Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya

 

Kelaniya Temple is situated at the Suburbs of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. It is mentioned in Ramayana and in the Buddhist chronicle, the Mahawansa that states that the Gautama Buddha (5th century BC) visited the place.

 

Sri Lankan Buddhists believe that the Buddha visited Kelaniya in order to quell a quarrel between two Nāga leaders of two warring factions: Chulodara (literally "the small-bellied one") and Mahodara (literally "the big-bellied one"). They were quarrelling over a jewel-encrusted throne. After the Buddha showed them the futility of their quarrel they converted to Buddhism and together offered the throne to the Buddha. It is believed that the Dagaba (Sthupa) seen today was built with the throne as a relic inside.

 

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara has become famous because of the beautiful paintings and sculpture by Solias Mendis depicting various events in the history of Sri Lanka. Thousands of Buddhists come to see the Buddhist pageant of Kelaniya, popularly referred to as Duruthu Maha Perahera of Kelaniya in the month of January every year.

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