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A shrine with an amazing collection of wood carvings, the 14th century Embekka Devalaya is dedicated to God Kataragama and Devatha Bandara. The shrine has three main sections, however the drummer’s hall “Hevisi Mandapaya” is the most significant for the wood carved pillars, rafters and the high pitched roof. The devalaya depicts the arts and creativity skills of the ancient Sinhalese people. It is one of the must visit places in Kandy Sri Lanka.
Located in Udunuwara, Kandy the shrine was built in the 14th century by King Vikramabahu III of Gampola. It has three main sections, Sanctum of Garagha, Dancing Hall and the Drummer’s Hall. The Sanctum of Garagha houses statues of Gods.
The carvings include dancing women, fighting Bull & Elephant, Elephant Lion “The Gaja Sinha”, wrestling men and various flower decorations. There are about 514 unique designs identified within these carvings.
The roof of the drummers hall is unique in Sri Lankan ancient architecture with 26 rafters are fixed together with a larger catch pin called “Madol Kurupawa”, demonstrating the excellent carpentry skills of Sri Lankans.
There are ruins of a wayside rest beside the shrine which was believed to be used by longer pilgrims in the ancient times.
The devalaya is open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, it is better to wear appropriate clothing while visiting.
The devalaya is located close to Lankathilaka Viharaya which is about 10 minutes drive, and another amazing place to visit.