Kande Viharaya derives its name from its location at the summit of a small mountain about 2.5 km inland from the main road stretching from Colombo to Galle. Kande in the native language of Sinhala means mountain while Viharaya is a reference made to a Buddhist temple. The much spoken of Sri Lanka beach hotels lie towards the opposite side of the main road but would be a convenient place to house oneself to explore the area including the temple. Given that the celebrated southwestern coast draws tourists from across the world, there is a multitude to choose from with the inclusion of Cinnamon Bey Beruwala.
The Viharaya or temple has a history that dates back to the early part of the eighteenth century. Probably due to colonial influences, the structure of the main chamber of the temple does not bear many similarities with other typical temples. However, the temple grounds comprise all the prototypical components of a temple such as the Bo Tree, the image house, stupa and a relic chamber. There is also an unassuming building which is five stories high that consist of a small library and some antique items which make it a museum of sorts.
There is an extremely large statue of Buddha sitting upright on a lotus flower at the temple. This statue can be seen for miles around and has been erected with the blessings and donations of generous benefactors. This is in addition to the many statues of Buddha in seating, standing and sleeping postures which have been put up within the image house.
Due to the Hindu influence brought about by the king of Sri Lanka entering in to wedlock with princesses of South India, there are Devalayas or shrines dedicated to a few Hindu gods within the temple premises. Adjacent to the temple is a Seema Malakaya, a body of water where monks can be ordained.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+.