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January 6, 2018: Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara

 

As often happens when I look at some of my older travel photos, I see something new or remember a forgotten travel experience.

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I enjoy visiting the beautiful beach towns of southwestern Sri Lanka and did so several times in the company of Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who absolutely loved this region.  Sir Arthur had a beach home in Hikkaduwa which he enjoyed visiting.  I never saw Arthur more relaxed than when in Hikkaduwa.  Arthur liked to take a long afternoon nap and I'd often fill this time walking the beach or exploring the town.  One afternoon Sir Arthur's office manager, Rohan, offered to show me around a little, an offer I gladly accepted because Rohan is a nice man and good company.   One of the places we visited was a small Buddhist temple near Matara.

It's a nice complex situated on a spacious 3 acres, definitely off the beaten tourist path.  The temple can be reached by the Matara – Kekanadura road via Weherahena and is about 6 km from Matara.

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Most Sri Lankans visit the Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya to see its sacred Bo-tree, stupa, and a huge Buddha statue.   The people in the photos below give you an indication of its scale.

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The temple has a tunnel that features frescoes documenting the life of Buddha (Jathaka stories), like those you see on the outside of this building.

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What most fascinated me was an ancient elephant fountain situated in a side courtyard.  I thought it was absolutely charming!  Anyone who has ever watched elephants enjoying a bath in a river or watering hole will understand why.

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I wishes I'd looked around the temple complex a little longer, but thought you might enjoy seeing these photos.

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Images (12)
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara
  • Weherahena Poorwarama Rajamaha Viharaya, Matara

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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