Asked where are the best examples of classical Kandy paintings, the answer must be Dambulla, of course. Concerning the beauty of the painted caves, Ridigama comes second. However, high quality Kandy paintings second only to Dambulla, we assume, can be seen in Degaldoruwa. The cave temple of Degaldoruwa Rajamaha Viharaya is located only 4 km north of the Mahaweli Bridge to the east of Kandy (Mahiyangana Road), where the Earl’s Regence, Kandy’s most renowned 5-star-hotel, is situated, too. Nonetheless, Degaldoruwa is still not a crowded destination. Sometimes it’s difficult to find someone in charge of the key to open the caves. The murals are breathtaking. Some paintings can be found at the rock surface of the inner shrine room, which is the Degaldoruwa cave in a more narrow sense. The most amazing Paintings illustrating Jataka stories can be seen at the wall in front of the inner shrine room, which is called Buduge. Several elements are portrayed in great detail, particularly the garments and adornments.
The construction of the Degaldoruwa Rajamaha Viharaya in it’s final form commenced in 1771 under the famous King Kirti Sri Rajasingha and was completed under his successor Rajadhi Rajasingha. A monk by name Moratota Dhammakkanda Maha Nayaka Thera, who was the king’s teacher and advisor, was in charge of the Degaldoruwa temple. Four artists are credited with painting the Degaldoruwa murals, their. The name of the craft of painters decorating caves and temples during the Kandyan period is Sitaras.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka