Saturday, August 7, 2021

Weliwatta Vijayananda Pirivena

Weliwatta Vijayananda Pirivena is a Buddhist temple situated in Weliwatta village in Galle District, Sri Lanka. It is considered as the place where the first religious school (Daham Pasala) and the Pirivena were begun in the country.

History
This temple was established in 1851 by a Buddhist monk named Akmeemana Sri Sobhita Thera and at the time it had served as the headquarters of the Ramanna Nikaya (Abeyawardana, 2004). In 1880, Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, an American who played a major role in the revival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the latter part of the 19th century, became a lay Buddhist devotee at this temple by observing the five precepts (Abeyawardana, 2004; Ranchagoda, 2015).

The first religious school (Daham Pasala) and the Pirivena in Sri Lanka were established in this temple on 5 August 1895 (Ranchagoda, 2015).

A protected site
The ancient Dharma Shalawa (preaching hall) situated within the premises of Wijayananda Piriven Viharaya in the Village of Weliwatta of the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Galu Kadawath Satara is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 7 December 2001. 

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. p.30.
2) Ranchagoda, T. O., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Galla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-53-4. pp.59-60.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1214. 7 December 2001.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 7 August 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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