In the Badulla district lies a small hamlet called Veheragoda, which King Dutugemunu was said to have passed on his way to Anuradhapura to fight King Elara. The villagers believe that there were temples here in ancient times. Although there are no material remains left, this story has been passed down from generation to generation.
One of the villagers, Nalin Premachandra RSP who had once been an army officer attached to the first Medical Corps., decided to restore this lost pride to his hometown. Accordingly he embarked on an ambitious move to raise the village temple to a historical place of worship. “We have had a proud history but we don’t have anything left to prove it. Therefore my objective is to see that we have a temple which could go down in history some day. If I achieve this goal, my village will regain its lost pride,” Premachandra said, explaining his lone effort to develop the village temple. Determination seemed to be one of his personality traits as he related how he saved the lives of 58 injured army personnel during a bloody battle against the LTTE in Kilinochchi, during his days in the army.
The livelihood of almost everyone in this village is agriculture and they can’t afford to assist the temple financially as they don’t earn much
Premachandra raised funds to construct the chaithya of Veheragoda Megawela Temple all by himself. “I got ticket books printed myself and went to seek financial help from donors. I even went around in buses to get help from the public,” Premachandra said. He had managed to raise around Rs.1 million for the project.
The Chaithya is built on a strong foundation which reaches 11 feet into the ground. The most attractive parts of it are the parapet walls with elephant carvings. When one looks at it from outside one can feel as if the chaithya is surrounded by a herd of elephants.
According to the Chief Incumbent of the temple,Ven. Pussallakande Senananda Thera, this temple was constructed in the year 2000. “The temple comprises of a Dharma Shalawa and the Viharageya. However, these need repairs now and we need funds,” he said.
According to the Ven. thera villagers alone cannot afford to provide financial assistance. “The livelihood of almost everyone in this village is agriculture and they can’t afford to assist the temple financially as they don’t earn much,” the Thera said.