Ridi Viharaya Kurunegala

Ridi Viharaya also called the Silver Temple is said to have been built by King Dutugemunu in the 2nd century BC, in the village of Ridigama (about 20 kilometers from the ancient kingdom of Kurunegala). It is said that the temple is a memorial of silver ore that was mined on the site and its proceeds were used to finance the construction of the Ruwanwelisaya Stupa in Anuradhapura, one of the largest stupas in Sri Lanka. The Ridi Viharaya site encompasses twenty-five caves that were inhabited by Arhat monks during the 3rd century BCE

The temple was revived in the 18th century, during the reign of Kirti Sri Rajasinha (1746-1778 CE).

The main temple, Maha Viharaya, is located within one of the original silver mines. All walls and ceilings are adorned with paintings.

In the main shrine, the golden Lord Buddha statue brought by King Dutugemunu, together with other statues can be seen, 8 standing Buddha statues, 1 reclining Buddha and an ancient statue which is believed to be of king Dutthagamani. The floor upon which the recumbent Buddha statue is placed is decorated with blue-and-white tiles, these tiles are from the Dutch era portraying biblical figures such as the last supper and the creation of man.

The walls of the Rajatha Lena cave are decorated with images related to Gautama Buddha’s life.

A unique sculpture, the Pancha Nari Ghataya (maiden figures carved out of ivory) can be seen in the Maha Viharaya. Additionally, two lion carvings of ancient ivory can be observed beside the main sculpture.

Wooden pillars painted with flowers support the roof of the Maha Viharaya. On the sides of the seated Buddha statue at Uda Viharaya, few drawings represent how Gautama Buddha spent his first seven weeks after enlightenment.