The Asokaramaya has a strong history behind it. It all began with one virtuous monk who came to reside in the neighbourhood and managed to attract the villagers with his excellent sermons. This led to one wealthy gentleman by the name of Mr Elliyas Fernando offering himself as benefactor to this temple which resulted in the other additions to the temple. Starting from scratch, the temple became expanded with the addition of a shrine room, a preaching hall as well as a relic chamber.
While its fame does not quite equal to those of its urban counterparts or even the ancient temples of cities like Anuradhapura, the splendour of Asokaramaya and especially its sculptures and murals have gained much admiration from the tourists who were fortunate to visit it. Located in North Kalutara, the temple looks ordinary enough from the outside. However, within the temple, one can discover some alluring murals and statues of Lord Buddha amongst his devotees depicted in very colourful and lifelike images that are bright and large, but very peaceful. The murals denote some interesting and important events in the life of Lord Buddha, such as being worshipped by ‘Devas’ (gods), enlightenment etc. These murals are the centre of attraction for the tourists who visit there and for the local devotees their larger than life portrayals are simply inspirational.
The temple is also dedicated to social service and today it successfully conducts poya day programs every month, a Sunday school for children, as well as pirith ceremonies annually while its monks attend dane (alms giving ) and other religious events in the villagers’ homes. During the past Tsunami event, the temple was greatly instrumental in providing much service to the homeless and disaster struck families.
Any traveller looking for a place to stay over nearby can get himself in to one of the Beruwala hotels. With lovely oceanic, cool and comfortable interiors and contemporary conveniences, The Palm Beruwala is highly sought out as a beach hotel that is ideal for a short vacation. Among the many Sri lanka beach hotels, it holds a special place and is also very much popular among the residents of Kalutara and Beruwela which are close by towns.