Weherahena Viharaya (වෙහෙරහේන විහාරය)

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Weherahena ( Veherahena) is a popular temple among the Buddhist pilgrims. Although there is nothing of historical significance, the story of the temple is quite interesting. In addition, the temple is said to be the largest and the first tunnel temple in the world.

Even though it is said this temple was adobe to arhat bhikkus in ancient Sri Lanka, the story of the temple starts during the early part of the 20th century. The Most Rev. Parawahera Rewatha Thero was sent to Weherahena area in the early part of the century as a punishment by his teacher. Weherahena was just a mound of 1/2 acre of thick Jungle with only a Bodhi Tree. It is said that Ven. Revatha Thero came only with a blanket, mattress and a bowl.

He managed to get the villagers organised and built a small clay house for himself but soon came up with a grand idea of building the largest Buddha statue in the world. He also wanted to build a tunnel temple as in ummaga jataka story.

With the support of Anagarika Dharmapala, one of the leaders in the Buddhist Revival of Sri Lanka and India, Anagarika Dharmapala kept the foundation stone of the temple in 1939 with great blessings. The 600 feet tunnel was first built by excavating the mound of earth. Once this was completed, the 88 cubits (39 metres) Buddha statue was started. The statue was completed in 1976. The whole length of the tunnel is decorated with various scenes from Jataka stories. The cover over the Buddha statue was built with the financial assistance of a generous donor from Japan after 1976.

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Map of Weherahena (Veherahena) Temple

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

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Travel Directions to Weherahena (Veherahena) Temple

Route from Colombo to Weherahena Route from Matara to Weherahena
Through : Southern Highway – Galle – Matara
distance :170 km
Travel time : 3-3.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
distance :7 km
Travel time : 15 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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