Visit the Ancient Temple, Velgam Vehera – One of the Most Significant Temples of the East Coast

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Sri Lanka’s east coast, specifically around Trincomalee, has some of the island’s most significant religious sites. These include the world-renowned Koneswaram Temple, as well as the Velgam Vehera.


The temple is extremely ancient and is believed to have been built between 307BC to 276 BC during the reign of King Devanampiyathissa. Many subsequent kings made sure to maintain and renovate the temple.

වෙල්ගම්වෙහෙර දාගැබ.JPG
Singhalawapවෙල්ගම්වෙහෙර දාගැබCC BY-SA 3.0

The Chola Invasion

In 993 AD, invading Chola forces from India destroyed most of the Buddhist temples in the area, but somehow Velgam Vehera survived unscathed. Incredibly, the Cholas chose to restore the temple, and add a few elements of their own.

The Ruins

Despite the ancient nature of the temple, there are many well-preserved structures you can explore. One of these is the massive Buddha statue at the centre of the temple. You can also find many inscriptions, brick dagobas and features of image houses.

Singhalawapවෙල්ගම්වෙහෙර හිටි බුදුපිලිමයCC BY-SA 3.0


The temple is situated in Trincomalee district and is a short distance from many Trincomalee hotels such as the likes of Trinco Blu by Cinnamon. If you find yourself on vacation on Sri Lanka’s east coast then this ancient temple should definitely be on your checklist.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world. Google+

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