Distance from Mannar – 10.4 km (13 minutes)
Introduction to Mathota Raja Maha Viharaya
Mathota Raja Maha Viharaya is a historic and ancient Buddhist temple which is situated in Thiruketheeswaram in Mannar district. The temple is believed to have been a famous monastery, back in the day. It has been named after the ancient port of Mannar (Mathota).
Historical significance of Mathota Raja Maha Viharaya
Mathota is believed to be the location from where Arahath Mahinda Thero entered Lanka while on his mission to introduce Buddhist to the nation. It is also believed to have been one of the places where Arahath Sangamiththa Theri took rest during the journey from Jaffna to Anuradhapura, to deliver the sapling of the scared bo tree “Sri Maha Bodhi”.
Artifcats found from Mathota Raja Maha Viharaya
Several artifacts have been found at the Mathota Raja Maha Viharaya location. This includes a damaged Bodhisatva statue, pot-like water containers which are known as ‘pankendi’ and ruins of the compound of the Bodhi which can be seen scattered around the vihara premises.
Getting to Mathota Raja Maha Viharaya
From Mannar travel along the Medawachchiya – Talaimannar Highway and the Navathkuli – Karativu – Mannar Highway up to Thiruketheeswaram to reach the Mathota Raja Maha Viharaya which is situated in Thiruketheeswaram in Mannar district.