Pavurukanda Viharaya is a sacred temple that is situated just outside the Kalutara town in an area called Aluthgama. The temple is a significant place of worship amongst Buddhists in the country. It is surrounded by a luscious 140 acre forest reserve and the Bentara River. The historical background of this temple is that it was once a fortress for the sons-in-law of King Vijeyabahu I. They left the Polonnaruwa kingdom in the year 1120 and took with them relics of the Buddha. Polonnaruwa was under threat during that time as the Chola invaders from South India had arrived in the kingdom. Since Buddha’s relics symbolised the Polonnaruwa Kingdom, the sons-in-law of King Vijeyabahu I decided to establish a separate community in the Kalutara district.
Aluthgama was a sanctuary for the royal bloodline; they were protected by the vast forest and could dwell in the natural caves that were there. The relatives of King Vijeyabahu I established a fortress in Aluthgama. The natural habitat provided for all of the people they brought along with them; they mainly survived on agriculture and the handloom industry. They also built an astrological centre and the Pavurukanda temple in Aluthgama. It was also an arsenal for weapons as the kings men developed weapons to protect them from invasions. During the 1700s Pavurukanda Viharaya was declared a religious site. Buddhist devotees would flock to the temple to worship Buddha and they would all assist with maintaining the temple. In the 18th century the British discovered the Pavurukanda Viharaya after they invaded the country. They decided to make the area surrounding the temple a forest reserve.
At present Pavurukanda Viharaya serves as a religious landmark. The natural forest surrounding the temple is still preserved and visitors can explore some of the caves that were used as housing in ancient times. The cave structures are remarkable; over 300 people can be housed within them. Visitors who want to explore this amazing historical place should look for accommodation in a hotel in Kalutara. There are a lot of beach hotels in Kalutara where you can enjoy the tropical weather and take time off to explore the area. Avani Kalutara Resort is a great place to relax and enjoy the beach and also discover landmarks in the area.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry. Google+