Bogoda is a remote village in a rural setting 15 km west of Badulla. It’s situated on the banks of a small river called Galanda Oya. There is an unusal roofed bridge crossing the rocky river bed. Elegantly balanced on a single wooden pier, the wooden structure is both a bridge and an Ambalama, an old pilgrim’s rest. The Bogoda Bridge, dating from the 17th century, is the oldest remaining wooden Bridge in Sri Lanka and still one of the largest, 15 metres long an 1.5 metres wide.Locals believe that the entire Bogoda Bridge is made from one single tree. All parts of this ancient bridge were constructed from wood, even the nails used an fixing material are wooden. Only the roof is tiled. But the wood is from four different species of trees, jack fruit and kumbuk are used for the main constructions, whereas Kalluwara and Milla timber are used for the various traditional decorations on the railings on either side.
Next to the bridge is the Bogoda Raja Vihara, a typical Sinhalese cave temple, dating back to the 18th century, though the cave themselves had been in use by reclusive monks much earlier. This is one of the many temples claiming to be founded by the famous King Valagamba during his 14 years in exile. A stone inscription near the temple, in ancients Brahmi characters, says the cave was donated to a priest named Brahmadatta by Tissa, presumably a local prince from Badulla. The main sculpture of the image house in the Kandyan style is a reclining Buddha.
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