Among the archaeologically significant sites in the Colombo District Homagama, Nawagamuwa Devale is important as a historic place of worship. Legend has it that the origin of this Pattini devale close to the Kelani river goes back to the early Anuradhapura period.
But, due to destruction by foreign forces and reconstruction over the years, little visible proof remains to confirm this belief. However, archaeological research has revealed several sites in the Nawagamuwa area to confirm that settlements in the area date back to a B.C. era.
When the early Aryan settlements were being established, Kelani river and Kelani thota were of importance. Nawagamuwa is located at the 13th milepost on the old Colombo – Ratnapura road. It is believed that during the early Anuradhapura period, Nawagamuwa belonged to the Kelani kingdom.
According to a popular legend, when King Gajaba 1 (A.D. 114 – 136) came from India with 12,000 men as prisoners, bringing with him a Pattini anklet, he alighted at the landing place close to the devale. It is said that he built a devale, enshrined the anklet and held poojas here. From then till the Kotte period no significant facts have been discovered about the site.