In the Modern Period

After the death of Mr. Don Walter Wijewardene in 1939, his brother Mr. D. C. Wijewardene took over the activities of the temple. He attended to the work that was left undone. He was succeeded by Mr. Upali Wijewardene, the son of Mr. Don Walter Wijewardene in 1965.

It was he, who erected the present belfry at the temple premises at his own expense in memory of his beloved mother the late Mrs. Anula Kalyanawathie Wijewardene. He also renovated the Vibhisana Devale and gave it a new appearance.

The family succession then went to Prof. Stanley Wijesundera, the husband of Mrs. Anoja Wijewardene, Mr. Don Walter Wijewardene's elder daughter (Upali’s sister) functioned as Chief Basnayake Nilame, until his death in 1989. Mr. Shalitha Wijesundera, their son now functions as the Chief Basnayake Nilame and curator of the Relic Casket when it is carried in the Perahera.

In the year 1952, Kelaniya was declared a sacred city by the Government. The entire scheme was planned to be completed in two stages. The development work in this connection was started in 1962. Accordingly, the shopping and marketing centres were shifted to another locations. Wherever necessary the land around the temple was acquired and alternative lands and residential facilities afforded to those who were thus displaced. Electricity and water supply schemes were provided. New roads for the Perahera routes were laid and the area around the temple was developed to be worthy of a place of worship. In the outer premises in front of the temple lawns were laid and ponds with fountain-jets were constructed. Lamp posts were erected alongside the Perahera route, on either side to illuminate the streets covered by the Perahera.