Kandaketiya Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya (කන්දකැටිය කිරිවෙහෙර රජමහා විහාරය)

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In 250 BCE, 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 on the temple.  It is said the temple got its name due to a large herd of cows (Kiri Pattiya) which used to graze this area.

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

The temple can be reached by travelling 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

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Map of Weeraketiya Kandaketiya Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya

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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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