06th May 2023 17:09:43 Hours


Coinciding with the first Anniversary of the Balangoda, Kuragala Cave Temple, a Statue of the God Saman was unveiled by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Shavendra Silva WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc MPhil along with other dignitaries at the invitation extended by the Chief Priest Asgiri Chapter Rathnapura Maha Disawa, Most Ven Wathurakubure Dhammarathana Thero (Nelligala Thero) yesterday (05 May 2023). Spouse of the CDS, Mrs Sujeewa Nelson was too present at this charming Buddhist ceremony.

The Vesak Day opening programme that was attended by over a Hundred Thousand (100,000) devotees was consisted of a series of religious events including observing sil. The temple had also organised a glamourous Vesak Zone at the temple premises and was declared open by the CDS in the evening hours of the Vesak Day. The Vesak Zone that lighted the whole area with Vesak lanterns and decorations was visible to four provinces; Central, Sabaragamuwa, Uva, and Southern. The zone was also rich with a number of ‘Dansals’ (stalls that offer free food and things to the general public) that include meals, drinks, herbal drinks, ice cream etc from which thousands of people benefited.

Kuragala Buddhist Monastery which extends 272 Arcs was built and offered with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Army troops under the command of General Shavendra Silva as the then Commander of the Army. Once the temple was constructed, it consisted of all the elements that a temple should consist of including ‘Dharma Shalawa’, Pagoda, Maithree Buddha Stature, ‘Mal Asana’, Shrine Room etc. The construction of this temple also goes in modern history as the largest construction project of a Buddhist site that was successfully completed within the shortest time period which is 11 months. The opening of this historic site took place with the participation of more than 200,000 devotees on the last year’s Vesak Day.

This historic event was also attended by a number of venerable Buddhist Theros, dignitaries, media representatives, and devotees.