Ambekke Devalaya Temple Kandy

My Personal Experience With Ambekke Devalaya Temple

Ambakka Devalaya2

A few of our friends wants to visit Ambekke Devalaya Temple on our way to Nuwara Eliya.

I never been to this place before, but I still can recall my mother and father were taking about this Ambekke Devalaya Temple many times due to many reasons.

Ambakka Devalaya1

[This is the front side of the temple. You need to remove you shoes or slippers before going inside]

There are many names for this place and there are many ways it is spelled out or pronounced.

If you want to Google for more information about this place before visit, please use the below mentioned key words so that you would be able to find  what ever details you want.

Ambakka , Embakke or Embekke and you can add the “Devalaya” or Temple at the end.

Why it is Important

Ambakka Devalaya8


[Once you passed the main entrance, you find the main section of the Devalaya.]

Ambakka Devalaya10

Ambakka Devalaya12

[This is the Kataragama God’s main temple entrance. All the wood carving are in this building]

According to UNESCO this Ambekke Devalaya Temple consist of the finest products of wood carvings to be found in any part of the world.

we were told that the entire structure of the temple was build  using wood and not a single iron nail being used to build the temple.

Every joint of the temple being build by using wooden and wooden carvings.

Initially it was used to conduct Royal Judgement by the Kings but later it was dedicated to God Kataragama,  War God.You can search on the Google for more information

How to find the Ambakke Devalaya

We asked from many people “where is the Ambekke Devalaya” and everybody says, “it is just 1 or 2 kilo meters away ” but I guess, we traveled  around 3-4 killo meters to reached the place.

Do not hesitate to ask from the village people as they are so cooperative to help  you to find the place. we traveled with a well known tourist guide, I am sure he will take you to the correct place.

Summary of Ambakke Temple

Ambakka Devalaya3


[ Just look at the red colour underline words. It says, Kataragama God is War-God. Did you know about it. I was surprised to know that ]

The Ambakke temple, which was built during the 14th century is believed to have been built by King Wickremabahu III, who reigned in Gampola from 1357 to 1374, in honor of the God of Kataragama.

The king is said to have built it on the request of his queen. The site comprise of the temple, digger and the centre where he used to play.

Ambakka Devalaya4

Some historian says,the temple site was designed by a drummer called Rangama.

Earlier the Ambakke Devalaya was a three storied one but today you can see the spectacular carvings of the remaining, but as for my belief  these ancient monuments clearly spell out that ancient man is more advance than modern man.

They new the law of universe and foster more wisdom that modern civilisaon. Any, you do not need to believe that, that is my two cents.

Do You want to know More Details About Carvings

Ambakka Devalaya9

[ If you count the red dotted line, there are 26 parala.All these wooden are connected to circled pin,it is Peacock head. These are connected without any iron nails.The pin and wooden frame represent the peacock. Amazing work right !!!]

In front of the Ambakka temple there is “Shop” which sells drums and masks.There was a  man who can explain about the meaning of these carvings.

You need to aware that, he was in sober  when he was talking to us.

it does not matter, his explanation is fantastic and I am pretty sure, he will give a pretty good explanation than your tourist guide but of course you have to ask your tour guide to translate to English.

If go with your children,try to find a man and ask him to explain .

Do remember to tip him generously as these village people live based on these incomes.

Toilet and Other Facilities

Ambakka Devalaya2

There are toilet facilities and we enjoyed too but I am not sure during the season what is the condition.

if just want to pee, it is good place. It says, only for foreigners but we used the facility.

Shopping Around

If you like to, or may be NOT.My friend Vinesh bought a small drum from one the shop for Rs 1200. I am pretty sure, you can buy the same from colombo for the same price but it is not the money but the experience and helping each other.

Do not hesitate to buy  few things, as it will help the village community to have a good life.

Ambekke Devalaya & Ancient Paddy Barns

Ambakka Devalaya6

You could see a two big ancient paddy barns at the Ambakka Devalaya Temple. If you carefully observe, the walls of the Barn were made out of clay and wood.there could an ancient security do so that they could keep the harvest for a long time.

Ambakka Devalaya5

[This is the main two Paddy Barns. Both of them are very big. There is a police men setting in between these Barns :-)]

If you wonder why, Ancient temple have big Paddy Bans like this.

I believe, ancient civilizations  learn to give the first of their harvest potion to temple before they consume.

Ambakka Devalaya7

They new that , they must give FIRST before receive. they knew the only way to receive is to give FIRST therefore ancient time, temple had very big Paddy Barn like this to store the harvest,to store the harvest which they receive from the common people. What wisdom!!!!

Some of the Spectacular Wooden Carvings Embakke Devalaya

There are many wooden carvings and a lot people gives different interpretation.

There are couple of unusual carvings and they gave different interpretation but I wonder why somebody carved some frictions type of character on these wooden pillar unless these are very important or real figures or real sense to the ancient civilization.

Embakke Devalaya wooden carvings12

Embakke Devalaya wooden carvings3

In the modern days, it is only very important people, pictures are at very important places. isn’t it. You and me can NOT put our picture or what ever we want at very important place.

Embakke Devalaya wooden carvings1

The question is then, why the ancient man did these type of carvings. Was these characters were real? or was there any relation?.

We can not see or find dynosaures today but we can NOT   say that there were not existed  in the past. I am pretty sure, these were not done by insane.

Ambekke Devalaya is a great place to visit and learn about the Ambekke Devalaya history if you are interested.

Once you come out from the Ambekke Temple, you need to think as “a Free Thinker” than with your prejudiced mind.

It is time to wind up the post about the Ambekke Devalaya as I do not want Bimal to spend too much time on proof reading or edit 🙂

Keep in touch

Kevin King