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Natha Devale

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

7JVR+G5W, Temple Square, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Krishan
Local tour guide
"Visit Natha Devale early in the morning when the city of Kandy is just waking up; you'll have a serene experience and often get to observe the local monks during their morning rituals. Also, check out the smaller structures and hidden corners within the complex as they are often overlooked by tourists but contain intricate details that tell more about the temple's history."

What is Natha Devale?

Natha Devale is a historical temple located in the heart of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is considered as one of the oldest surviving structures in the city and is believed to have been constructed in the 14th century. The temple is dedicated to the god Natha, who is often identified with Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion.

Situated adjacent to the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa), Natha Devale plays a significant role in the religious and cultural rituals of Kandy. Its architecture, featuring intricate wood carvings and a unique blend of Sinhalese design elements, tells a story of the island's rich historical tapestry.

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History of Natha Devale

The Natha Devale's history is deeply intertwined with the history of Kandy and the Kingdom of Kandy. Although the exact date of construction is uncertain, historical records suggest it was established during the reign of King Vikramabahu III of Gampola (1357-1374 AD). This places it among the oldest structures in Kandy.

The temple has undergone several restorations throughout its existence, particularly during the Kandyan Kingdom's era. The architecture of Natha Devale has been preserved meticulously, providing insight into the construction styles and cultural influences of historical Sri Lanka.

Over the centuries, Natha Devale has maintained its religious significance. It is an integral part of the Esala Perahera, a grand festival that showcases the unique traditions of Kandy and Sri Lanka as a whole. This historical procession is one of the most important cultural events in the country.

Why is Natha Devale Important?

Natha Devale holds a place of reverence not just due to its antiquity but also because of its religious significance within the Buddhist community. The temple is considered a protective site for the Sri Dalada Maligawa since it houses a deity revered for his powers of guardianship. The close proximity of Natha Devale to the Temple of the Tooth reflects its important role in the safeguarding of this sacred Buddhist relic.

The temple is also important for its role in the annual Esala Perahera, during which the image of the god Natha is paraded through the streets of Kandy. This ritual underscores the temple's status as a key pillar in the spiritual and cultural life of the city. The temple has served as a place of worship and a center for spiritual activities for centuries, with devotees visiting from all over the island and the world.

Things to Do & See at Natha Devale

Visiting Natha Devale offers a multitude of experiences for the discerning traveler. You can explore the ancient temple's architecture, with its stone inscriptions, wood carvings, and murals that detail various aspects of Buddhist religious iconography. These features serve as a testament to the skilled craftsmanship of the Kandyan era.

Witnessing the daily poojas (religious offerings) offers a glimpse into the living traditions of Sri Lankan Buddhism. Attend one of these serene ceremonies to experience a sense of spiritual connection and cultural immersion. And, if you time your visit with the annual Esala Perahera, you have the chance to see the temple overflow with vibrant energy and pageantry.

Apart from the religious significance, the temple premises provide a peaceful retreat from the bustling city of Kandy. Within the temple's serene atmosphere, you may spot locals practicing meditation or engaging in religious study, embodying the temple's ongoing role in the community.

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Frequently asked questions

Where is Natha Devale located?

Natha Devale is located in Kandy, which is a major city in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.

What is Natha Devale known for?

Natha Devale is known for being one of the oldest surviving historical temples in Kandy, dedicated to the god Natha.

Can you tell me about the architecture of Natha Devale?

Natha Devale boasts traditional Kandyan architecture with intricate wood carvings, stone walls, and a unique roof structure that reflects the ancient Sri Lankan craftsmanship.

Is there an entrance fee to visit Natha Devale?

Generally, there is no entrance fee to visit Natha Devale itself, but it's located near the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which may have an entrance fee.

Are there any festivals associated with Natha Devale?

Yes, Natha Devale plays a significant role during the Esala Perahera, an annual procession held in Kandy that features traditional dances, elaborately decorated elephants, and large crowds.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

7JVR+G5W, Temple Square, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps