Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara


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About Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

You will find that the Kelaniya River flows gallantly from the mountainous terrains of Adam's peak (Sri Pada). It flows through towns and villages witnessing the many attractions that make up little Sri Lanka. One of its pit stops is Colombo where it brushes against one of Colombo's most well known temple, the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple.

According to stories told by the elders this temple was visited by Lord Buddha during his third visit to Sri Lanka which was around 500 BC. 

Story in a nutshell

This majestic temple which is the centre of many Buddhist celebrations such as the Duruthu Perahera has seen its fair share of destruction. The original temple was destroyed by Indian invaders only to be restored and destroyed again by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Dutch restored it again in the 18th century. One of the myths belonging to this temple is the gem-studded throne on which Lord Buddha sat and preached to his followers.

What can you see?

  • Within the temple you will be able to find a reclining and seated Buddha statues.
  • There are murals on the wall of the temple which depict important moments in the history of Buddhism and Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
  • You will be able to witness an 8 foot stone statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara within the temple.
  • The temple walls are adorned with beautiful sculptures of carved elephants, Hindu Gods and astrological images.
  • Take a look at the white stupa found within the temple premises which is accompanied by a Bell tower and the sacred Bodhi tree.
  • You will also witness many worshippers lighting lamps and chanting their prayers to the Gods above. The temple's sacred environment and peaceful atmosphere leaves one with a sense of hope and calmness within.