The Kande Viharaya Temple was founded by Venerable Karapagala Dewamitta Thero in 1734. Visiting this temple is among the top things to do in Bentota and the surrounding areas. This is a prime example of Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka. Daily, you will see crowds of devotees dressed in white making their way around the temple, quietly carrying out different religious rituals. The complex consists of a stupa, bo tree, relic chamber, image house and five maha devales.
This famous place of worship can be found in Aluthgama in the Kalutara District, a short distance from the main Galle Road. Further along the same road you will find Saman Villas sitting atop a rocky outcrop, in a scenic beachside setting. Kande Viharaya, which translates to ‘temple on the hill’ because of its position on a hilltop, is six kilometers away from the hotel.
The stupa found on the temple premises resides within an octagonal shelter. It takes the shape of a bell, one of the four shapes used for constructing stupas. The base of the structure is adorned with sculpted flower petals. The stupa that is seen today was built around the original, smaller stupa that was erected several years before. The relic chamber is the oldest standing building in the complex, much of its interior was completed during the Kandyan period. At its entrance lies a moonstone that is matched by a stone door frame. The temple’s Bo tree is three hundred years old. You will find a wall that runs around it, which carries the story of how the sapling that grew into Sri Lanka’s main Sri Maha Bodhi tree was brought to Sri Lanka. The most recent addition is the giant Samadhi Buddha statue, which can be seen from a great distance away.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.