Arts & Crafts in Sri Lanka


sigiriya fresco  
Sigiri Frescoes   

Arts of Sri Lanka have achieved great heights during the course of history. All art forms like dance, music, sculpture, paintings and architecture have enjoyed development. Influence of Buddhism on the arts of Sri Lanka is obvious as is the impact of India. Originated religious beliefs of the people are the base of Sri Lanka arts. Every phase in the history of Sri Lanka has added some characteristic elements to Sri Lankan arts.



Sculpture and Painting



Buddha Statue


Arts like sculpture and painting in Sri Lanka have always developed under the influence of Buddhism. Most works of sculpture in the country have been of Buddha images. The idols of Buddhas were carved from the living rock of limestone cliffs. Other materials like jade, rock, crystal, marble, emerald, ivory, coral and wood were also used for expressing art. Three main poses of Buddha idols are standing, meditating, and reclining. Sculptors of Sri Lanka were exquisitely skilled. They built idols which symbolised religious beliefs of the Lankans






Handicraftsin Sri Lanka  

Handicrafts in Sri Lanka are made applying age-old technique which have passed from generation to generation for centuries. For producing handicrafts raw materials found abundantly in nature are used. Craftsmen producing handicrafts objects were always patronised by the royal families of Sri Lanka. The handcrafts have now become integral part of the Sri Lankan way of life. These crafts are known for vivid color combinations and are eco-friendly.





Bathiks in

sri Lanka


Batiks of Sri Lanka are of Indonesian origin but of Sri Lankan design. Was resist dyeing technique is employed for making colorful, dramatic fabrics designer garments. The patterns are made on the white cloth. Depending on the pattern and size of the artwork various sessions of boiling and waxing take place. In rural areas so many people earn their livelihood through batiks. Sri Lanka has plenty of colorful batik styles. The batiks are good souvenirs for tourists.

Ebony Work
Fine handicrafts are made using the hard kernel of black wood. Galle has been famous for these crafts for centuries. Using a mallet and a chisel, expert craftsmen can turn a log of wood to a figure of an elephant


Brass Work

Brass Plate   

Several articles are made using brass including lamps, trays, boxes, stands, vases, bagasmats purge, baskets, lampshades, tablemats and chairs. All these cast or wrought brassware items are bedecked with fine carving.




Demon masks

Deman Mask  

Demon masks were once used in demon propitiation and curative rituals. They make colourful and dramatic decoratingg items and are available in range.





Coir Goods

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Coir Goods in Wewaldeniya  

Coconut fiber is used to make coir goods mats and rags. Dumbara mat in Kandy is one of the famous mats in Sri Lanka. Kandian highland is the center of this highly localised craft.





Costume Jewellery

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Gold Ring  

There are two branches of costume jewellery in Galle: Traditional and Kandyan. In conventional jewellery metal is used for binding the stones. However is Kandyan jewellery more metal work is found. A technique called filigree work is employed over silver jewellery. Hairy silver wire is used to make telescopic grains which are welded to the surface. Kandy is known for filigree jewellery which is costly because of hard work involved.





Lacquer ware

Laquer Ware in Sri Lanka  

Lacquerware products are also popular among the tourists. Lacquer ware is conventionally obtained from insect resign gathered from forest. This range includes walking Sticks, bookends, ash- trays, letter - openers and wooden handles.These days imported wax called shallack is used instead of Lac. Objects like vases, walking sticks, jewelery boxes and bowls are made using wax or lac





Lace Table Cloths  

Lace work was introduced by Portuguese in Sri Lanka. Now it has become an indigenous craft. It is also popularly called pillow lace because a pillow like bed is used to make lace. Lace work is undertaken as a means of livelihood in Galle and Matara District.





Pottery Items  

Pottery is one of the oldest handicrafts in Srilanka. About 75% population of Sri Lanka still uses clay utensils for cooking. Apart from the objects used in households, terracotta figures, carved vases etc are also made. Molagoda near Kegalle on the Kandy is the best place to buy these products.






Architecture of Sri Lanka

Architecture in Sri Lanka has always been closely associated with religion first Hinduism and then Buddhism. Buddhism has always been an umbrella under which the architecture of Sri Lanka has evolved. Sri Lanka has also remained under the occupation of the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch and finally the British. All these reigns left their impact on the architecture in Sri Lanka. Colonial legacy can be seen in ancient colonial buildings in the country.

Buddhist architecture

budd Arch  
Kandy Temple  

The most prominent epitome of Buddhist architecture is the dagoba (stupa) scattered everywhere in the Island. The structure is in a shape of dome, often painted in white. It enshrines the Buddha's relics such as hair and tooth. Bricks are used to make the structure which is later covered with plaster. The tradition of building the stupas originated during the reign of Emperor Asoka of India who sent his son Mahendra to Sri Lanka as a Buddhist missionary. Innumerable dagobas emerged on the island. The dagobas can be seen in bubble shape, bell shape, pot shape, the heap of paddy shape, and amalaka shape.


Hindu architecture


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Hindu Temple  

Most Hindu temples in Sri Lanka are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple are known as kovils in Sri Lanka. A Hindu temple usually consists of a prayer hall and shrine room. Shikhara is the central edifice of the Hindu temple. Shikhara is in dome or pyramid shape. It is elaborately adorned with sculptures. The visitors to the temple take circambulate the deity clockwise.




European architecture

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Nuwaraeliya Postoffice

Europian Style


European architecture left considerably influence on the way buildings were made in Sri Lanka. The Portuguese left the tiled-roof building with its verandah, the Catholic churches as well as the forts. Galle fort is an excellent example of Dutch legacy. The British influenced the Dutch with their clerical and secular architectural styles. The British also constructed elegant buildings in hill station like Nuware Eliya.