The Temples of Lankatilekka and Embekka

The Temples of Lankatilekka and Embekka

Lankatilaka temple

Located in the Udunuwara Hiyarapitiya village of Kandy we find the famous Lankatilaka temple.
The huge rock where the temple was built is called Panhangala Rock.

Lankathilaka Vihara Temple

The temple was designed by the Indian architect Sthapati Rayar.

According to the opinions of researchers; the temple combines the design elements of the architecture of the Polonnaruwa era with that of Dravidian (India) and the Indo-Chinese design.

At the time of construction, the temple was a four-story building about 26 meters high, built on an irregular rocky substrate using a granite base.

The structure of the temple is such that it radiates from the center in the four cardinal directions, like a cross.

Only then can the ground floor and part of the first floor of the original temple be observed today, even if the temple appears to have three floors from the outside.

The thick outer walls of the temple have beautifully carved arches and various sculptures that make it a unique 14th century design.

Being one of the three famous ancient temples near Peradeniya, you can reach Lankatilaka Viharaya along the main Kandy-Colombo road and turn left from Pilimatalawa [near km 104] along the Daulagala road that leads to the village of Hiyarapitiya.
There are rice storage containers called “Atuwa” at the Vihara headquarters.

The staircase leading to the temple starts here.

The Vihara complex includes the Temple building, the Dagoba (Chaithya) and the Bo tree.

A large image of Lord Buddha’s footprint carved in stone and known as the Siripatula of the Buddha can be seen near the Bodhigharaya.

The preaching room is located in front of the main entrance of the Temple and a remarkable feature is that its roof is covered with straw with flat tiles while the round tiles cover the central part of the roof creating wonderful motifs.

The main temple or Buddha Image House is built of plaster-covered granite and spans three floors.

Stunning examples of architectural design and wall paintings adorn the walls and ceiling inside this building providing a scene of rich colors and craftsmanship.

A moonstone or moonstone called “Sandakadapahana” is located at the entrance flanked by two Korawakgala (balustrades) with the design of Gajasinha.

Lankatilaka Temple Image

Enter through the arched door and the eye is drawn to the two paintings of lion figures that have become one of the most recognizable and unique features of Lankatilaka Vihara.

A statue of the Buddha seated under a Dragon Arch or “Makara Torana” occupies a privileged place within the complex.

Around the statue we find drawings of trees and flowers that promote the concept of “Bodhi”, and the walls are adorned with paintings by “Suvisi Vivarana” (the lives of the twenty-four previous Buddhas).

Embekka temple

Recently, travelers have aroused great interest in the architectural wonders in Sri Lanka, the temple of Embekka Devalaya in Kandy has been the center of attention.

Embekka Temple

It is one of the best known examples of Sri Lankan wood carvings.

However, this temple, although small, has an extraordinary history behind it.

In the drummers’ pavilion there are 514 wooden sculptures.

The name

If you talk to the locals, they have many stories about how the village got its name.

One of the stories that is told is that the name derives from a game played in this village in ancient times.

In a playground in this village, an ancient game known as “Ankeliya” performed for the goddess Patini (considered a guardian deity of Sri Lanka).

A large bull horn was used to play this game.

In Sinhalese a horn is translated into “Anna” or “Anga” and the big word was translated in ancient times into “Bakka”.

The village was therefore known as “An-bakka”, which was later pronounced Embekke.

The legend

Embekka Indoors

According to the caption; the temple was built by a drummer who resided nearby.

The story goes that the drummer, in his youth, came into contact with a skin disease and sought spiritual recovery as was common in those times.
He had visited the Katharagama temple and prayed for recovery to the god Skanda.

Unknown to this day how he recovered, and believing that the gods made it possible, the drummer paid tribute to the god by visiting Katharagama every year to play his drums as an offering.

As he got older, staying true to his word and finding it difficult to keep up with his offering, during one last visit to the temple he prayed and thought about himself that it was the last time he would be able to visit.

That same night, the drummer dreamed that the god would show him a miracle to allow him to continue his offer.

Embekka Details

The legend continues with the drummer, on his return, having heard of a story of a nearby city (Embekke), a poisonous tree felled filtering a blood-red latex instead of the usual white latex.

The drummer realized that this could have been a sign of the gods in his dreams and with the help of the people of the area, he built a small temple for the gods with a thatched roof where the tree had been cut down.

Hearing about this incident, the curious King Vickramabahu III visited the place and struck by the fate of the drummer, he built the temple in a suitable structure with statues of the gods.

The King is said to have returned many times to pay tribute to the Temple.

Except for the Sanctum, the rest of the temple is almost entirely made of wood.

From the carved wooden pillars in the rooms which have open sides to the beautifully made roof, the whole is covered with carvings.

The bases of the pillars are octagonal in shape while their tops end in the shapes of four leaves stacked in a square.

The pillars have various images carved into the sides of the bases. In addition, carvings adorn beams, beams and jambs.

Notable engravings among these masterpieces were those of braided swans, two-headed eagles, designs of braided ropes, breastfeeding image, soldier fighting on horseback, ballerinas, wrestlers, women emanating from a vein, bird-human hybrid, elephant-bull hybrid, hybrid elephant-lion and etc.

The sculptures of the entire temple include 125 sets of decorations, 256 liyawela-like drawings and 64 lotus drawings, 30 decorative motifs and roof designs, which end in 514 unique designs.

The roof of the temple is an excellent example of ancient wooden architecture, where the 26 beams are supported by a single wooden pin.

Sri Lanka is indeed the perfect place for children and for people who like animals and nature.

This country is incredibly green.

It is impossible not to find elephant herds on safari or even on the same road traveling.
It is also very easy to see leopards, macaques and other types of monkeys, giant squirrels, jackals, etc. etc

Furthermore, walking with children and adults through the Peradeniya Botanical Garden is a delight. Along with the giant trees and millions of plants, we will also find monkeys and other animals in this immense place.

The Temples of Lankatilekka and Embekka

We use all the available and easy-to-use technologies to stay in touch with our customers.

Besides the email, the most used method, we are always available by phone and WhatsApp.

It is also possible to communicate via Skype or FaceTime or any other application available to the customer, but only with prior appointment.

We pay a lot of attention in being able to communicate to the customer all the necessary information to offer all the tranquility to you even while you are on Tour.

Living and working in Kandy, facilitates access to privileged information to create new routes and itineraries to Sri Lanka.

This allows us to design exclusive and unique journeys, reaching some places that only we know.

This is why we receive an excellent score in everything related to the design of customised and on-demand trips.

Moreover, we pay a lot of attention to everything related to the management of the booking and assistance, always in English, Spanish and Italian, of your trip to Sri Lanka.

The Temples of Lankatilekka and Embekka

Meanwhile, those who love exotic beaches, full of palm trees and coconut trees, offer beaches in the west of the country such as Bentota, Ambalangoda, Chilaw and Negambo.

You can also swim in the Indian Ocean in the east of the country on the beaches of Trincomalee, Pasikudah, Nilaveli …

If you like surfing you can practice at Arugam Bay, Weligama or Mirissa. 

And of course, we have the beaches of southern Sri Lanka such as Tangalle, Unawatuna, Galle, Ahangama, etc. etc

If you like cities, we have Kandy, Jaffna, Galle Fort and Colombo where you can walk and shop among the wonderful shops and restaurants.
In a nutshell, we have a country with a wide variety of climates, places, cultures, religions, etc. 
Where we will always find Sinhalese smiling and waiting for us with open arms.

Coming to Sri Lanka and not being surprised is absolutely impossible.

The Temples of Lankatilekka and Embekka