A Buddha statue in Degaldoruwa temple

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Degal Doruwa Raja Maha Vihara


Hidden away in Kandy's leafy outskirts is the little-visited, but fascinating, Degal Doruwa Raja Maha Vihara cave temple, constructed (with the help of some obliging boulders) in the 18th century. The interior of the cave is painted head to toe in slightly faded, but captivating murals. These fine Kandyan-era paintings depict scenes from the Jataka stories (tales from the previous lives of the Buddha).

In among these are some out-of-place paintings depicting men with guns. These are likely to have been inspired by the first firearms to have arrived in Sri Lanka. Alongside the paintings is a large reclining Buddha.

Visitors are likely to be shown around by one of the five resident monks.

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