Embekke Devale - famous for Sri Lanka's best woodcarvings
Embekke Devale, also spelt Ambekka Devalaya, is one of the three so-called “Western Temples” to the west of Kandy and to the north of Gampola. The Embekke is often attributed to the Gampola period of the Late Middle Ages. The surviving structures of the Embekke Devale, however, are mainly from the Kandyan period. In contrast to the other two Western Temples, Embekke’s main shrine is Hindu, dedicated to Kataragama, and an accessory shrine is Buddhist. In Lankatilaka and Gadaladeniya, it’s the other way around. The main feature is the wooden Digge, the “Drummers’ Hall”, which is famous for the best examples of Kandyan woodcarvings. Till the present day, Embekke is a village of woodcarvers.
Location of the Embekke temple
The Embekke Devale or Ambekka Devalaya, belonging to the Medapalata Korale of Udunuwara in Kandy District, is situated 10 km north of Gampola and 16 km southwest of Kandy by road. The famous Lankatilaka temple is within walking distance, only 3 km further north. The temple within the very small village of Embekke is easy to find, as it is placed at the western end of the axis forming the only street.