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Sri Dalada Maligawa (Kadugannawa - Sri Dalada Maligawa - 16.1 km)
Kandy was the capital of the Sinhalese Kings from 1592 to 1815. Fortified by a terrain of mountains and the difficult approach Kandy managed to operate in independence from Dutch, Portuguese and the English till 1815. The city is a world heritage site declared by UNESCO, in part due to this temple.
The Sri Dalada Maligawa or The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a temple in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. It was built within the royal palace complex which houses one of the two surviving relic of the tooth of Buddha, an object of veneration for Buddhists. The other tooth relic is believed to be enshrined in a stupa called Somawathi Chethiya.
The Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, the temple which houses the Sacred Tooth Relic of The Buddha, is possibly the most sacred Buddhist shrine in the world. It is venerated not only by Buddhists in Sri Lanka but by Buddhists all over the world.
King Wimaladharmasuriya I (1592 - 1603), the first to select Kandy as the ruling capital, originally built a two storied temple for the Relic and brought the tooth relic from Delgamuwa near Kuruwita in Sabaragamuwa which had been hidden for protection. Remains of this temple no longer exist.
King Wimaladharmasuriya II (1686 - 1706) built a three storied temple and his son King Viraparakrama Narendrasinha (1706 - 1738), the last Sinhalese king to rule the country, built a new two storied temple seeing that the old temple built by his father had decayed.
The last king of Sri Lanka, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (1797 - 1814) built the Pattirippuwa (the Octagon). Originally, the Pattirippuwa (octagon) was part of the royal palace. It was used by the king to address his fellow countrymen. Today, the Pattirippuwa has become a part of the temple and houses ancient textures written in ola leaves.
Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times a day- at dawn, at noon and in the evening.
Embekka Devalaya (Kadugannawa - Embekka Devalaya - 7 km)
This was built by the King Vikramabahu III of Gampola (AD 157-1374) in Sri Lanka. Embekke Devale, famed for its elaborate wood-carvings, pillars and other structures, nestle in Udu Nuwara. It lies close to Daulagala about eight miles from Kandy.
Enticing Wood Carvings - The UNESCO has identified these marvelous but elaborate carvings on wooden pillars to be the finest products of woodcarvings to be found in any part of the world.
Many are the hoary legends that tell of the origins of this splendid devale. According to archaic documents and the epic Embekke Varnanawa composed by Delgahagoda Mudiyanse, it was built during the Gampola period of King Wickrema Bahu II (1371 AD). One of his consorts named Henakanda Biso Bandara, in association with a drummer named as Rangama, as told in a miraculous dream, is supposed to have built this Devale dedicated to God Kataragama in a superb three-storied building which is now no more.
Kadugannawa Ambalama (Kadugannawa - Kadugannawa Ambalama - 1km)
Ambalama is a historic wayside rest that could be found – on the left, when traveling from Colombo to Kandy road, a few metres after the famous Kadugannawa Hairpin turn aka Kadugannawa pass.
About one and half centuries back this had been a popular stopover for horsemen, merchants etc traveling from lowlands to the ancient hill capital Kandy. This structure resembles the Kandyan Era architecture and is of archaeological value. Recently, this was renovated by the Ministry of Tourism under the technical guidance of the Department of Archeology and now this structure is considered as a national heritage of Sri Lanka.
Gadaladeniya Temple (Kadugannawa - Gadaladeniya Temple - 5.7 km)
This site with an ancient monastery is found on the flat rock at Diggala in the district of Kandy. According to an inscription, this temple was built by King Buwanekabahu IV in the year 1344. The chief architect of this temple has been a South Indian called Ganesvarachari. Therefore this temple is essentially a South Indian design.
The main shrine room has a seated (in Vajrasana) Buddha Statue under a Makara Thorana and four standing Buddha images. The makara thorana is decorated on both faces with gods such as Brahma, Suyama, Santhusuta, Natha and Maithree, and two attendants.
The chamber within the Sikhara (dome) has had a Buddha Image but has been destroyed by the Portuguese. Next to the shrine room is a Devale (shrine) dedicated to God Vishnu. According to Mahavansa, the great chronicle of Sri Lanka, It was "Upulvan Deiyo" or God Vishnu that was selected as the guardian to protect the land of Sri Lanka and Buddhism within it at the time of Buddha's passing away. Thus, this deity inspires great faith and veneration among the Sri Lankans.