All year daily 6-18.
|Classification:||Cave Church Tectonic Cave Painted Cave|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Warana Raja Maha Viharaya, Warana Rd, Tel: +94-332-279-644.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|01-NOV-1996||declared an Archaeological Protected Monument.|
වාරණ රජ මහා විහාරය (Warana Raja Maha Vihara) is a cave temple which was built into tectonic cave of huge boulders which form a strange rock formation. It was built during the reign of King Devanampiyathissa (*307–✝267 BC). It was renovated several times, during the reign of King Valagamba (*103-✝c.89–77 BC), Nissanka Malla (*1187–✝1196), Kirti Sri Rajasinha (*1747-✝1782) and Parakramabahu VI. The temple was recognized as an archaeological protected site in Gampaha District by Archaeological department.
The temple was built on three different levels, the Warana Rajamaha Vihara in front of the rocks, and two levels of cave shelters, the Meda Vihara (lower terrace) and the Uda Vihara (upper terrace). The lowest level also contains the Sangawasaya, where the monks live, and the Darma shalaya, which is used for preaching. A staircase with 50 steps leads to the middle level. A total of 12 cave shelters under the boulders were used for buildings. The Meda Vihara was built by King Valagamba in the first century AD. He had to go into exile when the country was over-run by Chola invaders from South India, and took refuge in caves, where he built Viharas, Buddha and other statues. He raised an army and fought against the invaders, and drew them out of the country. Another 150 steps lead to the top level. It has a Dageba and another cave temple.