“Preserve antiquities of Kebellelena cave temple” | Sunday Observer

“Preserve antiquities of Kebellelena cave temple”

18 June, 2023
The main Buddha statue
The main Buddha statue

The  antiquities of  historic importance  at  the  Kebellelena  cave temple  at  Dagama in the Polpithigama Divisional Secretariat division are  fast  perishing  and  will  be  lost  forever  unless  swift  action is taken  to preserve  them.

It  is  believed  that  the  temple  was  built  during  the  reign  of  King  Devanampiyathissa.

According  to  the  Chief  Incumbent  of  the  temple,  Ven.Rawaela  Sudhamma  Thera,  this  is  the  only  temple in  Sri  Lanka  where  a  Devale, a Dhamma  hall  and a  shrine room are housed in a cave.

He said most  of  the  frescoes  in  the  temple are  perishing  with  the  plaster  peeling  off. The main Buddha statue has been disfigured. The dagaba too has been damaged by treasure hunters.

Ven. Sudhamma  Thera  said that  although  the site was declared as  a  conservation  site  by  the Department  of  Archaeology  in 1965, no  conservation work has  been  carried out.

The  Chief  Incumbent  and  the Dayaka  Sabha  call upon  the Ministry  of Buddhasasana and  the  Department  of  Archaeology  to take action  to  preserve  the antiquities  for  the  benefit  of  the  future  generation.