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London Buddhist Vihara facts for kids

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London Buddhist Vihara
The main building at London Buddhist Vihara, London
The main building at London Buddhist Vihara, London
Religion
Affiliation Theravada Buddhism
Leadership Anagarika Dharmapala, founder
Location
Location Dharmapala Building, The Avenue, London W4 1UD
Country United Kingdom
Architecture
Architect(s) E. J. May
General contractor R. N. Shaw
Completed c. 1877
Listed Building – Grade II
Official name: London Buddhist Vihara (Former CAV Social Club)
Designated 2 February 1970
Reference no. 1079469

The London Buddhist Vihara (Sinhala:ලන්ඩන් බෞද්ධ විහාරය) is one of the main Theravada Buddhist temples in the United Kingdom. The Vihara was the first Sri Lankan Buddhist monastery to be established outside Asia.

Established in 1926, the Vihara is managed by the Anagarika Dharmapala Trust in Colombo. The current chief bhikkhu of the Vihara is Ven Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera, who is also the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain.

History

Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933)
Founder Anagarika Dharmapala

The London Buddhist Vihara was founded in 1926 by Anagarika Dharmapala.

One of the temple's main benefactors during its early days was Mary Foster, who financed ‘Foster House’ in Ealing. This was the first Sri Lankan Buddhist temple established outside Asia and was named the London Buddhist Vihara in 1926. Shortly afterwards, the Vihara moved to Gloucester Road in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where it continued until the Second World War. During the war, the temple premises were requisitioned, and the monks returned to Ceylon.

In 1955, the Vihara reopened in Ovington Square, Knightsbridge under the initiative of Sir Cyril de Zoysa. Ven Narada Nayaka Thera became the chief bhikkhu of the Vihara in 1958. The Vihara moved to Heathfied Gardens, Chiswick in 1964. Ven Hammalawa Saddhatissa Nayaka Thera subsequently became the chief Bhikkhu of the Vihara and was succeeded in 1985 by Ven Dr Medagama Vajiragnana Nayaka Thera.

In 1994, The Vihara moved to its present premises at The Avenue, Chiswick. Ven Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera was appointed as the Chief Bhikkhu in May 2008.

The London Buddhist Vihara has several resident bhikkhus from Sri Lanka and continues to conduct and actively engage in religious Buddhist activities in the region.

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