Embark on a journey of rediscovery. A historic temple that was submerged for many years until it was discovered a few years ago. It remains hidden from everyone yet it emerges again for some time of the year. A unique site that should be on the list during your Sri Lanka holiday tour making it, an experience like no other.


  • Its submerged most of the year and resurfaces during 2-3 months of the year during the drought season making it a rare sight
  • It’s gradually becoming popular where many visit to witness the beautiful spectacle of a partially raised temple surrounded by water
  • The ruins are a nostalgic reflection of a past life in the Kadadora village
  • The times to visit are the months of March and April when the water level subsides giving rise to the temple


A long lost temple believed to be the name of Pratibimbarama Viharaya of Kadadora which had gone under water during the construction of the Kotmale reservoir by the Mahaweli development program in 1979. It had been submerged and undiscovered for 30 years till 2009 during a long spell of drought during that year. It stays hidden for most of the year and partially resurfaces during low rain months or months of drought, therefore it has earned the name ‘hiding temple.’ There used to be 4 entrances to enter Kotmale, they were Galdora, Watadora, Niyangandora and Kadadora. Kadadora is the only entrance that can be seen today.
Kadadora Viharaya wasn’t the only temple that went underwater years ago, as there were more than 50 temples and many villages that had also been submerged. The ruins of the temple consist of Buddha statues and other sculptures.
Visitors are given the opportunity to witness this majestic and ancient temple during the times when the temple resurfaces, a rare occurrence, upon when the water level goes down, especially during the months of March and April. Hundreds of locals visit to offer flowers and obtain blessings when the temple is visible and villagers gather around the remains of the Buddha statue and they light candles and place it on the Buddha statue while they pray which make the place really beautiful and different. It’s a newly discovered and emerging attraction for tourists who particularly pursue off the beaten track sites.