Sin: කැලණිය kælaṇiya – Tam: களனி kaḷaṉi

‘Auspicious Place’  WP,  Sri Lanka

From Skt/Pali: kalyana, ‘beautiful, auspicious, charming’.

Flowing all the way from Sri Pada to Colombo, the 145km Kelani Ganga is the fourth longest river in Sri Lanka. 

Kelaniya is indeed auspicious, having been visited by the Buddha in the 5thC BC (according to the Mahavamsa), and being the birthplace of the mother of the all-conquering King Duthugemunu (2ndC BC).

The modern temple is the site of Solias Mendis’ beautiful murals  depicting the myths and history of Sri Lanka.

For related place names see Sri Lanka Place names.