Tissamaharama Rajamaha Viharaya
The Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple in Tissamaharama, Southern Province of Sri Lanka. It was one of the four major Buddhist monasteries established in Sri Lanka, after the arrival of Arhant Mahinda Thera to the country. The site of the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara was consecrated by Lord Buddha himself, who spent some time in meditation there with 500 arhats (individuals who have reached enlightenment), during his third visit to the island.
Tissamaharama monastery had been recognized as a pre-eminent Buddhist educational center of the southern Sri Lanka from the 3rd century B.C. to the 11th century A.D. The Tissamaharama Dagoba which is situated in the premises of the monastery is one of the largest stupas in Sri Lanka. The present chief incumbent of Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is Ven. Devalegama Dhammasena Nayaka Thera.
Tissamaharama Stupa is the largest stupa in the Southern region of the country with a height of 156 feet and 550 feet in circumference. According to chronicles, King Kawan Tissa had sought blessings and instructions from Arhant Gothama Thera, who was a spiritual adviser to the king, when constructing Tissamaharam stupa. The stupa was built to commemorate lord Buddha's visit to the area, at the same place where Buddha spent time in meditation with 500 arhant Buddhist monks.