Reswehera Temple

Reswehera Temple

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Reswehera Temple

Reswehera Raja Maha Viharaya is a beautiful temple that is frequently visited by a large number of devotees every year. The temple is located in the North-Western Province of Sri Lanka.

Historic background

Built by the great King Devanampiya Tissa, Reswehera Rajamaha Vihara is a historic temple located in the Northwestern Province in Sri Lanka. It is widely known for its Gautama Buddha statues and the Bo tree which was planted from the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. One statue is carved in a rock while the others are inside the vihara. There are ninety-nine caves in the surrounding jungle where clergymen used to meditate. The statue carved from stone is a colossal statue of Buddha lying close to the well-known Awkana statue.

The specialty of the Reswehera statue

Folklore states that the Reswehera statue was built by the same craftsman who constructed the famous Awukana statue as a trial before starting on Awukana itself. The statue is a massive reclined statue of Lord Buddha located in one of the houses. The rock on which the Buddha is carved isn’t always embellished and is simplest a rectangular block of stone and one ear is likewise left unfinished. Therefore, this statue is thought to be the “Rahera” statue which, according to chronicles, was constructed by King Mahasen. However, it was left unfinished after his demise. This statue also lacks the “Siraspatha” at the top that is seen in the Awkana statue. It is said that there was a wooden “siraspatha” in the early days along with a housing shape across the statue for safety because the rock in which the statue is carved within is soft. The statue is 39 feet long and has some unique features that are not found in other shrine caves. It is possible to walk around it and the robe on the statue has been handwoven and pasted with a handwoven cotton thread being pasted all over to represent the waves of the gown. Then this has been plastered and painted.   The authentic thread and the robe are seen in places, especially at the rear area of the statue. But not like the Awukana statue, the final finishes don’t seem to have been done on this statue.


  • During the North Indian Tamil invasion of Kalinga Maga, all of this was destroyed.

Other significance

  • There is likewise a finely woven mattress donated by a timber craftsman in the reign of the King Rajasinghe era.

How to get there

From Colombo

Go on McCallum Road and enter the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway from Colombo. Take the Ja-Ela exit and turn right onto Delathura – Ja-Ela Road. After 1.6 km turn right onto Chilaw – Colombo Main Road.

Turn right at Anjana Kaushalya onto Kurunegala Road and at the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Kurunegala – Minuwangoda Road. Turn right onto Ambanpola – Ehetuwewa Road to reach your destination.

From Kurunegala

Go on on Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Trincomalee Highway. Turn left at Ibbagamuwa Junction onto Ibbagamuwa-Kumbukgete-Madagalla Road. At the roundabout, continue straight onto Bulnewa – Ottapahuwa – Madagalla Road and turn left onto Galgamuwa-Nikawewa Road to reach your destination.