Weherahena ( Veherahena) is popular temple among the buddhist pilgrims. Although there is nothing of historical significance, the story of the temple is quite interesting. In addition, the temple is said be the largest and the first tunnel temple in the world.
The even though it is said this temple was adobe to arhath bikkus in the ancient Sri Lanka, the story of the temple starts during the early part of the 20th centaury. The Most Rev. Parawahera Rewatha Thero was sent to Weherahena area in the early part of centaury as a punishment by his teacher. Weherahena was just a mound of 1/2 acre of think Jungle with only a Bodhi Tree. It is said that Ven. Revatha Thero came only with an blanket, mattress and the bowl.
He managed to get the villagers organised and built a small clay house for him self but soon came with a grand idea of building the largest buddha statue in the world. He also wanted to build a tunnel temple as in ummaga jathaka story.
With the support of Anagarika Dharmapala, one of the leaders in Buddhist Revival of Sri Lanka and India, Anagarika Dharmapala kept the foundation stone to the temple in 1939 with great blessings. The 600 feet tunnel was fist build by excavating the mound of earth. Once this was completed, the 88 cubit (39 metres) buddha statue was started. The statue was completed in 1976. The whole length of the tunnel is decorated with various scenes from Jataka stories. The cover over the buddha statue has been build with the financial assistance of a generous donor from Japan after 1976