Kadurugoda Vihara

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Kadurugoda Purana Vihara
කදුරුගොඩ විහාරය
கந்தரோடை விகாரை
Kandarodai Ancient Buddhist Vihara.jpg
Basic information
LocationChunnakam, Sri Lanka
Geographic coordinates09°45′N 80°01′E / 9.750°N 80.017°E / 9.750; 80.017Coordinates: 09°45′N 80°01′E / 9.750°N 80.017°E / 9.750; 80.017
ProvinceNorthern Province
Heritage designationArchaeological protected monument (17 May 2013)
Architectural typeBuddhist temple

Kadurugoda Viharaya (Sinhalese: කදුරුගොඩ විහාරය ,Tamil: கந்தரோடை விகாரை) is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Chunnakam, Jaffna District, Sri Lanka. The temple is located in a small hamlet called Kandarodai and it is one of the few Buddhist temples remaining in Jaffna today. Currently this temple has been declared as an archaeological site in Sri Lanka[1] and is maintained by the Sri Lankan army.


The history of Kadurugoda Vihara goes back to the Anuradhapura era.[2] During the time period of King Devanpiya Thissa, theri Sangamitta arrived to Dambakolapatuna in Sri Lanka with a sapling of Sri Maha Bodhi. It is said that the road to Anuradhapura from Dambakolapatuna was through this Kadurugoda Vihara area and before going to Anuradhapura she has visited this temple.[3]

According to interlinear inscriptions read by Professor Senarath Paranavithana, it was suggested that this Kadurugoda Vihara was built by a prince of the Shailendra dynasty of the Sri Vijaya Kingdom.[additional citation(s) needed]


There are few folklores which reveal some stories related to this Kadurugoda Vihara. According to one legend, in the 16th century, Jaffna Peninsula was ruled by a king named Sangili. At that time there were 60 Arhat Bhikkus practicing meditation. Due to harassmentfrom King Sangili, those 60 Bhikkus decided to leave Jaffna and go to India. On their way, they had stayed at the Kadurugoda area to accept alms-giving from local residents. A mushroom curry served to them was poisoned and all of the Bhikkus had died.[4][better source needed] It is believed that these stupas were constructed with enshrining the relics of those 60 Arhath Bhikkus. Another story says that the 60 Arhath Bhikkus had died due to a famine, which was there for a long time.[5]


In 1917 remains of several Buddhist ruins were found at Kandarodai by then Jaffna District Magistrate Paul E. Pieris[5][6] which was identified as the ancient Kadurugoda Vihara.[7] He reported about 56 stupas in the area but at present only about 20 stupas can be seen. Through the excavations on that period, the ruins of a shrine room, coloured tiles, parts of Buddha and Bodhisattva statues, Buddha foot imprints,[8] a guard stone with Punkalasa and ancient coins belonging to 1st Parakumba, Malla, Leelawathi and Buwenakabahu’s time were found in the site.[9] Some of them were preserved at the Jaffna museum.[5]


Today there are about 20 stupas and a number of stupa foundations can be seen in the Vihara premises. The smallest stupa is about 8 feet in diameter and the largest is about 23.5 feet. The stupas possess unique features that cannot be found anywhere else in Sri Lanka. They have been made of gray colored coral stone and have a very distinguished pattern with small holes all over them. Another special feature of these ancient stupas is that they do not possess the standard square shape parts (Hathares Kotuwa and Dewatha Kotuwa)[5] above the dome and instead they have umbrella shaped fixed pinnacles.


In 1948 the archaeology department purchased seven acres around this area to preserve this site.[10] But due to land occupation by local residents, the area had been reduced to about three acres in 1965.[11] Currently the land has been reduced into less than one acre.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gazette 1811 2013, p. 423.
  2. ^ "කන්තරෝඩෙයි හෙවත් කදුරුගොඩ විහාරය (in Sinhala)". Sri Lanka Mirror. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  3. ^ Sri Pemaloka (Thera.), Kotawila. The Buddha, as in Early Buddhism. Aaloka Buddhist Center. p. 175. ISBN 9789555090100. Kadurugoda Vihara that still exists as "Kandaroda Vihara". Earlier in 223 B.C.E Princess Sanghamitta (Bhikkhuni) also reached this place from India carrying the sapling of The Bodhi Tree from Buddhagaya that existed till today at Anuradhapura
  4. ^ "Kadurugoda Viharaya". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 1 February 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "Is Kandarodei in Jaffna, former Kadurugoda Viharaya?". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 18 May 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Old memories, new realities". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 22 March 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  7. ^ Pieris, Paul E. (1917). Nagadeepa and Buddhist Remains in Jaffna. xxvi no.70. J. Royal Asiatic Society. Ceylon Branch. p. 13.
  8. ^ Wijethunga, Sirisaman (20 March 2017). "සිරිපතුල් වන්දනාව (in Sinhala)". Budu Sarana, Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  9. ^ Godakumbura, Charles (1965–1966). Annual report. Sri Lanka archaeological department. p. 25,26.
  10. ^ Ranaweera, Dammika (18 April 2010). "ගොසින් යාපනේ දැකගමු කදුරුගොඩ (in Sinhala)". Divaina. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  11. ^ Bandara, Geethanath (23 January 2015). "සමවතට දෙන්න ඉඩ වැඳ පුදා කදුරුගොඩ (In Sinhala)". Dinamina. Retrieved 13 May 2017.

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