Kiri Vehera at Kataragama in the southern province is a prominent place for Buddhists. This temple is believed to have been built by King Mahasena in 6th century BC. This stupa is among the 16 most sacred pilgrimage sites of ancient Sri Lanka which is known as ‘Solosmasthana’. As per historical chronicles, this stupa was known as Magulmahaseya. It mentions that on Lord Buddha’s third visit to the island, he had visited Kataragama, known as Kajaragama and had resided in a place referred as Kihiriuana in which it is evident that it was perhaps the site of Kirhiriuyana in which today lies the elegant Kiri vehera.
Kataragama is visited all throughout the year since the Buddhists of Sri Lanka believe that it is a place blessed by Lord Buddha and should be visited at least once a year to attain blessings of God Kataragama who is believed to be the guardian of Buddhism.
The stupa is 95 feet in height and has a circumference of 280 feet which is located 800 metres away from the famous Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya.
The temple is located in the Moneragala district of the Uva Province. Undoubtedly, Kiri Vehera is one of the most sacred Buddhist religious sites in the island and it is also visited by Hindus, Christians, Catholics and Muslims.