According to Buddhist belief, Kandy is protected by four gods—Natha, Maha Vishnu, Kataragama, and Pattini—and a devale within the palace is dedicated to each deity. The Natha Devale honors Natha, a popular figure regarded as a future Buddha. The temple comprises various timber-pillared buildings, each decorated with paintings and Buddhist icons, and two stupas, one said to contain the Buddha’s food bowl. Travelers can absorb the atmosphere and ornamented buildings, while pilgrims make food and flower offerings at the main shrine.
Visitors can access Natha Devale on an independent visit to Kandy’s Royal Palace and Temple of the Tooth. Alternatively, choose a private day trip from places such as Colombo that focus on Kandy and provide extra time to explore the shrines set around the royal complex.
Things to Know Before You Go
Natha Devale will appeal to history and culture buffs.
Visitors to the temple should cover their shoulders and knees.
Be sure to see the temple’s richly carved gateway and stupas.
If you wish, buy fruit at the devale shop to lay as an offering at the altar.
How to Get There
Located in Kandy’s Royal Palace complex, Natha Devale is accessible from the road leading to St. Paul’s Church via a gate from the Maha Vishnu Devale or from the side of the Temple of the Tooth. The easiest way to get to the Royal Palace is by cab or tuk-tuk.
When to Get There
In contrast to the often-packed Temple of the Tooth, Natha Devale is usually overlooked by travelers and therefore rarely crowded, apart from on special holy days. As with other Kandy devales, opening times tend to be from sunrise to sunset, but be aware that these may change.
The Church of St. Paul
While you’re visiting Natha Devale, take the time to stroll to nearby St. Paul’s Church. Built by the British between 1843 and 1848, this red-brick church is worth seeing for its beautiful stained-glass windows and pipe organ—brought here from Britain in 2009 to replace the original.
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