About Raja Maha Viharaya
Gatabaru Rajamaha Viharaya is situated on a ridge in the Kotapola region among Morawaka and Deniyaya on the Akuressa – Deniyaya street. This Devalaya is situated around 458m above ocean level and is an old cavern sanctuary and devalaya. This Devalaya is otherwise called Geethabaraja Rajamaha Viharaya. It is accepted that the name Gatabaru is gotten from the way that the aficionados tie the contributions and give up. Gatabaruwa is encircled by the Rakwana Hills on one side, the Sinharaja Maha Forest on the other, and the Morawakka Korala Hills. Help and security for the aficionados This devalaya is viewed as the dwelling place of King Bandara.
The historical backdrop of this old sanctuary with astonishing supernatural occurrences returns to the early Anuradhapura period and it is said that the author of this antiquated holy spot was King Walagamba (88-76 BC). As per the Mahavamsa, this Devalaya is a cavern sanctuary based on the slopes of Ruhuna, where King Walagamba stowed away and yet again equipped himself to escape from the trespassers. There is an assessment that alongside this Gatabaruwa sanctuary, different spots of love, for example, Ruwankanda, Elamaldeniya, Urumutta and Sittamgallena were worked during a similar period as this Devalaya. Another legend expresses that the Bandaras, who were dropped from the Bandara administration of the Kandyan line, governed over various Panchayats in the Western Province when they became sub-realms and became gods by the name of King Bandara after their passing. Lord Bandara, who is wearing the type of a Nilame, is embellished with a crown on his head. There is a mustache and a wrap around the neck. There is a wreath down to the midriff. On the left shoulder there is a northern shroud and on two hands there is gems. In the right hand there is a sole and on the left hand there is a lace.
In the year 1834, Elias Hami, an occupant of Kotapola, Banana Koratuwa, went to Gatabaru Kanda to develop. A deer that came before him turned around and fled, and halted in a cavern in the forest. He pursued it and saw an eighteen cubit Buddha sculpture in the cavern. As the occurrence spread, Vidanapathirana Ketagoda, an occupant of Kosnilgoda, Morawaka, with the help of the locals constructed a transitory religious community here. Then, at that point, in 1834 a priest came there. Ven. Weerasinghe Kanda Sumangala Thero is the Chief Incumbent of the Gatabaru Raja Maha Viharaya. From there on the Gatabaru Esala Festival started in 1953 and in 1956 the primary Gatabaru Perahera was held.