The Serene Villa

Saman Devalaya

Distance from Ratnapura - 6 km (3.7 miles)

This shrine is dedicated to God Maha Sumana Saman, one of the four guardian deities of the island. God Sumana Saman was present when Lord Buddha visited the island for the second time. God Saman is recorded as having met the Buddha on the latter's first visit to the island when he visited Mahiyangana to drive away the yakkhas. In the legendary history, Sumana Saman invited Lord Buddha to the Adam's Peak (Samanalakanda) and on request Lord Buddha left his foot print on the rock at top of the mountain as a token of symbolic worship in the absence of the Buddha. God Maha Sumana Saman is depicted crowned, bejeweled, holding a lotus flower in his right hand and accompanied by a white elephant.

One of the oldest routes up Adam's peak (guardian of which also is God Saman), the Gillimali Road, starts from the splendid Maha Saman Devala complex, a few kilometers west of the city. It's a handsome temple, with a series of broad courtyards & whitewashed buildings in the Kandyan style, with some Portuguese influence.

Every august this Shrine conducts a traditional festival where hundreds of elephants, dancers, drummers and devala officials parade the "Devala Maluwa" for 2 weeks every night.

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