Image: Kandy Regency House
Kandy is a charming city located in the Central part of Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the ancient Kings of Sri Lanka. Kandy is a religious city with magnificent views and mild climate and is the capital of the Central Province.
According to general belief, Kandy is protected by four gods, each with its own shrine. These shrines (devalas) are each dedicated to a specific god namely Vishnu, Kataragama, Paththini and Natha.
Out of these four, the Vishnu, Natha & Paththini Devalas are located close to the Temple of the Tooth while the Katharagama Devala is situated a little away from the other devalas, in Kotugodella Street.
These shrines are almost always crowded. The Natha temple is one of the most important in Kandy, outshined only by the Temple of the Tooth. Because of the god’s importance, new Kings of Kandy were compelled to appear here to claim a name, before ascending to the throne. The main shrine is ancient, and beautiful from the outside.
Vishnu Devalaya in Kandy is located on the north side of the Temple of the Tooth. Its most striking features are a massive pavilion and a long set of stone steps which lead to the main shrine. Although located close to the Temple of the tooth which is visited by thousands, Vishnu Devalaya area is a serene and quiet.
The “Paththini Devalaya” dedicated to goddess Pattini is situated to the west of the “Natha Devalaya”. In the past, the two devales were parted by small road called “Et Vidiya” or the Elephant Street which is not seen now.
The entrance to Kataragama Devalaya faces the main street. You can enter the shrine through a colorfully ornamented vahalkada. The Kataragama Devalaya at Kandy is run by Hindu priests unlike the other 3 devales in Kandy.