Weherahena ( Veherahena) is popular temple among the buddhist pilgrims. Although there is nothing of historical significance, the story of the temple is quite interesting. In addition, the temple is said be the largest and the first tunnel temple in the world.
The even though it is said this temple was adobe to arhath bikkus in the ancient Sri Lanka, the story of the temple starts during the early part of the 20th centaury. The Most Rev. Parawahera Rewatha Thero was sent to Weherahena area in the early part of centaury as a punishment by his teacher. Weherahena was just a mound of 1/2 acre of think Jungle with only a Bodhi Tree. It is said that Ven. Revatha Thero came only with an blanket, mattress and the bowl.
He managed to get the villagers organised and built a small clay house for himself but soon came with a grand idea of building the largest buddha statue in the world. He also wanted to build a tunnel temple as in ummaga jathaka story.
With the support of Anagarika Dharmapala, one of the leaders in Buddhist Revival of Sri Lanka and India, Anagarika Dharmapala kept the foundation stone to the temple in 1939 with great blessings. The 600 feet tunnel was fist build by excavating the mound of earth. Once this was completed, the 88 cubit (39 metres) buddha statue was started. The statue was completed in 1976. The whole length of the tunnel is decorated with various scenes from Jataka stories. The cover over the buddha statue has been build with the financial assistance of a generous donor from Japan after 1976.
Matara weherahena purwaramaya is situated in the village of weherahena in the district of matara in the southern province in Srilanka. Buddhist as well as non Buddhist live in the world pay homage to this temple and it's very popular among the people in the world.
the colossal Buddha statue is a wonderful mastter piece.the hight of the statue is 88 cubits (39m) The highly significante of this temple is the tunnel shrine.It is 3km from matara town on the matara - kataragama main road.
THE COLOSSAL STATUE SAMADHI
This colossal Buddha statue was the only statue which was built after the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa peried.The height is 39m this was contructed on a stage which was shaped like a lotus flower.This construction was done according to the tradition of Sariputta carving.
The robe of the statue covered only left side the shoulder and building was constructed behind the statue for the protection of life story of Buddha painted on the walls of this building.