Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple, Matale

4.3
Explore the 13 caves of Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple to find important relics of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist history. Tucked between hills, the temple was founded by third century BCE King Devanampiya Tissa after he introduced the religion to his people. The main building displays the original Pali Canon (sutras), which monks still copy using traditional methods on "ola" (palm) leaves and offer for purchase. Other caves exhibit relics, such as a reclining Buddha, paintings of the Himalayan mountains and the four great rivers, or depictions of sinners being punished in hell. You need a priest's permission to take photographs, but can store your shoes for free at the entrance. For Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple and beyond, use our Matale day trip planner to get the most from your Matale vacation.
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Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple Reviews
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  • It is in my home town and it is a very religious place built by king Walagamba. You still can observe ancient ruins built in that era. Also you can visit the Buddha Statue on the mountain behind.  more »
  • Caves containing statues of Buddha. The temple is still active. During the ceremonies the doors are locked for 15 minutes.
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  • Nice temple, but better to get to the temple either early morning or late evening cos the rock gets heated by the afternoon. Lot to climb, and to see.  more »
Google
  • Such a beautiful and historical Buddhist Temple, it’s situated beginning of the hills on Kandy Jaffna A9 road, usually there are always crowd visiting this temple, specially Buddhist devotees as well as other devotees too, and there are lot foreigners visit this temple as it’s a historic temple, parking space available, it’s cool and calm place, on Poyaday‘ The Temple is very crowded, annual perehera held on October month, at perehera time there be a massive crowd to temple.
  • This cave temple has two significant reasons for a traveler to visit. Firstly is an ancient temple dating back to pre-colonization of Sri Lanka and its architecture and the location and rock caves are unique in its own. Secondly this place was where Buddhist doctrine ( Thripitaka) which heather to conveyed from verbal form and generation of monks to the next, have been documented after a gathering of thousands of learned monks and consensus. it was documented in manuscripts of palm leaves.
  • Ven. Dr. Inamaluwe Nandarathana Thera stated that it is believed that one set of the Tripitaka is placed in a rock at Aluvihara, one in the Abhayagiri dagaba and the other was in the Library at Aluvihara. More than three years had been taken to complete the writing which was completed on a Vesak Poya day. King Walagamba had commanded all viharayas in the island to organise a ‘pahan pooja’ (lighting of oil lamps) to mark the event. This became an annual event where a ‘perahera'(procession) started from Rajamaha Kohon Viharaya to end at Aluviharaya. However, with time, this custom ceased. In 1971, the Government Agent in Matale had discussions with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and a Committee was formed to look into the historic and cultural aspects of Aluvihara. Thereafter it was declared an archaelogical heritage and protected area. This Committee approved the construction of two halls at the ‘Pahatha Maluwa’ for the use of worshippers. In 1973, the ‘Sangayana Perahera’ recommenced to commemorate the writing of the Tripitaka and annually on the full moon Poya day of June, the perahera is conducted in Aluvihara, Matale. It is on record that the scholar monk Buddhaghosa visited Aluvihara in the 5th century A.C. He read and checked on the commentaries of the Buddhist texts. During the time of the Dutch, some Buddhist writings had been destroyed. Later in 1848 the British Army had invaded Aluvihara and burned and destroyed some manuscripts in the Library. However, the British Government had later restored the temple. The present Viharadhipathy (Chief Incumbent) of the Aluvihara Rajamaha Viharaya is the Most Ven. Ethipola Medhankara Nayaka Thera. He invited an Ayurveda doctor and four others who knew how to write on talipot leaves and re-wrote the Tripitaka. This took 10 years from 1981 to 1991. At present these talipot leaf manuscipts are placed in the library. It is stated that King Maha Parakramabau of Polonnaruwa, King Nissanka Malla and King Sri Wijaya Rajasinha had preserved and renovated this most important religious and cultural Aluvihara Raja Maha Viharaya. In more recent times there have been additions to enhance the beauty of the Aluviharaya. At the entrance a ‘ Makara Thorana ’ and ‘Athpavura’ (a wall with elephants) has been the constructed in 1986. The ‘Sanghavasa’ was renovated in 1997 with funds donated by a Korean Nayaka Thera.
  • Ancient Buddhist temple that has evidence of writing lord Buddha's preaching for the first time in king Walagamba's era. Has a nice surrounding, many sites to see with historical value.
  • Beautiful site. Different rock cave temples and a beautiful point of view from the dagoba. Worth the visit of you have time. Do not forget to take your socks as it is quite dirty

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Where to stay in Matale

You'll find some fairly standard guesthouses and small hotels in Matale's main urban area, never straying very far from the station and the parks of the city center. Alternatively, explore out of town to the north, east, or south for a host of other more characterful accommodations that show off the fruits of the area, including campgrounds, ecolodges, and farmstays. For a much greater choice of places to stay, look in Kandy, one hour to the south.
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