An ancient monastic complex spreaded across 250 acres of land, is the largest monastery in Southern Sri Lanka. In ancient times the area was called “Mahanagakula”. Ramba Viharaya has a history which dates back to the 2nd-century BC during King Devanampiyatissa’s reign. Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka during this time by Arhat Mahinda Thero, the son of Indian Emperor Ashok.
History Ramba Viharaya goes back to the times where Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka. It was believed that the monastery was home for many arhats during the times.
It is recorded that during the years 1055 to 1110 King Vijayabahu I took refuge at Ramba Viharaya while the country was invaded by the Cholas. King Vijayabahu I had to hide for 15 years preparing to regain the throne of Sri Lanka.
A lot of valuable artifacts have been ungrounded during the excavations started in the early 80s. These artifacts include, grinding stones, urinal stones, torso of a Buddha statue, moonstones, guardstone etc. The complex is categorised as a “Pancha Maha Vihara”, a temple with five buildings within the premises which includes an artificial pond, dagoba, bodhi tree shrine, image house, and residence for monks. There is evidence of a janthagaraya (a steam bath area) and walking meditation paths.
Note that you are expected to wear appropriately, and white is preferable.