Naganada International Buddhist University, Manelwatta-Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Buddhism originated in India some 2,500 years ago and yet suffered severe destruction from the 11th century onward. Nowadays, Buddhism is mostly found outside of India. 

Generally speaking, present Buddhism can be divided into two major traditions: the Theravada Pali tradition that is found in Sri Lanka and other southeast Asian countries and Mahayana tradition that is further divided into the Chinese-literary tradition and Tibetan tradition. 

Sinhala chrincle, Mahavamsa,  states that Buddhism was transmitted to Sri Lanka by Emporer Asoka's son, arahant Mahinda Thero around the third century B.C.E. Sri Lanka has become an important stronghold of Theravada Buddhism ever since. (For more on Buddhism in Sri Lanka, please click here.)

It is the goal of Nagananda International Buddhist University to bridge different Buddhist traditions in order to promote inter-tradition dialogue, mutual understanding and share thoughts and spiritual practice. The university will be built at the temple premises of Manelwatta Vihara at a cost of US$ 500 million.The university will be built and operated as a model of ancient Buddhist University of Nalanda.

The Foundation-laying Ceremony of Nagananda International Buddhist University took place on 25 June 2013 and attended by many dignitaries including the renowned Chinese monk, Ven. Ching K'ung Mahathera, who is the chief adviser of the university.  For media report, see here

It is hoped that the university will be commenced in 2015. 


  1. To advance academic study in Buddhism and to cultivate talents in Buddhist studies;

  2. To provide equal educational opportunity for both women and men in Buddhism;

  3. To encourage educational activities and to apply Buddha-Dharma in the social-cultural works;

  4. To collect and preserve Buddhist texts, literature, arts, etc.;

  5. To support inter-traditions dialogue and academic exchange.


Proposed Programs

There will be long-term as well as short-term programs at the university. They are either diploma-intended or degree-intended programs. Postgraduate degrees will also be provided.

Campus Plan


Contact Information

Nagananda International Buddhist University Preparation Committee

Manelwatta Vihara, Bollagela, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Phone: +94 11 2905596;  Fax: +94 11 2912450

Email: manelwatta2011@gmail.com;  samadhi.buddha@gmail.com