Kirinda Temple

Kirinda is a beautiful place visited by thousands of pilgrims each year. The ancient temple is sited atop a rocky outcrop from which one can obtain magnificent views of the desolate coast with its long stretch of sand dunes and the ocean beyond. On a clear day, the light house on the Great Basses reef appears like a needle in the far distance.

 

With the atmosphere of its magnificent setting aside the sea, Kirinda is the appropriate setting of one of those popular legends that constitute early Sri Lankan history. Legend recounts that Kirinda was the place where Princess Viharamahadevi drifted ashore after being sacrificed to the sea to atone for her father’s, King Kelanitissa, sacrilegious act of killing a monk by putting him in a cauldron of boiling oil. After receiving the Princess, King Kavantissa, who was the ruler of Ruhuna at that time, married the young princess and the couple eventually had 2 sons. Dutugemunu, the eldest son of Viharamahadevi became one of the legends in Sri Lankan history.