11th April 2021 07:25:02 Hours
Balangoda Pooragala Raja Maha Vihara, alias Kuragala Cave Temple, which remained dilapidated and encroached by various interested elements for a long time is now receiving a total facelift and a complete renovation as a Buddhist place of reconciliation and harmony, harnessing the support of non-Buddhists, resident in adjacent areas.
Sri Lanka Army troops on the directions of General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army as is the case elsewhere, have extended their technical skills and manpower for restoration of this religious place on the guidelines, being given by Ven Waturakumbure Dhammaratana Thera, Incumbent for both Kuragala monastery temple and Nelligala International Buddhist Centre.
General Shavendra Silva on Saturday (10) undertaking a visit to the sacred premises, recorded to have existed since pre-historic times and with caves, used as a Buddhist monastery during the period between 3rd century BC and first century AD, ascended the cave summit soon after his arrival at the entrance and saw for himself the ongoing development work closely, including the renovation of the main Dagoba (Stupa) atop the summit which has been brick built and archaeologically conserved, considering it as one of the 'Akasa Chaithya' tradition pagodas.
The day's chief guest afterwards gave away school books, bags and educational accessories to 240 students of Balangoda Thanjantenna Vidyalaya where children of Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic and Hindu faiths are learning after they with their principal and teachers assembled at the sacred premises under the guidance of the incumbent monk.
A few touching cultural feats, inclusive of a Muslim girl singing a Buddhist song before the gathering of her school friends and other dancing features added colour to the occasion. The brief distribution ceremony began with performance of religious observances.
On the same occasion, General Shavendra Silva, extending his best wishes and all support to students made a cash donation to the principal towards promotion of the school's sports infrastructure and assured them that the Army would contribute to the re-development of their only play ground at Thanjantenna Vidyalaya within a few weeks.
Ven Waturakumbure Dhammaratana Thera, Incumbent, several Buddhist monks, Senior Officers, Devotees, Villagers and civilians visiting the temple were associated with the day's arrangement. Running sneakers | Nike