Kelaniya Temple

“All the faults which were done from the birth abolish once you worship in Kelaniya.” Most of the Buddist people in Sri Lanka believe in this sentence, which says about the importance of the Kelaniya Temple. This religious place belongs to the Gampaha district, the Western province in Sri Lanka.

It is a charming and calm place to see. You can see that many locals and sometimes foreign tourists trying to come and visit Kelaniya. No matter how many people have come, the place protects its beauty and calmness.

It is a really suitable place for memories about Lord Buddha and to meditate. You can see some of the pilgrims are just sitting on the land full of sand and praying.

Kelaniya temple


The history belongs to the Kelaniya temple

The history of this significant place goes to 500 B.C. It says that the Lord Buddha had come here in his third session. King Maniakkhitha invited him to be here and solve one of his problems. It has been said that the stupa has made with adding a chair made of gems.

Lord Buddha was here in a Vesak Poya day. It was his eighth year of being the Lord. He first had a bath from the Kelani River and then sermonized sitting on the chair of gems. The same chair was used to make the stupa after a few years.

This place was the first one that was affected by the Tsunami. It was a very long time ago in, king Kelanitissa’s times. This place was ruined in Portuguese and Dutch times but was built again very well.


The paintings

If you go to visit the temple, you will notice that the place is full of stunning paintings. Some of them were created by a painter named Guru. Most of the arts are Solies Mendis’ paintings. You can easily recognize them by their colors.

The paintings belong to Guru have dark colors. They look a bit rough and older than the others. The pictures of Mendis are smooth. Their colors are lighter than Guru’s. You will see that they look mild and calm.

  • There are many creations. Guru has painted,
  • The seven weeks of Lord Buddha
  • The nine virgins
  • The twelve zodiac signs
  • Some of the beautiful Jathaka stories including Wessanthara Jathakaya and Sama Jathakaya, etc

You can find them in the middle of the Lord Buddha’s worshipping palace.

Kelaniya Temple paintings


Solies Mendis has painted the new parts of the building. His paintings are,

  • Lord Buddha’s visits in Mahiyangana, Nagadeepa, Kelaniya, and Adem’s Peak,
  • The Tsunami story in Kelanitissa’s time,
  • The Vihara Maha Devi story,
  • How the Relic of the tooth had brought,
  • How the limits have marked for Maha Viharaya
  • Carrying the right branch of Sri Maha Bodhiya
  • Pregnancy of Queen Mahamaya
  • Defeating the elephant called Nalagiri who had come to kill Lord Buddha,
  • Beautiful kinds of lotus flowers and many more.


The carvings

There are so many beautiful carvings too. You can see,

  • Giant statues of Lord Buddha
  • The God Vibhishana
  • Vihara Maha Devi
  • King Maniakkhitha
  • Some Goddess
  • Gatekeepers
  • Animals such as elephants
  • The sun and the moon
  • “Gajasingha”(one half has made like an elephant, and the other half is a lion)
  • The railings made as a symbol of an elephant
  • So many “Vamana” statues which are trying to carry the temple and more


Egoda Kelaniya Temple

It is believed that many of the previous scenes have happened in the Egoda Kelaniya. It is on the other side of the Kelani River. This place, too, has a stupa, a Bodhiya, and a worshipping palace of Lord Buddha. It is simple and calmer. Most of the pilgrims usually go to the large one. Only a few try to cross the river and visit the Egoda Kelaniya.

People used to cross the river using a ferry before. But nowadays there is a long bridge made. Therefore it is easy to go there in a vehicle.


Kelaniya temple Devalaya

There is a Devalaya belongs to the God Vibhishana in the towering temple. It is beautiful, but weird. You can see a colorful painting of God in there. The statue is in the inside. Therefore it is hard to see the figure of God for an outsider.

Many people come and go to visit this and to worship — people who believe that God will fulfill all their needs. Anyone can take an offering plate and visit the Devalaya. If not, you can just go there and have a look too.

Kelaniya temple Devalaya


Wrapping up.

Kelaniya Temple is a lovely and charming place to visit. Many local and foreign tourists go there to see what this place is like. There is a large car park, flowers, joss-sticks, oil, etc. to buy if you like, and some stalls to buy souvenirs. There are many delicious food corners too. So, try a visit if you are planning to come to Sri Lanka.