The Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is a highly revered and historically significant Buddhist temple located in the southern province of Sri Lanka. Its history dates back to the time of Arhant Mahinda Thera, who played a crucial role in introducing Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Here are some key aspects of its history and significance, The temple is one of the four major Buddhist monasteries established in Sri Lanka after the arrival of Arhant Mahinda Thera, the son of Emperor Ashoka of India, who is credited with bringing Buddhism to the island. It holds a special place as a center of Buddhist worship and learning. According to tradition and chronicles, the site of the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara was consecrated by Buddha himself during his third visit to Sri Lanka. It is believed that Buddha spent time in meditation at this location along with 500 arhats (enlightened individuals), making it a sacred and spiritually charged place. One of the most prominent features of this temple is the TissaMaharama Stupa. It is the largest stupa in the southern region of Sri Lanka, standing at a height of 156 feet and having a circumference of 550 feet. This stupa is a significant architectural and religious marvel.
The stupa was built to commemorate Buddha’s visit to the area and his meditation with the 500 arhant Buddhist monks. King Kawan Tissa, who ruled during this time, sought blessings and guidance from Arhant Gothama Thera, a spiritual adviser to the king. The construction of the stupa was a major undertaking, and the king received instructions from Buddhist monks throughout the process. The TissaMaharama Stupa has a distinctive “Bubble Shape” and is constructed using bricks on a square platform made of granite stones. Its unique design adds to its charm and historical significance.
The temple continues to serve as a significant spiritual and religious center for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Pilgrims and visitors come to pay their respects, meditate, and seek spiritual solace in this ancient and revered site. Beyond
its religious importance, the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara represents an important part of Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. It is a testament to the rich history and deep-rooted Buddhist traditions of the country. Overall, the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara stands as a remarkable testament to the historical and spiritual significance of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It continues to draw visitors and devotees from around the world who seek to connect with its rich heritage and profound spiritual energy.