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Kadurugoda Temple | Jaffna | Sri Lankan Guides

Kadurugoda Temple | Jaffna | Sri Lankan Guides

Located in Hunugama or Chunnakkam in the Jaffna Peninsula, the Kadurugoda Temple is believed to be a remnant of a once-grand Buddhist Monastery, some asserting it as a site graced by Lord Buddha during his visit to Sri Lanka.

First identified, excavated, and documented by Paul E. Pieris in 1917, the temple site boasts ruins of sixty stupas, believed to house the remains of sixty arhants. These arhants, once based in Pukuduthivu (formerly Pulangu-Divaina), are said to have succumbed to food poisoning. The initial excavation uncovered coins, beads, Buddha statues, and colored tiles from the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa eras.

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The twelve-foot-high and twelve-foot-circumference stupas are constructed from lime-based materials. Numerous scattered boundaries in the area suggest the presence of wooden structures with lime bases, and within the monastery boundaries, the remains of a castle have been discovered.

An inscription on a pillar at the temple reveals a lesser-known history, detailing a village donation from the Jaffna Peninsula to the Abhayagiriya temple. The responsible officer is named as Minister Kiling Bosath, a descendant of Kalingus, who arrived in Sri Lanka with Arhant Sangamitta. Archaeologists believe, based on the inscriptions, that the monastery was under the control of Abhayagiri in Anuradhapura.

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Archaeologists assert that the temple thrived as a Buddhist monastery during the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa eras, sponsored by Kings Parakramabahu the First, Nissankamalla, Buwenakabahu, Kashyapa, and Queen Leelawathi. Unfortunately, it met its demise at the hands of the provincial king of the Jaffna Peninsula, Sankili the Second. Despite its discovery by archaeologists, the temple has never been revived and remains under the shadow of destruction, still threatened by encroachment.

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