Bahirawa Kanda – One of Places You Must Visit in Kandy

Hi everyone! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! Today I’m going to tell you about another interesting and valuable place to visit in Kandy. Hope you have read my previous article about an amazing observation point in Kandy. What if someone asks, ‘What are the places to visit in Kandy?’ First answer is pretty much obvious and crystal clear, it is Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic). In my opinion, the second answer is what I am going to talk about today, Bahirawa Kanda Temple.

Bahirawa Kanda Statue

Bahirawa Kanda Statue

‘Bahirawa’ means gnome, ‘Kanda’ means hill. So it is like Gnome Hill. There are some folklores about a gnome lived here. According to them there were horrifying sounds coming from the hill. That folklores may lead this hill to get this name. And it is said that there was a ‘Devalaya’ (shrine) on top of the hill and it is destroyed along with the passage of time. Now there is a beautiful Buddhist temple. Everybody knows it as Bahirawa Kanda temple, but the real name of it is ‘Sri Maha Bodhi Viharaya’.

Bahirawa Kanda temple is very famous tourist attraction in Kandy. TheĀ omnipresent statue can be seen from almost everywhere in Kandy city. The importance of the statue of Lord Buddha here is, it is the second largest sitting statue in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, my smartphone camera was not good enough to capture the sight of the statue down from Kandy city.

Second largest sitting Buddha statue in Sri Lanka - Bahirawa Kanda

As well as the statue can be seen from anywhere in the city, you can see the whole city from the Bahirawa Kanda temple. You can even go up to the shoulder level of the statue via the stairs behind it.

Side view of the statue
Side view of the statue. You can see the stairs behind it

Once to go up the attic, you will have a better and uninterrupted view of the city. That is a very attractive observation point to observe the Kandy city. You can clearly identify each and every landmark there.

View of Kandy City from Bahirawa Kanda
View of Kandy City from Bahirawa Kanda



This is not an ancient temple built by a King. According to Wikipedia the monastery was founded by Ven. Ampitiye Dammarama Thero in 1972. Since then the statue was built with donations of people and it took a long period of time to get the job done. It was completed and opened to the public on 1st January 1993. Since then it has become a major tourist attraction in Kandy.

How to Reach…?

This is the route to Bahirawa Kanda from Maligawa Bus Stop. You can go to the very top by a vehicle. But in my opinion, it is an interesting thing to go there walking, especially at night. I’m telling you by experience.:) But be noted that it takes some time and effort due to the steep slope of the hill. You better not to walk there if you have little children or elderly persons.

A Wedding Ceremony at Temple
A Wedding at a Temple??

When we visited Bahirawa Kanda recently we saw something uncommon. There was a wedding ceremony at the temple. Nowadays some couples do that (very rarely). I personally don’t approve this practice. But anyhow, things like this happen.

Sight of Bahirawa Kanda Statue from Kandy view point
This is how Bahirawa Kanda statue is seen from Kandy View Point

You might have heard of Kandy View Point (Arthur’s Seat). It is also an observation point to observe the city. The above picture is taken from Kandy View Point. You can the Bahirawa Kanda statue far in it.

So if you are visiting Kandy, make sure you put Bahirawa Kanda on places to visit in Kandy list. And, it is always advisable to book an accommodation in advance to find a decent place. Because in some seasons, Kandy city gets so crowded, especially in ‘Dalada Perahera’ season. If you have any doubts or if you need further information, simply leave a comment below. See you in the next post. Happy holidays to all of you.

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