Vellidura in Sri Lanka

The Vellidura have only been reported in Sri Lanka
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

Sri Lanka has been called one of the most beautiful places in the world. Unfortunately, a 26-year civil war starting in 1983 took place in the island country. Up to 100,000 died and there was millions of dollars in property damage. The majority Buddhist Sinhalese declared victory over the Tamil Tigers in 2009. Since that time the Sri Lankan economy has begun to rebound, and tourists have returned to the island. The Vellidura are a small subgroup of the Sinhalese Buddhists who live in villages the hill region near the central Sri Lankan city of Kandy.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Vellidura are integrated into the larger Sinhalese people. The Vellidura are known most of all for their Sesath weaving. It takes a Vellidura woman from one to two weeks to make one Sesath or colorful, circular sunshade. She gathers many different materials from the nearby forests. The Sesath art form may become extinct in the near future as most young Vellidura women are not interested in learning the craft from their mothers and grandmothers. The Vellidura tend to marry within their group, but marriage with other Sinhalese groups is becoming common. Many Vellidura young people leave the villages in search of better educational and professional opportunities in the cities.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Nearly all Vellidura practice Buddhism, the major world religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha. He lived in the 6th and 5th century BC in ancient India. The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths by which one can gain spiritual knowledge and escape the endless cycles of reincarnation. Theravada, one of the two major branches of Buddhism, declares that by following the Noble Eightfold Path of right intentions and right actions that a Buddhist can achieve nirvana or a state of freedom and salvation. The Vellidura practice the Theravada school of Buddhism. The majority of Buddhists also practice animism, a belief in the spirit world. In animism, spirits must be appeased through prayers, sacrifices and rituals. Two of the important Buddhist yearly holidays are Vesak, the Buddha's birthday celebrated in May or June and Bodhi Day, the holiday which commemorates the day that Buddha experienced enlightenment under a Bodhi tree in December. Eating certain foods on an auspicious day will bring one good fortune throughout the year.

What Are Their Needs?

The Vellidura need to hear a presentation of the gospel which they can understand. They must see that they are sinners in need of forgiveness. Only Jesus can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life. The Vellidura would also benefit from learning new job skills.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send workers to the Vellidura to tell them about Jesus. Pray the Lord creates a spiritual hunger in the hearts of the Vellidura that longs for biblical truth. Ask God to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the Vellidura of Sri Lanka in this decade. Pray that the Sinhalese Bible gets into the hands of the Vellidura.

Scripture Prayers for the Vellidura in Sri Lanka.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Vellidura
People Name in Country Vellidura
Alternate Names वेल्लिदुरा
Population this Country 1,300
Population all Countries 1,300
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 21449
ROP3 Code 118266
ROP25 Code 308593
ROP25 Name Vellidura
Country Sri Lanka
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Sri Lanka
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Total States 1
  Central 1,300
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
* From latest Sri Lanka census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Sinhala (1,300 speakers)
Language Code sin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Sinhala (1,300 speakers)
Language Code sin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Sinhala

Primary Language:  Sinhala

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1739-1966)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1776-1991)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1823-2009)
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Sinhala Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Sinhala YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Sinhala YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Sinhala Literacy & Evangelism International
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Text / Printed Matter Topical Scripture booklets and Bible studies World Missionary Press
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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