An amazing attraction that may be included for visiting in a Sri Lanka holiday package is Sri Lankathilaka Rajamaha Viharaya in Kandy. Located in Udunuwara village, about 15 km from the city, the temple complex is known for shrines of Hindu gods along with Buddhist deities. It was established in 1344 by King Buwanekabahu IV, who employed a South Indian architect to design and build it. The three-storey, white-coloured building is constructed atop a black granite platform on an uneven hill, known as Panhangala Rock. The main approach to the complex is from the side where the residences of the monks are located and from there, a flight of stairs leads up to the hilltop.
There are two staircases, carved into the rock, leading up: one was cut in the 14th century and the other in 1913. From the stairways, tourists can get a panoramic view of the surrounding greenery and the city of Kandy. The staircases lead visitors to an entranceway, made by fixing a horizontal slab of rock on two vertical ones. Inside the complex are the main temple structure, a Buddhist stupa and a Bodhi tree. Sri Lankathilaka Rajamaha Viharaya, besides Buddhist deities, has temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Vibhishana, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. The stupa is a simple white, bell-shaped shrine, crowned by a conical spire.
The Main Shrine
The main temple rises to about 80 feet in height and its thick exterior walls are beautifully decorated with sculpted arches and walls. Its two topmost floors are smaller than the ground level and the whole building is topped by thatched roofs. Tourists can reach the building, housing images of the Buddha, during their holiday in Sri Lanka from the staircase, on the eastern side of the hill. At the base of the steps is a semi-circular stone, containing relief of animals and on both sides of the staircase are small statues of deities. Inside the Buddha Image House are paintings of lions and guardian figures of the site. Here, visitors will also see a statue of Gautama Buddha, meditating under a stone arch, being watched by other gods and idols of 24 other Bodhisattvas.