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Temple

Wewurukannala Temple

  Province Southern
  District Matara
  Nearest Town Matara
  Period -
  Ruler -

Introduction

Many may not have seen Sri Lanka's largest Buddha statue in Dikwella, 20 km away from Matara. The statue is to be found at the Wewurukannala temple 3km along Dikwella - Beliatta Road.

The Wewurukannala Viharaya is dominated by an image of a seated Buddha. It is 150ft high, the largest statue in all of Sri Lanka.

History

Wewurukannala Vihara consists of three separate parts. The first part of the temple is almost 250 years old. The next is of great significance. If you don't follow the path to enlightenment what fate befalls you by way of punishment are depicted.Finally there is the seated Buddha that is as high as an eight storey building.I climbed the eight storey building and reached the back of the statue head. There was a small open area (covered by glass) where we could see inside of the head of the statue. Placed inside were hundreds of small Buddha statues.The temple walls show the path towards enlightenment by depicting hundreds of representations of events in the Buddha's lives.

Wewurukannala Vihara is one of the more popular and important Buddhist shrines and also a popular Tourist Spots in Sri Lanka.

The most important aspect of Wewurukannala Vihara is that it consists of a gigantic statue of the Buddha, in a seating posture.

15 miles east of Matara is the town of Dikwella, where there is one of the most extraordinary Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. The Wewurukannala Vihara temple is dominated by an image of a seated Buddha. It is 160ft high, the largest statue in all of Sri Lanka and dates back to the time of King Rajadhi (1782 - 1798). The temple has three parts, the oldest being about 250 years old; however this is of no particular interest.

The next part has life size models of demons and sinners shown in graphic detail. If you don't follow the path to enlightenment this is what happens to you. Punishments include being drunken in boiling cauldrons, swan in half, disemboweled and so on. Finally there is the enormous seated Buddha that is as high as an eight storey building.

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Click to return The temple walls show you the path towards enlightenment by depicting hundreds of comic strip representations of events in the Buddha's lives. Among one of the episodes is the Chulla Dhammapala Jataka. It tells the story of how King Maha Prathapa of Varanasi on entering the palace found the queen cuddling her seven month old child. After ignoring him the King was left insulted so ordered that the prince be executed and the body be thrown into the air. Several Jataka Stories are also amid the paintings, which where selected for Vesak stamps in 1991. One depicts The Kattahari Jataka showing Prince Kastavahana, son of King Brahmadatta resting with his entourage.

22 km from Matara, a road turns inland towards Beliatta. 50m high, seated Buddha figure, the largest in the Sri Lanka. There’s one other thing to see here, an interesting clock in the adjoining building made by a prisoner over 65 years ago.