Ridee Viharaya

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Ridee Viharaya is a must visit temple in Kurunegala, with lots of amazing sculptures, paintings, architecture and history. It was believed that this temple was built in the 2nd-century BC by King Dutugemunu, before that an arhat thero named Indraguptha has been residing in one of these caves. When the king seeks for silver to construct the Ruwanweli Maha Seya, Indraguptha thero sent a message via a trader saying that there is enough silver in this area.

Once the king got the needed amount of silver, he then built another temple here and kept a gold plated standing Buddha statue in the temple, and offered the surrounding lands for the use of the temple. The gold plated statue still can be seen and highly respected. 

The rock image house at the main entrance to the temple has some fine rock carvings made on the pillars of the corridor. The fully sealed image house consists of some amazing Buddha statues from the ancient period.  

The temple also has ancient paintings. Many of those were later added by the Kandyan kings. The paintings were done by Devaragam Pola Silvath Thane, of Neelagampura lineage. They were also responsible for doing the paintings of Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Viharaya, Kandy Temple of the Tooth, Dambulla Cave Temple, and Mulgirigala Raja Maha Viharaya. The paintings closely resemble those other temples. There is also an ivory carving fixed to a door frame which was known as the only ivory carving made by Devaragam Pola Silvath Thane. 

The temple also has a well maintained rest house providing free accommodation for anyone who visits the temple. 

If you are a keen hiking enthusiast take a walk up to the Pahangala through the forests which offers magnificent views.