Weliwatta Vijayananda Pirivena

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

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 (1832-1907), 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 in the presence of an enormous audience (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.

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.

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This page was last updated on 11 June 2023
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