Kandaketiya Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya – කන්දකැටිය කිරිවෙහෙර රජමහා විහාරය

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The main bell shaped stupa at Kandaketiya Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya
The main bell shaped stupa at Kandaketiya Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya

In 25o BC, the great Mahinda Thero visited the island of Sri Lanka bringing in the message of Buddha which forever changed the culture of Sri Lanka. The Mahinda Thero is said to have brought a bowl full of holy relics which the King Devanampiyatissa (250-210 BC) enshrined on stupas (temples) he built every yojuna (actual length of a yojuna is disputed)  all over the country. Lying almost at the same distance between Mahiyangana Rajamaha Viharaya and Badulla Muthiyangana Rajamaha Viharaya, the Viyaluwa Kiriwehera Rajamaha Viharaya is said to be one of these ‘Youjun Stupa” built by King Devanampiyatissa. The temple is also known by the names of Kirivehera, Viyaluwa Kiriwehera, Welugama Kirivehera and Kandaketiya Kirivehera.

The temple is also connected to Welusumana, one of the 10 great warriors in the Dutugenunu’s army who is said to  have carried out some maintenance work of the temple.  It is said the temple got its name due to a large herd of cows (Kiri Pattiya) which used to grace in this area.

Today the temple consist of a significant stupa, and many ruins including remains of a Tampita Viharaya, faded inscriptions, remains of a relic house and number of granite relics of the past.

The temple can be reached traveling 7 km along the Kandaketiya Road from Karametiya on the Mahiyangana – Badulla Road.  On this road pass Kandaketiya town and travel a further 2.5 km on the same road towards Galauda to reach the temple.

Photos curtsy of Dr. Ashan Geeganage

Also See

Map of Weeraketiya Kandaketiya Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya

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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 Kandaketiya Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Karametiya to  Kandaketiya Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya

Through : Kandaketiya
Distance : 7 km
Travel time : 10 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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