Rambadagalla Viharaya at Kurunegala (කුරුණෑගල රම්බඩගල්ල විහාරය)

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The Rise of a Bamiyan Buddha in Ridigama

In the tranquil village of Rambadagalla in Ridigama in the Kurunegala District, a huge stone sculpture is taking shape. This is no ordinary sculpture but one modeled on the Bamiyan Buddha in Afghanistan which was destroyed by the Taleban in 2001.

Why a replica of the Bamiyan Buddha is being sculpted in the Kurunegala hillside is itself a tale worth relating. It was in the aftermath of the Taleban’s act, which outraged the world, that the agitated village youth met their priest demanding that some action be taken. Ven. Egodomulla Amaramoli Thera gave them a patient hearing and resolved to harness the feelings of the youth. The next day, he called a meeting at which he suggested the building of a replica of the Bamiyan Buddha in the village itself to show the world a positive response to a tragic act. The children of the village spurred into action, collected Rs. 1,358, and handed it over to the Thera.

Such were the beginnings of this mammoth project – the building of a 67.5-foot granite statue which has now attracted the support of people from different communities and all walks of life.

Hearing that a group of Indian sculptors had just completed work at Ramboda, Thera contacted Colombo businessman D. Easwaren who enlisted the help of architect R. Sivaram to produce a blueprint. Former Indian High Commissioner Nirupama Rao herself visited the site and this was followed by a Rs. 2.5 million donation from the Indian High Commission to the project.

Director of a leading business Nandadasa Rajapaksa, a devout Buddhist is also playing an active role in raising funds for the project. He strongly feels that the project completion will help in building stronger ties between India and Sri Lanka and fostering peace in the region.

Advisor on Religious Sites and Temples to the Indian government Shri Muthu Muttiah Sthapathy, introduced to the project by Mr. Easwaren has brought in experienced sculptors from Chennai to work on the statue. Meanwhile, donations have been received from many, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa who contributed Rs. 2.5 million.

The Rambadagalla Buddha statue was finally completed and ceremoniously opened on the 30th of April 2015 by President Maitreepala Sirisena making this the largest sedentary Buddha Statue carved out of granite in the world.

Also See

Map of Rambadagalla Viharaya at Kurunegala

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

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Travel Directions to Rambadagalla Viharaya at Kurunegala

The Rambadagalla Vihara is about 25 km from Kurunegala Town. Travel on the Kandy Road from Kurunegala up to Mallawapitiya junction. This is about 5km from the Kurunegala town. Turn off to Keppitigala Road and Travel another 20 km along this road. On the way you will also pass Ridigama where the famous Ridi Viharaya is located. The Rambadagalla village is about 5 km past Ridigama. The temple is beside the road itself as soon as it passes the village center of Rambadagalla.

Route from Colombo to Rambadagalla Viharaya Route from Kurunegala to Rambadagalla Viharaya
Through : Kelaniya – Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Mallawapitiya
Distance : 114 km
Travel time : 3.5 hours.
Driving directions : see on Google map
Travel Time : 30 minutes
Driving Directions : see on Google map

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