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Kandarodai Temple/Kadurugoda Viharaya

Located in the small hamlet known as Kandarodai, the Kadurugoda Viharaya (also known as the Kandarodai Temple) is one of the last Buddhist temples left in Jaffna. Declared as an important archeological site in Sri Lanka, the temple is maintained by the Sri Lanka Army.

Its establishment took place sometime between 307 BC to 267 BC, during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa, who helped usher Buddhism into Sri Lanka. This was at the peak of Anuradhapura’s most powerful era.

In the present day, 20 stupas could be found along the ruins on the viharaya’s premises, with the smallest being 8ft in diameter, and the largest being 23.5ft. This is unusual as it’s common for temples to have a single, large stupa rather than several small ones.

Curiously, the gray coral stone domes with unique patterns on them are only found in this temple and nowhere else in Sri Lanka. Though we can’t be certain, it’s believed that these stupas hold the remains of 60 to 80 enlightened (Arhat) monks.

The viharaya was rediscovered in 1916 by a group of monks, who claimed they’d uncovered an ancient site in Chunnakam, suburban Jaffna. Of course, this site turned out to be the temple premises. Though excavation efforts have been carried out over the years, we still know relatively little about the temple.

The mysterious archeological site is ideal for the curious mind, so do pay a visit and see if it enthralls you the way it has us with its many secrets.