About Nillakgama Bodhigharaya
Nillakgama is probably the most remote and hidden temple within the Cultural Triangle, actually off the beaten path. However, travellers should not expect to see much. The comparatively long drive to Nillakgama is only recommendable for heritage site and art history enthusiasts and those who are interested in studying details. Only for them, the Nillakgama Bodhigara will turn out to be a small jewel, due to its decorations and simply as the rare example of a Bodhigara, an ancient tree-temple. In contrast, Chetiyagaras, which are typical for Sri Lanka‘s ancient monastic architecture, are temple buidlings enshrining a small stupa, they can be seen at many places in Sri Lanka. Pathimagaras, shrines containing Buddha images, are most common, they can be seen at almost every Buddhist temple complex. Besides stupa worship and image worship, Tree worship is also common in every Vihara. However, the structures for circumambulating and watering trees ritually are not Bodhigaras but Bodhimaluwas (also spelt "Bomaluvas"), simple terraces or stages, not placed inside buildings. Only Bodhigaras were temple constructions for tree veneration, and although ruins of a few more of them can be seen in Sri Lanka, the small and remote temple of Nillakgama is by far the most remarkable example for this classic type of ancient Buddhist architecture.