In a quiet out of the way spot almost hidden from human kind is the Nagolla Aramaya or the Gonmottawa Kanda Hermitage. Here amongst the solitude of huge shade trees, are the rock cave habitations specially modified for the convenience of today's meditating monks.
The caves are conveniently walled up with doors and windows and even little flower gardens at their entrance door steps. The ruins of an ancient dagoba can be seen at the entrance to the aramaya.
It is believed that this place has been frequented by meditating monks during the pre Christian era, as is witnessed by the caves with pre Christian inscriptions. A young man, a student reading a Dhamma book was pleased to talk to us and show us some of the ancient inscriptions on the rocks over the caves.
It is said that the reference made to Gosiya Pabbata Vihara in the commentary Sumanagala vilasini is accepted as the early name of this vihara. This hermitage is situated about 100metres beyond Bulanawewa bazaar, about 5 kms, along the Galawela - Kalawewa road.
by Kishanie S. Fernando
February 3, 2007