Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Viharaya, Trincomalee

Seruwawila Mangala Raja Maha Viharaya is one of the ancient and holiest Buddhist shrines in Sri Lanka situated at Seruvila in Trincomalee district of the Eastern Province which was designated as a World Heritage site in 2009. Vihara stands on 50 acres of land.

It is believed that the Viharaya was built by King Kavantissa (2nd century BC) and sacred bone of the forehead (lalata dhatu) of Lord Buddha was deposited here.  

The Viharaya was under negligence for several years during the Colonial occupation and left into wilderness. It was only in 1922 that the dagaba was re-discovered by Ven. Dambagasare Sumedhankara Thero and with the assistance of the Archaeological Department, he restored the stupa using remains of ancient structures around the stupa to conjecture the conservation work. The conservation was completed in 1931.

The stupa and its environs covering approximately 85 acres was declared as an Archaeological Reserve in 1962. After this the Department of Archaeology was carrying out conservation work by stages. In view of the importance of this sacred shrine and to attract more pilgrims to the area, the Department of Town and Country Planning drew up a plan for the development of a new town complete with pilgrim rests, market areas, etc. during the 1970s. On June 2009, it was refurbished and ceremonially opened for the veneration of a large number of devotees at a cost of nearly Rs. 25 million by the National Physical Planning Department under the guidance of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardane.

Seruwawila Mangala Raja Maha Viharaya now attracts large number of visitors both tourists and pilgrims and you would see the conserved stupa, bodhighara, ponds, ceremonial entrances, vihara mandira and an archaeological museum. Several small tanks, a small tributary of River Mahaweli and forests are also located on the vihara land adding scenic beauty. 

The seven day Pinkam Perahera that ends on July full moon (poya) day is the very important event of Seruvawila Rajamaha viharaya that is attended by thousands of Buddhist devotees from several parts of the Island.

Basic facilities for tourists and pilgrims have been established during the years including pilgrims rest-houses, vehicle parking, watsan, shops and etc. 

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Latitude: 8.376056 Longitude: 81.33668 Elevation: 40 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Simon Jones

Hours Open

Morning till evening.

Seasons Open


Time Period Represented

2nd century BC

Visitor Fees

Not Applicable

Accessibility Notes

Seruwawila Raja Maha Viharaya can be reached by different land routs.

1. It is located around 48 kilometers from Kantale on the Kandy - Kantale main road at Seruvila area.

2. Located around 55 km from Trincomalee town along Trinco-Batticaloa Main Road. 

Sign boards are placed on important places that will guide you. Road is accessible by all types of vehicles. 

Visitors are allowed to the temple with proper dress, barefoot and acceptable behaviors. 

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are not allowed within the temple. 

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