Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara was our next stop. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, it is one of the most sacred places of worship because the site was hallowed by the visit of the Buddha 2,500 years ago.

<< Sacred temple: The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara located just outside Colombo

In the past, Kelaniya was a large city and the temple was one of the largest and most beautiful temples in the country.

The Kelaniya stupa is the most well known of the “paddy-heap” stupas in Sri Lanka. Outside the temple are pavillion-like niches with various figures. The balustrades on the entrance stairs are formed by two lion-elephant (gajasinha) and the walls inside the temple are decorated with fine paintings dating from the late 18th to the early 19th centuries. To the left of the temple is a huge and ancient Bodhi tree.