When the Buddhist monk Aluthgama Sangharatne came to Etanamadala in 1873, he stayed at a hermitage at the jungles in Kalutara. The villagers loved the monk and his sermons, and one ardent disciple of his, an Elliyas Fernando, sought to build a hall for the monk, so he can conduct sermons for more people at a time. Donations started pouring in and the hall was built and named Dharma Salava.
In the centre of the Dharma Salava, you can find a relic chamber surrounded by tinier halls and a great drawing room. There are stone inscriptions on the wall says,
“This Temple Asokarama is offered to the Monks by the devotee Elliyas Fernando in the year 2411 Buddhist era, that is 1867 AD. In the midst of the Maha Sangha, the retinue of monks was headed by Ven. Siri Dhammarama Thera of Matara.”
Present day scenario
The temple has been under the ministrations of Parakaduwe Saranankara, the chief monk of the Buddhist Monetary Council in Colombo since 1976. He is a well-known monk who heads some of the holiest temples in the Sri Lanka.
Since you’re here check out other religious attractions around Kalutara as well 🙂