Situated six miles from Colombo, the ancient Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya has stood beside the Kelani River for over 2,500 years. According to the Mahavamsa, a chronicle of Sri Lanka’s history that dates back to 543 BC, Lord Buddha stopped at this temple during a visit to Sri Lanka in 523 BC, where he was invited to preach by the king. The Mahawamsa records that the original dagoba at Kelaniya enshrined a gem-studded throne on which the Buddha sat and preached. This temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Buddha and beautiful paintings, which depict notable events in the life of the Buddha and the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Each year, on the full moon day of January, a cultural procession known as the `Duruthu Perahera’ is held at the temple, which displays ancient traditions and highlights the historic cultural significance of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya.