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The Leicester Buddhist Vihara is a Buddhist temple that was set up in 1990 by the East Midlands Buddhist Association.  It is located in the Braunstone area of Leicester and was paid for by donations from the public and EMBA members.

We offer Buddhist services to the community and help to anyone who visits with an interest in Buddhism or meditation.  We host various festivals, meetings and meditation groups with visitors travelling from across the Midlands and the UK.

Leicester Buddhist Vihara Shrine Room Buddha Statue
Shrine Room Buddha Statue

The main area of the Vihara is the shrine room, which is used for group meetings, religious practice, meditation and chanting.  It houses a 4-foot tall seated Buddha statue brought over from Sri Lanka which serves as a reminder of the Buddha’s teachings.  There is meditation equipment of various sorts for use by visitors.

The Vihara provides accommodation for up to three experienced Buddhist monks who have trained in Sri Lankan monasteries and kindly travelled here to provide spiritual help and leadership to the Buddhist community.  The monks offer their experience and services to all visitors and are happy to give Dhamma talks, meditation instruction, blessings, chanting and counselling.  People who are new to Buddhism and meditation are especially welcome to speak to the monks and ask any questions they might have.

When invited, the monks often visit homes, schools and hospitals to give blessings, teachings and information.  Regular visitors and followers like to make offerings and donations of food (Dana) and on most days a ceremony is held at the Vihara where offerings are made to the Buddha and to the monks followed by chanting and a Dhamma talk.

From time to time we are lucky enough receive visits from prominent Buddhist teachers who kindly give talks at the Vihara.



Ven D Rathanajothi Thero

Ven Dunukeyavaththe Rathanajothi Maha Thero

Resident Monk



Venerable Saddhananda


Ven. Marassana Saddhananda Thero

Resident Monk


Our library contains hundreds of Buddhist books covering many aspects of Buddhism in various languages such as English, Thai, Singhalese, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.  Visitors are welcome to use the library and we provide a facility to borrow books from the lending section.  We also keep a selection of free Buddhism books and audio CD’s (subject to availability).

We host large annual events that appear on the Buddhist calendar such as the Remembrance day and the Katina ceremony which usually take place at the nearby Braunstone Civic Centre or Blaby Social Centre.  These events are very popular and people travel across the UK to join in.  Details of future events will be posted in the Events page.

Vihara Timetable

Mondays 6:30pm - 8:00pm 

Dhamma Study

Saturdays 5:30pm – 7:30pm Meditation and Dhamma discussion
Sundays (Twice a month) 3.30pm – 6pm Dhamma school for children 

All other times

Open as usual (9:00 am to 9:00 pm)

Please Note: This timetable is for guidance only. Please check with the Vihara for latest information. Also, check the Events page for changes to the schedule.

East Midlands Buddhist Association

The EMBA was established in May 1987 and is the body that manages the Leicester Buddhist Vihara.  It is comprised of members of the Buddhist community living in UK from multi national ethnic groups including Chinese, Sri Lankan, Vietnamese, Burmese, Thai, Tibetans, Indians and English members.

Registered as an approved charity with the Charity Commissioner in 1989, The EMBA acts as a common unifying forum to share religious and spiritual beliefs amongst its members.  It is well organized with an Executive committee, General committee and Board of Trustees who regularly meet.

After many years of having no set location for Buddhist practice the EMBA purchased the property now known as the Leicester Buddhist Vihara in 1990 with the support of members and well wishers, which now provides the much needed space for Buddhist activities and accommodation for the resident monks.

The article entitled: EMBA Chronology of Events by Dr C.S.Nanayakkara provides an in depth in depth look at the EMBA’s history and organization.