Check tour

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is a renowned Buddhist temple located in the town of Kelaniya, just a few kilometers away from the capital city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is considered to be one of the most sacred sites for Buddhists in the country and holds great historical and cultural significance.

History: According to Buddhist tradition, the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara dates back over 2,500 years to the time of Lord Buddha. It is believed that the temple was visited by Buddha himself during his third visit to Sri Lanka. The temple has undergone several renovations and expansions over the centuries, with the most significant one taking place under the patronage of King Dutugemunu in the 2nd century BC.

Architecture: The architecture of Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara showcases a blend of traditional Sri Lankan and South Indian styles. The main shrine of the temple is adorned with intricate carvings and colorful paintings depicting various episodes from Buddhist scriptures. The temple complex also includes a stupa (dome-shaped structure) and several other smaller shrines.

Religious Significance: The temple is highly regarded by Buddhists as it houses a sacred relic - a gem-studded throne believed to have been used by Buddha. It is said that the temple was built to commemorate the visit of Buddha and to enshrine this priceless relic.

Festivals: The annual Duruthu Perahera is one of the most vibrant and popular religious festivals celebrated at Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara. It takes place in January and attracts a large number of devotees and tourists who come to witness the grand procession of elephants, traditional dancers, drummers, and beautifully adorned floats.

Tips for Visitors: When visiting Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, it is important to dress modestly and respectfully. Visitors are required to remove their shoes before entering the temple premises. It is also recommended to hire a local guide who can provide more insights into the history and significance of the temple.

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is not only a place of worship but also a cultural and historical landmark that offers visitors a glimpse into Sri Lanka's rich Buddhist heritage. Whether you are a religious traveler or simply interested in exploring the country's ancient sites, a visit to this temple is sure to be a memorable experience.