Sri Nagarama Purana Viharaya
Kandebedda Sri Nagaramaya is most delightfull for the Kandebedda Village which is surrounded by beautiful moutains and paddy fields. It is located in Kanumul Deniya which is under Giruwa Paththuwa Walasmulu Thanayama in Hambanthota of Southern Province, Sri Lanka. It’s called as ‘Kanumul Deniya’, because these paddy fields in the village are located as roots towards a tower.
As of the name of this area was surrounded by a forest in the past. Kandebedda Indrasara Thero was born in this beautiful Village. Kandebedda Indrasara Thero’s teacher Sapugoda Siddhartha Thero was Ransegoda Keerthi Sri Thero’s student.
In the past this temple was known as ‘Kandebedda Viharaya’. Lately the name ‘Sri Nagaramaya’ was also added into that name and also being used as an alias considering Ceylon ironwood (Mesua ferrea) trees around the area. Temple is mainly known as ‘Kandebedda Sri Nagaramaya’. From the past this temple was located in the most famous foot path which was joining ‘Kalugala’ temple and ‘Mulagiri’ temple. This can be proved by the poem which is written by a person who was travelled from ‘Kalugala’ temple to ‘Mulagiri’ temple to worship.
සොඳ යස සුසැදි ලෙසින් සල් සපු නා තුරු සිරි ලද්දේ
නද දෙන සුවඳ ලොබින් බිඟු කැල එකනින් ගිය සද්දේ
මඳ මඳ සොඳ පවනින් සත ගිම් සනසා යන සුද්දේ
වැඳ යමි දකුණු දිගින් දාගැබ සකි කන්දේ බැද්දේ
In an area of Shala (Shorea robusta), Champak (Magnolia champaca), Ceylon ironwood (Mesua ferrea) trees,
With the beautiful buzz of bees,
Along with the light wind,
Friend, I’m worshiping the Kande Bedda temple from southern side.
The reconstructions of the shrine
At this stage beginning of ‘Shyamopali Maha Nikaya’ was happened. In the period of King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe, one of the virtuous Person in the Pallawela temple went to Kandy and got the ordination. After that he was named as ‘Ransegoda Keerthi Sri Thejovara Dhammadassi’. Dhammadassi Thero had some students also. The brightest student, Sapugoda Siddhartha Thero was appointed to handover the monarchy of these two temples ‘Pallawela’ temple and ‘Kandebedda’ temple. So Siddhartha Thero had visited those two places time to time.
Merit pages mention that shrine in that time was re-constructed by contributors and handed-over to the Thero at that time. The shrine was re-constructed lately by Sapugoda Thero. And again in the year of 1811(2403 BC) by the Godawaththe Sumangala Thero. Because of the re-constrution of shrine time to time, we can’t see the shrine at the period of King Dutu Gemunu. But the sources state that the relic and provenance are kept in the shrine. In the past these two temples were considered as one temple.