Ambakke Wooden Temple

Kandy's rich cultural heritage

The Devalaya in Embekka is dedicated to the worship of Mahasen, popularly known as Katharagama Deviyo. A local deity called Devatha Bandara is also worshiped at this site. The shrine consists of three sections, the 'Sanctum of Garagha', the 'Digge' or 'Dancing Hall' and the 'Hevisi Mandapaya' or the 'Drummers' Hall'. The Drummers' Hall that has drawn the attention of visitors to the site, due to the splendid wood carvings of its ornate pillars and its high pitched roof.


It is said that some of the wood work utilised for the 'Drummers' Hall' came from an abandoned 'Royal Audience Hall' at Gampola. There is every possibility the hall has seen repairs during the reigns of the Sinhalese Kings of Kandy. The carvings, which adorn the wooden pillars of the drummers' hall, as well as the 'Vahalkada' (the entrance porch of the devala, which is said to be older) are some of the best examples of Sinhalese art.