Kande Vihare

Code: KANDE001
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Kande Vihara (Sinhalaː කන්දේ විහාරය) is a major Buddhist temple in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka. The temple has got its name ‘Kande vihara’ (Mountain temple) as it is built on top of a hill located near to Aluthgama town. The temple has been formally recognised by the Government as an archaeological site in Sri Lanka.

The temple was founded by ven. Karapagala Dewamitta thero in 1734, under the guidance of ven. Udugama Chandrasara thero who was then chief incumbent of Galapatha Raja Maha Vihara and a pupil of ven. Weliwita Sri Saranankara Thero. Since then the temple was renovated and developed time to time under state patronage that lead the temple to become a major Buddhist shrine in the country. In 1904 the Kshethrarama Pirivena, an educational institution for monks, was attached to the temple as a result of the efforts done by Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thero. The pirivena acts as a center for Buddhist education in the country, is also conducted by the Kande Vihara.

The image house, Stupa and the sacred Bodhi tree with its enclosing octagonal shaped wall are considered as very old monuments in the temple. The Bodhi tree is believed to be more than 300 years old. The large Stupa of the temple which was erected in 1935, has been constructed as enclosing a small sized Stupa, constructed by Ven. Udugama Chandrasara Thero in 1783.

In 2002, a foundation stone for a gigantic Samadhi Buddha statue depicting the Bhoomisparsha Mudra was laid in the temple premises and the completed statue was open to the public in 2007, making the temple more popular among the local devotees. The statue is 48.8 m (160 ft) in height and considered as one of tallest sitting Buddha statues in the world.

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