Matale Alu Vihara which is also known as the Aluvihare Rock Temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the island of Sri Lanka. It is believed that this temple’s history dates back to the 3rd century BC. According to ancient records, King Devanampiyatissa built the dagoba here, founded the temple and planted the Bo sapling as well.
History of the Temple
During the 1st century BC, the island of Sri Lanka went through a terrible period. A famine struck the island and distressed the locals for 12 long years. A South Indian invasion also took place during the period. King Walagamba, who was overthrown by the South Indian invaders, regained the throne after 14 years of strife. The famine came to an end as well, and all the monks who left the capital city of Anuradhapura returned to the city. The harsh conditions of the preceding decade made them realize the importance of writing down the Pali Canon. Tripitaka was therefore transcribed at Matale Alu Vihara by the Buddhist monks. It is believed that the task was accomplished with the help of 500 scholarly monks. The full text was written down of puskola poth (books made from ola leaves). The characters were inscribed on the papers using a metal stylus.
During the Matale Rebellion which took place in 1848, the old library of the temple which housed the manuscripts was destroyed. The painstaking task of rewriting the texts was once again undertaken by the faithful monks. But this time, the process took longer and the first of the three ‘baskets of law’ was completed only in the year 1982.
You can visit this charming destination with ease as you travel in the island with Green Holiday Centre. Be sure to read as much as you can about the history of this temple before you visit it so you will be able to enjoy a meaningful experience!