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Sankapala Temple

  Province Sabaragamuwa
  District Ratnapura
  Nearest Town Pallebedda
  Period 161-131 BC
  Ruler King Dutu Gemunu


Sankapala Raja Maha Viharaya stands majestically on a rocky mountain as ample evidence to prove that this temple has been blessed by the saintly monks who spent their time in peaceful meditation. This is the rock mountain wherein the ruins of buildings, a Bo tree, a dagoba, and a cave Deralaya has been found. This temple consists of natural dens, caves, as well as recently built shrines and buildings.


The history of this temple traces back to the time of B.C. According to the legendary accounts, there had been ten giants in king Dutugemunu's troops. Giant Pussadeva was one of them whose duty was to inform the king's battle victories to the subjects, by blowing a conch shell. Also his symbol was the conch shell itself. Later on he had built this great sacred place and become a Buddhist monk there.

Brahamin inscriptions cared beneath the dripledges ("Katarama" in Sinhalese) of the rock dating back to a period of even before the birth of Christ is ample evidence to prove the existence of a monastery.

Folklore has it that Pussa Deva a warrior of King Dutu Gemunu (161-131 BC) resided here. This is conformed by the fact that Pussa Devas name has been mentioned in the rock inscriptions. Pussa Deva who played a prominent part in King Dutugemunu's wars was well versed in the art of war and blowing the conch shell. Hence the emblem conch shell was used to identify him. Further it is mentioned that later-on in life he was ordained a monk and achieved the state of Rahath. However, owing to the evils of nature this abode had been later abandoned.

This place was resurrected again and made a popular place of worship by Venerable Karathota Dharmarama during the Kandyan period. It is learnt that King Rajadhi Rajasingha gifted Venerable Dharmarama the village of Pallebedda for his good deeds.