History

kelaniya through ages

History of Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Kelaniya Temple believed to had been built in the era prior to the chronologically recorded history of Sir Lanka (since 543 B.C) was renovated by Prince Uttiya, brother of King Devanampiyatissa following the arrival 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 time 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.

Foreign Dignitaries who visited Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya

His Royal Highness Prince Charles

His Royal Highness Prince Charles visited Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya on 3rd February 1998. As he took of his shoes in reverence to the faith, monk Mahinda Sangarakkitha led His Royal Highness Prince Charles into the temple.

Charles stayed to offer flowers to a statue of Lord Buddha and watch a performance by traditional dancers and drummers.

Foreign Dignitaries who visited Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Shinzo Abe - Prime Minister of Japan

September 8, 2014 (local time), the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe visited Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya.

Foreign Dignitaries who visited Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya

akihito - 125th emperor of Japan

Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko visit Kelaniya Temple with Sri Lankan President J R Jayewardene.

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