The Three Temple Loop:
Embekke, Lankatilaka and Gadaladeniya are The Three Temple Loop that you must not miss out while you are in Kandy, Sri Lanka. These temples all date back to the 14th century and holds a long, rich history, each of the three temples having unique features. They are also recognized by World Heritage and are located amongst in the hills about 10-15 miles west of Kandy.
Embekke temple otherwise known as Embekke Devalaya is situated in Medapalata Korale of Udunuwara in Kandy district. This temple is dedicated to the God of Kataragama with magnificent Sri Lankan Architecture in Wood and has a long, rich history that dates back to many centuries. The UNESCO has identified these marvellous, but elaborate carvings on wooden pillars to be the finest products of wood carvings to be found in any part of the world.
The main attraction is the open sided wooden drummer’s hall with its fine hand carved pillars. Each pillar bears a carving of an animal, bird, dancer, soldier, etc. on each of its four sides. There are around 500 carvings in total, each a different design.
The temple of Embekke is worshiped by thousands of people every year hence it is worthwhile to explore and take a look at these ancient, marvellous wood sculptures and carvings of this beautiful temple of Embekke.
Lankatilaka Rajamaha Viharaya
Lankatilaka temple otherwise known as Lankatilaka Rajamaha Viharaya is another ancient temple where you will be able to discover more information about the Sri Lankan Buddhist culture. It is also located in Udunuwara in Kandy district and holds a long, rich history that dates back to many centuries.
The main attraction of Lankatilaka temple is a three storey temple carved from stone. It is located on a hill top, reached via a long steep stone staircase therefore can witness breathtaking views. The temple also has some fine elephant sculptures and there is a beautiful carved dragon arch entrance to the shrine room. Inside there is a nice Buddha statue, some fine ceiling paintings plus a few interesting religious artifacts that are very much different from the other buildings of its era. As a result it attracts a number of tourists from different corners of the world.
Gadaladeniya is another stone temple set on a hilltop. It is located 4km from Pilimathalawa on the Kandy-Colombo road and was built by King Wickramabahu in 1344 during the Gampola Kingdom time. The Gadaladeniya Temple also contains a beautifully painted giant wooden chest, holding paintings and sculptures of great historical and artistic importance.
The main Dageba is covered with a roof. There are four small shrine rooms around it with small dageba located top of each. However, the main shrine is smaller than Lankatilaka but the stone carvings, moonstone doorstep, lacquered door and the remains of the frescoes are worth a look if you are in the area. There is an interesting stupa with side shrines.
Overall, Gadaladeniya is another one of the best places to view the original stone carving designs. Hence, next time you visit Kandy, do not miss to explore this beautiful ancient Gadaladeniya temple that holds a long rich history. You will definitely be amazed by the beauty of this temple.