Gatabaru Rajamaha Viharaya at Deniya in Sri Lanka
Gatabaru Rajamaha Viharaya had been constructed during the reign of King Wattagamini Abhaya which houses a large recumbent statue of the Buddha. Devalaya adjoining the temple is dedicated to Rajjuru Bandara Deviyo (God) a regional deity of Ruhuna and is well known for its miraculous powers. Value of Gatabaru Rajamaha Viharaya also popular for its annual Esala Perahera which is known as the largest Perahera (procession) in the Matara District.
Gatabaru Viharaya is situated on the summit of famous Gatabaru Kanda at an elevation of 1500 feet above the mean sea level in the village of Katapola between 45- 47-mileposts on Galle Deniyaya main road. The location of Gatabaru Rajamaha Viharaya is a mountain which gives a charming splendid scenic beauty even at a distance is surrounded by many guardian attendant mountains. On one side it is connected to Rakwana hills and the virgin Sinharaja forest and on the other side to Morawak Kanda Mountain and is extended to the thick forest.
The natural beauty of Gatabaru Rajamaha Viharaya is charmingly attractive to the eye. It is rich with rare medicinal plants and local animal species. The peak is a unique creation of Mother Nature. The Gatabaru Rajamaha Viharaya is located on the peak is 1 1⁄4 mile from Kotapola Bazaar. There is a developed tar road from the bottom of the mountain to the Viharaya. After the climbing, you will reach the cave temple along with the Devalaya and after that, you will have to more climbing to reach the Dageba. This cave temple is a rock cave of 30 feet which is a majestic creation of Nature. Inside the cave, there is a sleeping Buddha statue of 18 “Riyanas” in length. On the side of the Viharaya there is the Devalaya of god Rajjuru Bandara and on the other side are the Devalas of gods Vishnu and Kataragama.
Getabaru Viharaya now has become one of the leading temples in Matara district by getting more people attraction as well as the tourist attraction. Most people bring offerings and come to pray for Gatabaru Dewiyo (God) to console their minds. When considering the history of Gatabaru Rajamaha Viharaya, it is a well-known fact that Gatabaru Dewiyo is a popular god for placing curses to take revenge on the enemies. Gatabaru God is said to be the dark side of the God Kataragama. God Kataragama had risen so much in the hierarchy of the gods, so, Gatabaru had to leave Kataragama. He fled to an isolated place on a mountaintop near Morawaka on the road from lying close to the Akurassa to Deniyaya. Therein isolation and, as it was, far from the official Buddhist world he exercises now his despised yet well-appreciated powers. People fear and therefore also respect his power to curse.