|Dharama (sermon Hall) Salawa, Welipitiya Temple, Nalluruwa, Panadura, Sri Lanka.
Photograph© Chulie de Silva
Chulie de Silva supplies this picture of the preaching hall where Olcott addressed 4000 people during the May 1880 visit of the Theosophists to Pandure, Sri Lanka. Their host was Andris Perera who had financed the building of the Chaitya of the Welipitiya Temple there. In Old Diary Leaves (2:174-75) Olcott gives a colourful description of this gentleman and mentions that at one of his talks that day Blavatsky also spoke. Chulie de Silva writes of the impact of this meeting on her family:
Olcott and Blavatsky occupy a special affectionate niche in the family not only for the contributions they made to the renascent Buddhist movement but also for the vivid description of the meeting with Andris Perera.
The rest of her piece, “The Mudaliyar Great-great grandfather meets Olcott,” with a striking picture of Andris Perera, can be seen here.