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Sacred places

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 Buddhist Sacred Places to visit in Sri Lanka 

mahiyanganaya   Kelaniya Temple2    AdamsPwakAreil view    srimahabodi    Zahntempel Kandy  
Mahiyanganaya Temple    Kelaniya Temple   Sri Padaya (Adam's Peak)   Jaya Sri Maha Bodiya


3289438066 bb23c4f4b6   entrancealuwihare   anuradhapura   sri-lanka-polonnaruwa-gal-viharaya   80-dambulla-cave-temple  
Mihintalaya     Alu Viharaya Mathale      Anuradhapuraya    Plonnaruwa     Dambulla Temple    

Sacred places where Lord Buddha visited in Sri Lanka 

  1st Visit Mahiyanganaya Temple – Mahiyanganaya

Mahiyangana Stupa  

This Chetiya (stupa) was built during the lifetime of Lord Buddha enshrining the lock of hair given by Him to God Saman at the occasion of His first visit to Sri Lanka, 9 months after attaining enlightenment. It is the first ever stupa to be constructed in Sri Lanka.
It was enlarged by Arhat Sarabhu to Chetiya 12 cubits high after receiving and enshrining the collar bone relic of the Buddha taken from the funeral pyre. The son of King Devanampiyatissa's brother, for greater protection, covered it over and made it thirty cubits high. King Dutugemunu - (161-137 BC) dwelling there, while fighting the invading forces of the Tamils, enlarged it to eighty cubits high. It was subsequently rebuilt by Vijayabahu 1

(1055-1110 CE) and restored again during modern times.


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2nd Visit – Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya – Kelaniya

Kelaniya Temple  
Kelaniya Temple   

Kelaniya's history is first recorded at the time of Gautama Buddha (5th century BCE) and it is known for the Buddhist temple built on the banks of the Kelani River. Sri Lankan Buddhists believe that the Lord Buddha visited Kelaniya in order to quell a quarrel between two Nāga leaders of two warring factions: Chulodara (literally "the small-bellied one") and Mahodara (literally "the big-bellied one"). They were quarrelling over a jewel-encrusted throne. After the Lord Buddha showed them the futility of their quarrel they converted to Buddhism and together offered the throne to the Lord Buddha. It is believed that the Dagoba (pagoda or Buddhist temple) seen today was built with the throne as a relic inside.

   Arts in Kelaniya Temple

The town is also of historical importance as the capital of a provincial king Kelani Tissa (1st century BCE) whose daughter, Vihara Maha Devi was the mother of king Dutu Gemunu, regarded as the most illustrious of the 186 or so kings of Sri Lanka between the 5th century BCE and 1815.
Around the 15th century, Kelaniya was described in the Sandesa Kavyas as a beautiful city. Of late Kelaniya Temple has become famous because of the beautiful paintings and sculpture by Solias Mendis depicting various events in the history of Sri Lanka. Thousands of Buddhists come to see the Buddhist pageant of Kelaniya popularly referred to as Duruthu Maha Perahera of Kelaniya in the month of November/December every year.


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3rd Visit – Sri Padaya (Adam’s Peak) – Rathnapura/ Hatton

AdamsPwakAreil view  
Sri Pada View    

It is not Sri Pada's geological particularities or natural beauty that has made it so famous but something else altogether. On the summit of the mountain is a boulder with a mysterious mark or indentation on it resembling a human footprint. Since from perhaps as early as the first century BCE the Sinhalese believed this mark to be the footprint of the Lord Buddha himself. According to the Mahavamsa, the Lord Buddha visited the island three times. During his last sojourn he flew from Kelaniya to Sri Pada, leaving the impression of his foot on the mountain top, and then left for Dighavapi. Whether the Lord Buddha's journey to Sri Lanka is true or not as a metaphor it is very true. The Lord Buddha's teaching has left its impression on every aspect of Sri Lankan life as surely and as indelibly as if it had been engraved in stone. Legend says that after King Valagambha was driven from his throne in 104 BCE, he lived in a remote forest wilderness for 14 years. On one occasion while stalking a deer he was led up the mountain and discovered the sacred footprint. The gods revealed to him that it had been made by the Buddha. The legend of the Buddha's visits to Sri Lanka is not; it should be noted, confined to the Theravada tradition. The Lankavatara Sutra, the seminal text of the Ch'an and Zen schools of Buddhism, was supposedly taught by the Buddha while residing on Malayagiri, "which shone like a jewel lotus, immaculate and shining in splendour". The Chrakasamvara Tantra mentions the Buddha flying to Lanka and leaving the impression of his foot on a mountain which it doesn't name but which at least one contemporary Tibetan scholar has mistakenly identified as Mount Kailash in the western Himalayas. While Buddhists knew that this mysterious footprint had been made by the Buddha in succeeding centuries other faiths, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity were to lay claim to it also. A 15th century Chinese work says the footprint was made by Pwan-ko, the primordial man of Chinese mythology. South Indian Hindus believed it had been made by Shiva. Moses of Chorene never saw the footprint himself but proclaimed that it had been made by the Devil. The Portuguese could never quite make up their minds whether it had been made by Adam, St Thomas or the eunuch of Candace, Queen of Sheba, although they never doubted its veracity. Ibn Batuta mentioned that sometime before his visit the Chinese had come and cut the mark of the big toe out of the rock and enshrined in a temple in China "where it is visited by people from the farthest parts of the land". An early Thai king sent monks to Sri Lanka to make an impression of the footprint and then had copies made in bronze and distributed all around his kingdom. (See above: copy of the Buddha's Footprint from Sri Pada, Sukhodaya style, 14th century). The famous statue of the Buddha from Sukhodaya with its beautiful flowing lines, does not depict him walking, as is commonly supposed, but him making the mark of his foot on Sri Pada.

   Sun Rise in Sri Pada

With shipping lanes through South East Asia becoming more reliable after the 5th century CE this became the favoured route for Indian and Chinese Buddhist monks and nuns going to each others country. Such missionaries and pilgrims often stopped off in Sri Lanka to visit the island's many shrines. The famous Chinese pilgrim Fa Hien stayed in Sri Lanka in 411-12 and mentions Sri Pada in his travelogue, although it is not clear whether he actually went there. The Indian monk Punyopaya "climbed Mount Lanka" while on his way to China in 655. At about the same time the Kashmiri monk Vajrabodhi visited Sri Lanka and after a six month stay in Anuradapura, set out for Sri Pada. "When at last he reached the foot of the mountain, he found the country wild, inhabited by wild beasts and extraordinary rich in precious stones." Like many pilgrims Vajrabodhi was moved by the spectacular view from the mountain's top. "After long waiting, he was able to climb to the summit and contemplate the impression of the Buddha's foot. From the top he saw to the north west the kingdom of Ceylon and on the other side the ocean". In 1411 the grand fleet of the emperor of China commanded by the eunuch admiral Ch'ing-ho, arrived in Galle harbour to offer gifts to the sacred footprint on the emperor behalf. According to the inscription Ch'ing-ho later set up to record his mission, the gifts included " 1000 pieces of gold, 5000 pieces of silver, 50 rolls of embroided multicolored silk, 4 pairs of jewelled banners, 5 antique incense burners, 6 pairs of gold lotuses, 25000 catties of perfumed oil" and numerous other things. In 1423 a large group of Thai and Cambodian monks who were in Sri Lanka studying and collecting texts climbed the sacred mountain before returning to their homelands. The leader of this group made a copy of the footprint and took back to Thailand with him. At the beginning of the 16th century the Portuguese conquered Sri Lanka's maritime provinces and forbade Buddhists living under their jurisdiction and those coming from overseas from going to Sri Pada. By way of contrast, the king of Kandy in whose realm the mountain was situated, allowed Christians to enter his territory to make the pilgrimage. When the Dutch took over the maritime provinces in 1656 they proved to be less bigoted than the

Worship Sri Pada  

Portuguese but fear that pilgrims might act as spies for the king of Kandy led them, if not to ban, then at least to discourage visits by levying a heavy tax on pilgrims .For nearly two centuries Sinhalese Buddhists living in the low country could see the sacred mountain, worship it from afar but not go there.



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Sacred place where a sapling from the original Bodhi Tree under which the historical Lord Buddha became Enlightened. 

Jaya Sri Maha Bodiya Anuradapura  

Sri Maha Bodhi is a Sacred Fig tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be a sapling from the original Bodhi tree under which the historical Buddha became enlightened. It was planted in 288 BC, and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date.
It was planted on a high terrace about 6.5 m above the ground and surrounded by railings, and today it is one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and respected by Buddhists all over the world. This wall was constructed during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha, to protect it from wild elephants which might have attacked the tree.
The tree is said to be the southern branch of the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi at Bodh Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment.
In the 3rd century BCE, the Buddha's fig tree was brought to Sri Lanka by the Theri Sangamitta (Pali; Skt.: Sanghamitra), daughter of Emperor Asoka and founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. In 249 BCE, Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi was planted in the Mahameghavana Park in Anuradhapura by King Devanampiyatissa.
 in Degaldoruwa has been drawn by Dewaragampola Silwath thena a Buddhist Monk.

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