Welgam Rajamaha Viharaya, Trincomalee

Welgam Rajamaha Viharaya (also called Vilgam Vehera), is a place of religious and archaeological importance in Trincomalee located around 15 km north-west of Trincomalee town off the Trincomalee - Anuradapura main road (A12). 

According to the information revealed by an inscription located on the site, King Bhatikabhaya Tissa or Bhatiya Maharaja built this vihara known as Abagara Vihara. And the village where it stood was Welgama. Some other historical facts indicate that the Welgam Rajamaha Viharaya was first done by King Devanampiyathissa and later on some additions and renovations were done by kings Bhatika Tissa, Second Agkbo, First Vijayabahu and First Parakramabahu.

According to the history, Welgam Viharaya was the only Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhist. It is recorded that Hindu chieftains and the Hindu community patronized and worshiped the temple during the 12th century AD. That was one of the reasons why Vilgam Vehera was not destroyed by South Indian Chola invasions in 10th century. The site is nearly eighty acres in extent and consists of the ruins of an image house, dagabas, temples, statues made out of stones, Sinhala and Tamil inscriptions on stones representing the 3rd century BC to the 12th century AD, and beautiful ponds. When you walk around the site you feel like you are in mini Polonnaruwa.

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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 8.646721 Longitude: 81.171575 Elevation: 77 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Simon Jones

Hours Open

Morning till evening

Seasons Open

Welgam Vihara can be visited year round.

Time Period Represented

3rd Century BC

Visitor Fees

No entrance fee

Accessibility Notes

Welgam Vihara is located about 15 km north-west of Trincomalee town off the Trincomalee - Anuradapura main road (A12). After having a hot water bath at Kanniya Hot Wells, drive for another 10 minutes ahead and you will find a direction sign board at the 106th milepost junction. Take the turn and drive about 2.5 km to reach the ancient monastery.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are not allowed. 

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