Pulinatalaramaya at Kalutara – The Lost Glory of the Temple by the Beach (පුලිනතලාරාමය)

The Pulinatalaramaya, in Kalutara, holds many untold historic events that took place in the coastal line during the era of Ven. Weligama Sri Sumangala Thera and Anagarika Dharmapala in the 18th century.

In the early 1800s, the Pulinatalaramaya was identified as Wellabada Aramaya (Temple by the beach), and consisted of only an Image House, a hut, and some Buddha statues at that time.

According to the incumbent of the Pulinathararamaya, Ven. Dodampahala Siri Suguna Thera, the Wellaboda temple initially was a transit temple for the priests who traveled by foot towards Colombo and other areas.

The prominence of the temple came after Ven. Weligama Sri Sumangala Thera started to visit the temple to rest during his frequent travels by foot from Matara to the Rankoth Viharaya Bana Maduwa at Panadura. Thereafter the temple became one of the meeting places for Sri Sumangala Thera and Anagarika Dharmapala and attracted people in the area.

In 1872, the first stupa was erected which was followed by the construction of the dana salawa.

In short, that was the history of the temple by the beach.

After the demise of Beruwala Sri Niwasa Thera in 1969, the temple started losing its prominence. The once strong Dayaka sabawa is no more. The temple lost its importance and the extent of its land had now been reduced as people started to encroach on the land.

The ancient Budu Geya with frescos done hundreds of years ago is now in very bad shape and need of restoration. Inside it lay two rare statues of the standing Bodhisattva and seated Buddha statues. According to Ven Dodampahala Siri Suguna Ther0 the frescos inside and outside of the building have been restored by the Department of Archeology many years ago, but are now in need of attention again.

Next to the Image House, there is a huge Dana Salawa and the Awasage, which many years ago gave shelter to prominent monks, and the people in the country are now in the verge of collapse. The walls of its Southern wing have already collapsed and the entire building is in danger of falling apart. But the monks who are living in these quarters, have no option but to continue their day-to-day work.

Next to the stupa, there exists an Image House constructed in the early 1930s which is also in need of urgent attention. Inside it is a beautifully crafted Buddha statue and the other statues, are quite remarkably in good shape. But unfortunately, its roof needs attention. The stains from rainwater seeping into the Image House are a common site inside this building.

Ven Dodampahala Siri Suguna Thera told Mirror Life that he is finding it difficult to make ends meet.

“If you look around you could see how big this temple is. It’s only myself and two other Samanera Theras managing this temple. Recently, we decided to color-wash the stupa. It costs a great deal of money. But we are doing it with monies that were collected through our dayaka sabawa and other well-wishers.”

Looking after the buildings of the temple is not his only worry. . At present, there are about 25 families who were affected by the tsunami still living inside temporary shelters that are erected in the temple premises.

“ On the day of the tsunami and even after that I accommodated over 200 families inside this temple. We had to cook and also look after them. So far we have done a lot of work for these people. Now I feel it’s time we bring this temple back to its former glory”.

By Deepal Perera
Daily Mirror

Also See

Map of Kalutara Pulinatalaramaya

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

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Travel Directions to Kalutara Pulinatalaramaya

Route from Colombo to Pulinatalaramaya
Through : Moratuwa – Panadura _ wadduwa
Distance : 41 km
Travel time : 2 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map

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