Aluvihare Rock Temple is a temple situated in Aluvihare in the Matale District. This is quite an old and historic temple which is a major tourist attraction.
About the Aluvihare Rock Temple
Aluvihare Rock Temple has a history that dates back to the 3rd century B.C during the reign of Dewanampiyatissa. It is believed that the king himself built the dagoba and planted the Bo sapling. It is also stated that he founded the temple after the introduction of Buddhism to the country during his reign. The temple is surrounded by hills and is situated 30 km North of Kandy on the Matale-Dambulla road.
Aluvihare Rock Temple is the place where the Pali Canon was first written down completely in the text on palm leaves.
History of the location
There was an old library in the Aluvihare Rock Temple which was destroyed in 1848 in the Matale Rebellion. These damages can be seen up to date on the temple premises. The recompilation and transcription of the Tripitaka took a long time as only a few monks were engaged in this painful task.
Aluvihare Rock Temple has many caves that include modern walls and ceilings with interesting paintings, and impressive statues and images of Lord Buddha. The main cave has a large reclining statue of Buddha. There is another cave with terrifying depictions of the hellish afterlife that awaits people who commit sins. A special cave is dedicated to the revered Indian monk-scholar named Buddhagosha, who is regarded as the greatest exponent and interpreter of the Pali canonical scriptures.
Reaching the destination
You have to drive from Colombo – Katunayake Expressway, Veyangoda Road, and Talgodapitiya – Yatawatta – Dombawela Road to Central Province. Turn left at Government Tourist Information Centre to reach your destination.
You have to head south on Kandy Road. Turn right at Pawana Wedding Center onto Kandy Road. Turn left at Government Tourist Information Centre to reach your destination.