At Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya
Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya is most famous for its Wooden Bridge of the Kandyan Era. This bridge is built over the Gallanda Oya river which is a tributory of Mahaweli River and is only surviving bridge of such nature of this Era. The bridge initially made out wood without a single nail was in a very depleted state few years ago. This has been now renovated by Department of Archaeology. This bridge is thought to be lying on one of the ancient pilgrims paths from Kandy Kindom to the Uva province where there is a large number of important Buddhist shrines such as Muthiyanganaya. Another unique feature of the bridge is that this bridge comes with a roof clad in flat tiles of the Kandyan Period. The reason for this is unknown but it is thought that the bridge would havde been serving as Ambalama in additon to the main function.
Just at the bridge is a ancient cave temple with the image house buit using a natural rock cave. This date back to the time of King Vattagamini Abaya (better known as King Walagamba) in the 1st century BC but the current building belong to the Kandyan Era. On the far side of the building is a flight of steps which leads to a large rock cave. King Walagamba is though to have been using this cave during time he was hiding from a Indian Invasion in Capital Anuradhapura. On a side of the cave is is a damp tunnel. This is said to be a secret tunnel buit by the king to as a escape route. This tunnel is said to be connecting to the tunnel at Dowa Raja Maha Viharaya which lies on the main Badulla - Bandarawela Road. and the Rawana Raja maha Viharaya close to the Ravana Ella. The tunnel is caved in today and is taken over by Bats.
The Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya can be reached from the Hali Ela town on the Badulla - Bandarawela Road.The turn off is at the main Hali Ela Junction itself and is marked by a small sign board. The distance to the temple is 11 kms from this junction. The road is small but motarable and will cut across few junctions before reaching the temple. As long as you dont take any turns at these junctions you will end up in the temple where the road will end. To reach the cave temple and the bridge, you need to climb down about 100 steps towards the river.
400-year-old Bogoda Bridge - Sunday Observer - 27 August 2006
February 16, 2007