Overview

Who would expect a Thai Temple in Colombo? Yet, there is one and it has been connected to the Thai Royal family too, since one of the Thai royalties, Prince Prisdang Chumsai, was ordained here as a monk, Venerable P.C. Jinavarawansa Thero in the early 1900s, who later became the first foreign chief incumbent in a Sri Lankan temple; his family donated a dagaba to the temple, which has become an elegant mixture of Sri Lankan and Thai temple architecture. However, there is more that has made the temple of great importance. In 1885 the Buddhist flag, existing of five vertical stripes and one horizontally in different colors was raised here for the first time in Sri Lanka. Moreover it was in this temple that ‘Poya Day’ (full moon day) was declared a national holiday in Sri Lanka. It is believed that the temple dates back to the period around 1785, when the Dutch ruled the country. At that time Buddhism was banned in Colombo. On the spot where the current shrine house is, there was once the house of a village chief. He kept a Buddha statue hidden in his house, which later became a shrine, at least so goes the story. The first monk who took residence in the temple was in 1845.

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