Bambarakele Sri Maha Viharaya (Nuwara Eliya)

Established in 1885, Bambarakele Sri Maha Viharaya is considered the first Buddhist temple built in the Nuwara Eliya area.
Bambarakele Sri Maha Viharaya

Bambarakele Sri Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: බඹරකැලේ ශ්‍රී මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple located in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. The site can be reached by travelling along the Nuwara Eliya - Kandy road about 2 km distance from the Nuwara Eliya main bus stand. This temple is considered to be the first Buddhist temple built in Nuwara Eliya (Abeywardana, 2004).


Sri Maha Viharaya was established in 1885 by the Saddharmadhara Society under the guidance of Ven. Vidurupola Sri Ratanajoth Thera (Abeywardana, 2004). It is said that the then Governor of the region had employed spies to report him about the content of the first preaching delivered from this site (Abeywardana, 2004). Several other buildings, including a Stupa, were added to the temple in 1905 (Abeywardana, 2004).

The temple received high recognition within the country after Ven. Vidurupola Piyatissa Nayaka Thera, a famous scholar-monk, assumed responsibilities as the chief incumbent of this temple (Abeywardana, 2004).

A Protected Site

Sri Maha Viharaya bearing assessment No 351/1 in Kandy road in the Administrative Limits of Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council in Nuwara Eliya Divisional Secretariat Division is an archaeological protected site, declared by a government gazette notification published on 23 February 2007.

The bell tower, Bambarakele Viharaya The Bodhi and the Stupa, Bambarakele Viharaya .


1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  p.220.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1486. 23 February 2007. p.127.

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This page was last updated on 21 May 2023

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