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Dodanwela Devale (shrine)

  Province Central
  District Kandy
  Nearest Town Kandy
  Period 1635 - 1687
  Ruler King Rajasighe II


Dodanwela shrine is set in idyllic surroundings among massive Na trees (the national tree of Sri Lanka) with their distinctive red leaves & white fragrant flowers. An avenue of these trees takes us to a medieval wayfarer's inn called ambalama (a pillared & sheltered resting place for travellers & pilgrims), behind which is the shrine.


Passing Suriyagoda Viharaya in Yati Nuwara you come across two more historical locations, Dodanwela Devalaya and Danthre Viharaya. These can also be reached by the main road from Alakolange.

It is said that the King Rajasighe II (1635 - 1687) was on his way to Balana to battle the Portuguese when his palanquin snapped and he had to alight at the Dodanwela. He asked where this place was and was informed this was called "Nahimige Kovila". Then the king made a wow to present his crown and the jewels to the kovila if he wins the battle. The king was victorious and the promise was kept. Dedicated to a local deity in the past, now it is dedicated to Vishnu and is now called Dodanwela Devale.The Royal crown that was gifted to the Devale was placed in the Kandyan Museum which was stolen recently by treasure hunters.

The Devale in architecture is similar to Vishnu Devale in Kandy but the inner sanctum has no Vishnu image. Instead there are two portraits of Kings painted on wood which one is believed to be of King Rajasighe II. It also preserves two embroidered silk jackets believed to be belonging to the king and dozen of swards. Another curious abject here is a brass crown which is said to be of King Vesamuni, the king of the daemons.