Most venerated Buddhist temples - In Western Province, Sri Lanka

Tripoto
1st Feb 2018

Sri Lanka has many interesting and at times peculiar sights to offer, but one of the most intriguing things is the many Buddhist temples on the island.

Day 1

Gangaramaya Temple, Colombo

Photo of Gangaramaya Temple, Sri Jinarathana Rd, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Pushpitha Wijesinghe

vivali, Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple - panoramio (1), CC BY 3.0

This temple is not at all ancient like the ones generally associated with the island but is still a very important religious institution. The initial incarnation of the temple was built sometime in the 19th century and was slowly expanded and modified to form the temple that stands today. The Gangaramaya Temple is not only a place of worship but also a place of learning. There are many notable scholars who once called this temple their home.

The temple is located neat Beira Lake, in the centre of Colombo and houses a monastery, pagoda, shrine room, Bodhi tree and relic chamber. There are myriad of statues and images the temple to enchant the visitors.

Most notable feature of the temple is the museum which contains an assortment of stone and marble works from various countries such as Germany, China, Australia.

Day 2

Kande Viharaya, Aluthgama

The Samadhi Buddha statue in Kande Viharaya ©Travel Kalutara

Photo of Kande Viharaya Temple, Kolonnawa, Sri Lanka by Pushpitha Wijesinghe

Built in 1734, the Kande Viharaya had sections added to it in 2009, notably elements that were similar to the Sanchi Stupa in India. The Kande Viharaya itself has been in existence since the 18th century, acting as a symbol of resilience against the colonial powers and the toughness of the people of its town.

Located 03 from the coastal city Aluthgama, Kande viharaya is frequented by locals due to the prominent place it holds in the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. The temple is further adorned by the tallest sitting Buddha statue in South Asia. The temple’s shrine room is decorated with age old paintings depicting.

Day 3

Kalutara Temple, Kalutara

Sri Lanka's first hollow stupa, Kalutara Chaithya ©Travel Kalutara

Photo of Kalutara Bodhiya, Galle Road, Kalutara, Sri Lanka by Pushpitha Wijesinghe

This temple is regarded as being one of the most important in the country and is one of few that are situated close to Colombo. Its architecture is strikingly beautiful, and many location-specific travel blogs the likes of Travel Kalutara definitely suggest that a traveller check out this temple. The prominent feature of the temple is Kalutara Bodhiya which has a history of it’s own. It is considered grown from a sapling of Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi in Anuradpaura.

The icon of the Kalutara city is the Kalutara Chaithya, which is a pioneering project of Sri Lankan engineering. It is the first hollow stupa ever constructed in Sri Lanka. There are only two hollow stupas in Sri Lanka. Mahaweli Maha Seya being the other one. Inside the Chaithya there are paintings depicting the jataka stories of Lord Buddha covering the circumference of the chaithya.

Kalutara temple is one of the most venerated temple on the Island and many Buddhists stops here to offer a donations to the box and obtain blessings.

Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya, Kelaniya

Photo of Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Pushpitha Wijesinghe

Michael Gunther, Kelaniya 001, CC BY-SA 4.0

This is another prominent Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka and is about 7 kilometres away from Colombo. Travellers can get here easily by following Kandy road. This sacred place is considered one the 03 places that Lord Buddha visited on his journey to Sri Lanka. The temple is located near the Kelani river and boasts a magnificent high roofed shrine room adorned with exquisite arts depicting Buddhist history in Sri Lanka. Its Stupa is also a unique structure built using rare formation.

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