Paramakanda Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple in Puttalam District, Sri Lanka. The temple is located in Paramakanda village approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) distance from the Anamaduwa town, Kalpitiya.
Dating from the reign of King Walagamba in 89-77 BC, the temple is steeped in myth and legend. From the perceived mysterious powers lurking behind trap doors to a rumoured underground tunnel network linking the temple with other monastic institutions on other rocks in the area. Other carvings and inscriptions around the rock suggest the buildings once covered the entire formation.
At ground level, the temple has a number of fascinating shrine rooms under the overhanging rock. It is possible to see beautiful frescoes and paintings from different periods depicting the Buddhist teachings. As with many Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, pure Buddhism is mixed with belief in elements of Hinduism and local gods and deities. Perhaps the most interesting and surprising murals are located on an outside wall that depict visions of a Buddhist ‘hell’, with different punishment awaiting different sins.
A stone staircase leads to the top of the rock, where the path opens up to reveal a spectacular 360-degree views. It is worth visiting just to see the view and spend some time on top of the rock.
The temple is the location for large festivals during the religious celebrations of Wesak and Posson. During this time hundreds of pilgrims visit throughout the day and night. This can be quite a special spectacle, although the temple will sometimes make noise throughout the night on such celebratory occasions!