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Kande Vihara, Bentota Overview

One of the treasured monuments of the country of Sri Lanka is the Kande Vihara temple. One of the biggest Buddhists temples in the district of Kalutara, the Kande Vihara temple derives its name from its location - the mountain crest. The unique characteristic of the temple is that on top of it sits a majestic cross-legged Buddha, one of the tallest sitting Buddha statues in the world. The Sri Lankan government has also recognised the temple as one of the archaeological sites of the country. The temple is an important site for followers of Buddhism, cultural enthusiasts and even historians and architecture geeks and archaeological explorers.

 In 1734, the temple was founded by the chief of a kingdom and was developed and reconstructed. Later in the year of 1904, the temple was opened up to monks who built up educational institutions inside the temple; the temple has undergone various changes and development along with constructions. But till this day the temple remains true to its core values, ethics and traditions.The temple is now home to monks living together inside the temple premises. They not only practice the religion of Buddhism but also preach it. Junior monks also come to the temple to be guided by their senior monks. Devotees from all around the world come to visit the beautiful temple that alleviates its devotees and helps them attain the peace of mind that is difficult to find in the stressful monotonous life of an individual.

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Things to See in Kande Vihara

1. Relic Chamber
One of the most important chambers of the temple is the Relic chamber. The relic chamber is supposedly the oldest feature of the temple. The entrance of the relic chamber is adorned with the prestigious moon stone and has a large door framework made out of solid granite, which fills the relic chamber with relaxing and calming vibes. Not only is that but the relic chamber is also one of the most beautiful rooms in the temple. The credit for this goes to the walls and the ceilings of the chamber which are decked with gorgeous and intricate paintings and designs which are inspired from the Kandyan period. 

2. Image House
Built in 1735, the image house is the room with the most intricate architectural designs and gateways. The room has three gateways and two chambers. The hall is also equipped with various crystals and Buddha statues so that the vibe of the room is always peaceful. 

3. Bo Tree
There is also a Bo tree inside the premises of the temple. The Bo tree dates back to over 300 years. The Bo tree is an ancient tree that holds a very spiritual and religious significance and is considered to be a very sacred and holy tree among the Buddhists. In the 1980s, the tree was enclosed with square walls which were later replaced with an octagonal wall. The wall encircling the tree has various scriptures depicting the arrival of the Bo tree sapling to the country of Sri Lanka. 

Architecture of Kande Vihara

The Kande Vihara Temple was founded in 1734, and since then various features have been to the temple. The image house, one of the most beautiful rooms in the temple was built in 1735, and the giant sitting Buddha statue which is one of the alluring factors of the temple was built in 2006. The temple comprises of various relics, stupas and other religious objects and features. Some of the important religious features of the temple are: the ancient Bo tree, a meditation hall, stupas, the relic chamber, image house, and etc. The temple has a bell shaped stupa built in an octagonal shelter and below the stupa are the designs of the spiritual Bo leaves.  Other than the above mentioned features of the temple there is a library, a museum and a Dhamma hall. The library has varied valuable books educating the devotees about not only the religion but also what it preaches. The museum contains ancient scripts and scrolls and various other historical statues and artefacts recalling the history of the religion and explaining it to the devotees. 

Multiculturalism at Kande Vihara

The temple is multicultural as it not only for the Buddhists devotees but also for Hindu devotees. This is because the inner chamber of the image house not only consists of statues of Buddha but Vishnu as well. There are also various paintings of monks depicting ways of praying. The meditation hall allows the devotees to meditate and attain peace and calmness of mind. The hall is also equipped with various crystals and Buddha statues so that the vibe of the room is always peaceful.

Best Time to Visit Kande Vihara

The best time to visit the Kande Vihara Temple is preferably in the morning. This is because in the morning not only are there less people but there are various rituals that are held in the morning.

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