Embekkae Devalaya | Temple | Education | Embekke Pilimatalawa Road
Distance: 5 km
Embekke Devalaya is situated in Medapalata Korale of Udunuwara in Kandy district. The easiest way to get to Embekke is coming from Colombo - Kandy main road at Pilimathalawa. There is a clear sign post hosted by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka at the start of the road to Embekke. It is about 7 – 8 km (5.0 mi) from Pilimathalawa to Embekke from the Colombo - Kandy main road. On the Daulagala road proceed about a mile and you will come to the Gadaladeniya junction, which you can see the famous Gadaladeniya Viharaya right at the junction. Both roads from the junction would take you to Embekke. The shortest would be the one to the right, but if you wish to see the Lankathilaka Viharaya you should take the road to the left. If you take the road to the left you can see the Embekka Ambalama just before you arrive at the Embekke Devalaya.
History of Embekke Devalaya
Embekke Devalaya is the best place in Sri Lanka to see the finest wood carving work.
Embekke Devalaya (Embekka Temple) was built by the King Wikramabahu II in 1370's. This period is belong to Gampole regime time the King Wickramabahu II was ruling Sri Lanka. According to the historical information, this temple was done by Queen Henakanda Bisobandara. The drummer from the nearby village call Rangama was also involved. Devalaya had a three story building, but that is not available now.
Carvings and Wood Work
Once you pass the main entrance of the Embekke Devalaya, you will find the main hall with wood carving The columns, pillar and doors are decorated with wood carvings and even the roof was done with the special design. Specialty is that they use wood for everything, without any metal parts. Nails also wooden nails. Decorations includes flowers, swans, dancers, solders and lots of mythical animals.
The carvings, which adorn the wooden pillars of the drummers' hall, as well as the "Vahalkada" (the entrance porch of the Devala, which is said to be older) are some of the best examples of Sinhalese art.
The roof itself has significant features. The rafters all slant from above towards the incoming visitor are fixed together and kept in position by a "Madol Kurupawa", a kind of a giant catch pin the like of which we do not find elsewhere.