Wehella Weluwanarama Viharaya

Thorapitiya Weluwanarama Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Wehella village. It was established in 1722 by Wehelle Sri Dhammadinna Thera.
Not to be confused with Parawahera Weluwanarama Viharaya

Wehella Viharaya
Wehella Weluwanarama Viharaya

Thorapitiya Weluwanarama Purana Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: වේහැල්ල ‌‌තෝරපිටිය වේළුවනාරාම පුරාණ මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Wehella village in Matara District, Sri Lanka.


The temple was established in 1722 by Wehelle Sri Dhammadinna Thera [(b.29 May 1679 - d.28 May 1775) Gnanawimala, 1975; Wikramaratne, 2015]. It was further developed and expanded by Kirineliya Rathanajothi Sthavira, the elder son of Wijesiri Gunatilake Wickremaratne Diganayaka Dingi Hamine, the sister of Sri Dhammadinna Thera (Gnanawimala, 1975). The temple became the headquarters of the low country after performing the Upasampadawa (higher ordination) in Kandy by the Siamese monk Upali Thera in 1753 (Gnanawimala, 1975).

The Buddha shrine of the temple preserves a valuable collection of sculptures and paintings belonging to the art tradition of the Kandyan Period (Wikramaratne, 2015). In 1810, a preaching hall was added to the temple by Galle Sri Medhankara Sthavira and a Pirivena was started in 1812 (Gnanawimala, 1975). The Stupa of the temple was constructed in 2471 B.E. (1927 A.D.) and the library was erected in 1956 (Gnanawimala, 1975).

A Protected Site

The Buddha shrine with ancient frescoes in the premises of Wehella Weluwanarama Purana Vihara situated in the Grama Niladhari Division No. 445 A, Wehella North in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Dikwella is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 7 July 2016.

Wehella Viharaya
Murals in the image house
Wehella Viharaya
The image house and the Stupa

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1) Gnanawimala, K., 1975. Wehelle Sri Dhammadinna Swamindra Shasana Ithihasaya (In Sinhala). pp.217-218,222,232.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Extraordinary. No: 1974/16. 7 July 2016. p.2A.
2) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. pp.50-51.

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To Whom

LankaPradeepa.com extends its gratitude to V. M. Vidanapathirana for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

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