a stone step from the main road and another one is a road up to the hill some meters away from stairs.  There are 230 stone steps that lead up from the road to the foot of the boulder. When you are climbing 104 steps you can see Bana Maduwa hall and shrine room.  The cave temple is on top of the hill.

There is a large rock behind the temple. It is said that the Hindagala temple is situated in the shadow of a large rock. It is said that the name of Hindagala is diverted because of this rock near the temple. There are two inscriptions on the rock above the cave. They are belonging to the 6th and 7th centuries. According to these inscriptions, Professor Paranawithana said that this temple has built in the 6th century. 

History of this cave temple date back to the Anuradhapura period. Hindagala temple shows many periods of history. Its painting shows four periods of Sri Lanka history. We can see Anuradhapura, Gampola Kandy and Colombo period paintings in this temple. Hindagala is famous because its amazing paintings.

The original paint can see on the roof of the main cave temple. These paintings have been compared to the Sigiriya paintings. The paintings show the scene of a visit of Indra to Lord Buddha in the cave of Indrasala. According to this painting’s professor, senerath Paranawithana said that This cave is the Indrasala Guhava. Later that name became the word Hindagala. The painting with a large mural depicting Sujatha making and offering milk-rice to the Lord Buddha on the wall of the main cave temple. A lot of paintings of this temple shows the Kandyan period art.

Buddha images in the cave

There is a large recumbent Buddha image and several standing figures in the cave. It is called Maha Guhawa. The paintings of Indrasala are in this cave. There is a small cave with a stupa south side of the main cave. The stupa is old but can appear today. There is another cave left side of the main cave. But it hasn’t a Buddha image. There is only a seat like a bed in this cave. It may be built for a recumbent Buddha image. It has been done by stone. How can there is a seated Buddha image in this temple. It is believed that it may be built by queen Henakanda Bandara during the Gampola period.

The history of this temple had a memorable event in the Kandyan period. Tooth relic of Lord Buddha had been kept in this place for one night That its way of Puhulpitiya Viharaya to Kandy. That day was 23rd April 1815. It was the order of sir Jhon Doily. After one night the Tooth Relic had taken to Kandy by perahera ceremony.
Hindagala is an ancient temple you must visit only a day. It helps to learn four period of paintings in one place. Its wooden pilers, roof architecture, stone inscription and Buddha images will help you to study Sri Lankan History.


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