Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya
At Kelaniya, about 10km to the northeast of Colombo, in Sri Lanka, lays Kelani Rajamaha Viharaya, one of the most revered historic Buddhist temples of the orient. Set on the summit of a small mound lapped by the waters of the river Kelani, this beautiful shrine presents one of the most panoramic views ever offered to the tourist by this small island of ours, the pearl of the Indian Ocean.
Among the many Buddhist temples of Sri Lanka, the Kelani Viharaya stands out as one of the most exquisite examples of the sculptor’s art. Its history runs back to more than 2500 years. In the days of yore, it always received full royal patronage, and to this day, it’s has been highly venerated by the people of the island. Its significance as a place of Buddhist worship is clearly evident in the island’s folklore.Read about History
The temple has often been associated with the rise and fall of Ceylon / Sri Lanka, with the popular saying that as the Kelaniya temple rose, Sri Lanka rose and as it fell, the country and its administration fell. It has thus had a deep association with the political powers of the country.
The temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Gautama Buddha and paintings by the native artist Solias Mendis which depict important events in the life of the Buddha, in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, also incidents from the Jataka tales. It is the venue for the Duruthu Maha Perehera procession each January. An 18-foot stone statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara has been erected at the temple.Read about History
`` The sin of a life time Are all rendered null Once Kelaniya is worshiped, a single time. ``
History of Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya
Kelaniya Temple believed to had been built in the era prior to the chronologically recorded history of Sri Lanka (since 543 B.C) was renovated by Prince Uttiya, brother of King Devanampiyatissa following the arrival of Arahat Mahinda in 307 BC. According to the Mahawansa, King Devanampiyatissa’s brother Uttiya renovated the vihara for the first time. Prince Uttiya also built the first ever residential quarters of the Buddhist monks (Sanghawasa) there.
The ancient temple was destroyed many times and again by the Dravidian invaders from Southern India. Each time the temple had been reconstructed. The medieval temple was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1510 yet reconstructed by King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha. New Temple was initiated in 1927 and completed in 1946 under the patronage of philanthropist Mrs. Helena Wijewardene.
Furthermore the history of Kelaniya Temple is detailed in the following blog posts.
Most Ven. Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhita Mahathero
Most Ven. Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Maha thera is the present Chief Incumbent (Viharadhipati )of the historic Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya and Kitsirimevan Kelani viharaya.Read More
Sri Kalyani Dhamma School
Sri Kalyani Dhamma School was started in 1973 with the guidance of the then chief incumbent of the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya Most Ven. Dr. Thalewela Wijita Dhammarakkhita Thera, with total number of 30 children.
Now the student population increased to 4000 heads and at the moment Sri Kalyani Dhamma School has a tutorial staff of 100 teachers. The classes are conducted both in Sinhala and English mediums.Read More
At this historic temple a procession known as "the Duruthu Perahera" is held on the pre-full moon poya day of the month of Duruthu (January) every year. On this occasion, hundreds and thousands of peo [...]
Official Website Launch
The Official Web site launching ceremony of Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya is scheduled to be held on the forthcoming Saturday; 12th of September at 10.30 a.m. onwards at the main Assembly hall of temple [...]
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