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Bellanwila Temple

  Province Western
  District Colombo
  Nearest Town Dehiwala
  Period 1412-1476
  Ruler King Parakramabahu VI


The great sanctity attached to the Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara is due to its Bo-tree. History records that it is one of the 32 saplings that sprung from the fruits of the sacred Bo-tree in Anuradhapura, where a branch of the original tree under which the Buddha attained Enlightenment thrives to this day. Devotees flock to the temple daily to worship at the foot of the Bo-tree with the firm belief that such devotion gives them mental happiness and a healthy life. They offer flowers, ‘bathe’ the Bo-tree and light lamps in the traditional way using coconut oil. .

The precincts where the Bodhi – tree and the temple are located have been considered a hallowed site from very early times, but there aren’t many historical record or archeological findings to reconstruct the chronological history of Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya. Other than a few sporadic reference to it in connection with planting of the Bodhi – tree spling, there aren’t any specific references to it in early times. Its history shrouded by the mist of time, gets a little clearer by about the 15th century, when Kotte not far away from Bellanwila, became the capital under the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1476). But the subjugation of the maritime provinces by the Portuguese, in the latter part of the 17th century, adversely affected Buddhism in the region, and these circumstances made Bellanwila temple to go into oblivion again.