Matale Aluvihara Rock Temple

The Aluvihara Rock temple also called Matale Alu Viharaya. This is located matale district of Sri Lanka. The history of Aluvihare Rock Temple is tracing back to the 3rd Century B.C to the reign of Kind devanampiyatissa.

It is many monastery caves, some of which exhibit frescoes are situating near this temple. This is claims to be from the earliest period of Buddhism on the island. 


Aluvihara is of most significance for the history of Buddhism, as  it was where the canon of Buddhist Holy Scriptures, the Tipitaka, was writing down completely a group of 500 scholarly monks.  It though known from Tibetan and Chinese translations.

The Aluvihara believed to be the monastery where this important event in the history of Asia took place. which counted as the 4th general council in the Theravada tradition of Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. 

History of Alu Vihara Temple

The monks who left to India and to the hilly areas of Sri Lanka, during the difficult period. The monks selected Aluvihare Rock temple in Matale as the most suitable and secured place to carry out this important event. This transcription carried out due to the fear. And that the doctrine would be lost during the upheaval caused by repeated South Indian invasions.

It is said that 500 scholarly monks congregated at Aluvihare Rock temple to perform the difficult task of first reciting the doctrines and agreeing on an acceptable version before transcription.

The entire transcription done in books made of ola leaves, locally known as Puskola potha. These books made up from thick strips created. It is from the leaves of either the palmyra and the doctrines written down in Pali language. A metal stylus was using to inscribe the characters on the ola leaves.

This temple has caves behind every one of them.  The Sinhala word for ‘Aloka’ the cave became to be known as ‘Aloka Lena’ and then became Alu Lena. After building the temple, it became Alu Viharaya. 
Oral History says that there was a Buddhist monk reading ‘Atuwa’ inside Alu Lena. And the King of all Gods, Sakra had provided light to him and therefore it became Alu Lena. 

Aluvihara Perahara

This temple annual perahera of Alu Vihare takes place every April hosting a large number of audiences with ease. The Thripitaka written on Ola leaves, monks chanting pirith, dancers performing Kandyan. In Fact, low country, Sabaragamuwa and Hindu dances. In Addition, drummers and number of elephants make the pageant more like a multi-cultural occasion.

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