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.
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.
Shinzo Abe - Prime Minister of Japan
September 8, 2014 (local time), the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe 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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