The Wewerukannala Viharaya is situated in Dikwella, 15 miles away from Matara in the southern tip of Sri Lanka. This is an ancient temple often thronged with worshippers throughout the year. The main feature of the temple is a 50 m high statue of seated Buddha. This is considered the largest Buddha statute in all of Sri Lanka and dates back to the 1700s.
The temple is within easy reach of the main tourist destinations of the ocean bound cities of Southern Sri Lanka such as Galle, Matara or Tangalle, thus if you are staying in a guest house or a hotel in the area such as Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, take a few hours off your day to visit this religious fortalice. Further, placed along the beach road towards Galle (a major tourist destination of the island, with a colonial fort), this is a perfect stop before you head to the buzzing city to checkoff your list of things to do in Galle Sri Lanka.
The temple could be classified into three distinctive parts. The oldest dating back to about 250 years is almost demolished is not of great importance. Next the hall of horrors. This is a massive space with a life size model of hell. This contains demons, sinners and various punishments one would be subjected to in hell such as being sawn in half, drowned in boiling cauldrons and being disembowelled.
Finally, there is the massive seated Buddha statue that is the size of a modern 8 storied building standing gracefully between the clouds. This statue is surrounded by a structure that appears to be ring of lotus petals. This is to demarcate that the Buddha is sitting on a bed of lotuses to signify his holy grace and purity.
Apart from this majestic structure, a striking feature of the premises are the painting on the temple walls. That show the path towards enlightenment and eternal peace through a series of ‘Jataka’ stories (stories of the past lives of Lord Buddha) including the ‘Chulla Dhammapala Jataka’, and the ‘Kattahari Jataka’.
The temple museum stacked with remnants from the ancient times is also a must see. A large clock visible from the front of the museum is the main exhibit. The mechanism of this prehistoric masterpiece is preserved in a glass cubicle.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+
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