Buddhism & Meditation

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Sacred places

   Other Buddhist sites    Other Religious Places  

 Other Buddhist Sites in Sri Lanka 

kiriwehera   weurukannala   mulgirigala-temple-1   buduruwagala-2    kirinda  
Kiriwehera   Wewrukannala   Mulkirigala   Buduruwagala   Kirinda  
tissamaharama-32-420x294   sithulpawwa    weherhena-vihara-Talalla-Retreat-Sr-Lanka   maligawila-1    Nagadeepa5    
 Thissamaharamaya    Sithulpawwa    Veherahena    Maligawila    Nagadeepaya  
girihadusaya   somawathie-2   Dimbulagala Temple2    seruwawila    kandevihare  
Girihadu Seya   Somawathiya   Dibulagala   Seruwawila   Kande Viharaya   


 Kirivehera Temple - Katharagama


Kiri Vehera - Katharagama  

The history of Sri Lanka beginning from the 3rd Century B.C. to 18th Century A.D. is one of the best documented. Our island has a collection of historical chronicles and religious writings which have no parallel in South Asia. Pre-eminent is the great chronicle the Mahawansa written in the early years of the 6th century.

However, there are a large number of stories believed as history but mainly legend now ingrained in the minds of the people as truth. Kataragama has a history beginning from the time of Buddha’s third visit to Lanka in the 6th century B.C. during the reign of sub-king Mahaghosha.

Buddha is said to have visited Kataragama after a stop at Digavapi and meditated there to sanctify the place. The present Mangala Maha Cetiya or Kiri Vehera is supposed to have been put up at the spot where Buddha had sat. Some of the Kshatriya nobles who accompanied Vijaya to Lanka in 543 B.C. settled down and ruled there. Mahawansa records the name of the village as Kajara-Gama (p. 132-54), meaning the village flourishing with paddy fields.


Kiri Vehera is one of the five most important sites of worship in the city along with the Maha Bodhi, Kataragama Devalaya, Sella Kataragama and Vedihitikanda. The dagoba is also described in the stanzas as one of 16 most important pilgrimage sites in Sri Lanka. The 95 ft. tall Kiri Vehera has a circumference of 280 feet. It is milky white in colour, hence the name. It is situated near the well known Menik Ganga

There are many theories on the origin of the dagoba. Some believe it was built by Parakramabahu the Great of Polonnaruwa during the Third Century BC, on the request of Queen Subadra. Some think that it was first built by a local ruler named Mahasena on a site made hallowed by the Buddha’s visit.

Some believe that the vihara was originally known as Magul Maha Seya and although there are no clues as to who built it, the bricks used in the construction bear Brahmin inscriptions which point to King Mahanaga’s reign during the Third Century BC. Some records even date it to the first century BC.

The Buddha is believed to have paid a visit to Kataragama during His third visit to Sri Lanka. The Kiri Vehera is said to enshrine the golden seat the Buddha sat on during His sermon, a lock of His hair and the royal sword — magul kaduwa with which Prince Siddhartha cut off His hair at the Great Renunciation

The Buddha is believed to have paid a visit to Kataragama during His third visit to Sri Lanka. The Kiri Vehera is said to enshrine the golden seat the Buddha sat on during His sermon, a lock of His hair and the royal sword — magul kaduwa with which Prince Siddhartha cut off His hair at the Great Renunciation .

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Wewurukannala Viharaya - Matara   

Wewrukannala Viharaya  

15 miles east of Matara is the town of Dikwella, where there is one of the most amazing Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. The Wewurukannala Vihara temple is dominated by an image of a seated Buddha. It is 160ft high, the largest statue in all of Sri Lanka and dates back to the time of King Rajadhi (1782 - 1798).

The temple has three parts, the oldest being about 250 years old; however this is of no particular interest. The next part has life size models of demons and sinners shown in graphic detail. If you don't follow the path to enlightenment this is what happens to you. Punishments include being drowned in boiling cauldrons, sawn in half, disemboweled and so on. Finally there is the enormous seated Buddha that is as high as an eight-storied building. The temple walls show you the path towards enlightenment by depicting hundreds of comic strip representations of events in the Buddha's life. Among one of the episodes is the Chulla Dhammapala Jataka. It tells the story of how King Maha Prathapa of Varanasi on entering the palace found the queen cuddling her seven month old child. After ignoring him the King was left insulted so ordered that the prince be executed and the body be thrown into the air. Several Jataka Stories are also amid the paintings, which where selected for Vesak stamps in 1991. One depicts The Kattahari Jataka showing Prince Kastavahana, son of King Bragmadatta resting with his entourage.

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Mulkirigala - Tangalla


Mulkirigala - Tangalla


Mulgirigala is an imposing rock with some remarkable cave temples located 13 miles (21 kms) from the town of Tangalle. These cave temples are of great historical importance for many reasons, but mostly because it was here in 1826 that George Turnour, a British civil servant, found in the temple library the document that enabled scholars to translate the Mahawamsa, the island's ancient chronicle. 




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Buduruwagala Rock Sculptures - Monaragala



Located 5kms south of Wellawaya a side road branches west off the road to Tissa to the rock cut Buddha figures of Buduruwagala. Buduruwagala means stone images of Buddha. The figures dates back to 10th century AD, and are of the Mahayana Buddhist School. The gigantic Buddha statue still bears traces of its original stuccoed robe and a long streak of orange suggests it was once brightly painted. The central of the three figures to the Buddha’s right is thought to be the Buddhist mythological figure, the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. To the left of this white painted figure is a female figure in the thrice-bent posture, who is thought to be his consort, Tara. The three figures on the Buddha’s left appear to an inexpert eye to be of a rather different style. One of them is holding up the hourglass shaped Tibetan thunderbolt symbol known as a dorje – an unusual example of the Tantric side of Buddhism in SriLanka. One of them is said to be Maitreya, the figure Buddha , while another is Vishnu

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Kirinda Temple - Kataragama

Kirinda Temple   

Kirinda is a beautiful place visited by thousands of pilgrims each year. The ancient temple is sited atop a rocky outcrop from which one can obtain magnificent views of the desolate coast with its long stretch of sand dunes and the ocean beyond. On a clear day, the light house on the Great Basses reef appears like a needle in the far distance.With the atmosphere of its magnificent setting aside the sea, Kirinda is the appropriate setting of one of those popular legends that constitute early Sri Lankan history. Legend recounts that Kirinda was the place where Princess Viharamahadevi drifted ashore after being sacrificed to the sea to atone for her father's, King Kelanitissa, sacrilegious act of killing a monk by putting him in a cauldron of boiling oil. After receiving the Princess,King Kavantissa, who was the ruler of Ruhuna at that time, married the young princess and the couple eventually had 2 sons. Dutugemunu, the eldest son of Viharamahadevi became one of the legends in Sri Lankan history.  


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 Tissamaharama Temple - Tissamaharamaya


The Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is a Buddhist temple in Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka. It was built in the 2nd century BC by King Kavan Tissa of Ruhuna (Southern Sri Lanka). The site was consecrated by Lord Buddha himself, who spent some time in meditation there with 500 arhats (individuals who have reached enlightenment). The Tissamaharama Dagoba which is situated in the premises of Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is one of the largest stupas in Sri Lanka. A stupa is a Buddhist dome-shaped religious monument found largely on the Indian subcontinent and also called a dagoba in Sri Lanka.  



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Sithulpawwa Temple - Kataragama


Sithulpawwa rock temple is historically significant and identified as one of the greatest 2nd century sites of Buddhist scholarship. With a history of over 2200 years, this is an ancient place of worship in the Hambantota district. The modern name Sithulpawwa is derived from the ancient ‘Cittalpabbata’, ‘The hill of the quiet mind’. It is said that in the 1st century AD as many as 12,000 Arahants lived here (monks that have achieved the highest mind level in Buddhism). Unlike the great monasteries in Anuradhapura and other towns, life at Sithulpawwa was hard and a monk or nun lived there only if they were interested in silence and solitude. Located opposite the Maha Sithulpawwa rock which is 400 feet (122M) in height is a cave temple. This cave temple, which is 67 feet high and 30 feet long, is part of the intricate cave-complex at Sithulpawwa.  

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 Veherahena Temple – Matara


Weherahena ( Veherahena) is popular temple among the buddhist pilgrims. Although there is nothing of historical significance, the story of the temple is quite interesting. In addition, the temple is said be the largest and the first tunnel temple in the world. The even though it is said this temple was adobe to arhath bikkus in the ancient Sri Lanka, the story of the temple starts during the early part of the 20th centaury. The Most Rev. Parawahera Rewatha Thero was sent to Weherahena area in the early part of centaury as a punishment by his teacher. Weherahena was just a mound of 1/2 acre of think Jungle with only a Bodhi Tree. It is said that Ven. Revatha Thero came only with an blanket, mattress and the bowl.  


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Maligawila Buddha Statue – Moneragala


Maligawila Budda Statue  

The Maligawila Buddha statue is a standing figure of the Buddha in Sri Lanka, which has been carved out of a large limestone rock during the 7th century by a prince named Aggabodhi. It is the tallest free-standing ancient statue of the Buddha found in the country. It had been broken into several pieces by the time it was found in 1951. The statue was reconstructed and raised again in 1980 under the direction of the then president Ranasinghe Premadasa.  





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Nagadeepaya – Jaffna

Nagadeepa temple  

Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Jaffna district of Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It is among the country's sixteen or seventeen holiest Buddhist shrines (Solosmasthana). According to contemporary history, the Gautama Buddha visited the site after five years of attaining Enlightenment to settle the dispute between two warring Naga kings, Chulodara and Mahodara. Ancient history according to the Mahavamsa chronicles and the Tamil Buddhist epic Manimekalai mentions a gem-studded throne and a stone with the Buddha’s footprint at the island Nainativu, (also known as Nagadeepa) which pilgrims from India visited.  


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Thiriyaia Girihadu Seya Temple – Trincomalee

Girihadu seya Temple  

Girihadu seya is considered as the first Dageba in Sri Lanka, done by Thapassue Balluka Merchants. This is located in Thiriyaya close to Trincomalee Pulmoddi road. Load Buddha spent 7 weeks ( sath Sathiya) after his enlightenment ( This is around 528 BC) and End of that period, the 50th day two brother merchants call "Thapassu Ballula" offered the first dana ( alms giving). After the Dana, they requested some thing to warship and received "Sacred Kesha Datu"(lock of hair relic) . Those merchants used to travel different parts in the region and came to Sri Lanka also. One day they stayed in this area and kept this relic container on top of a rock and went to the suburb area for the business. On their arrival they found that the container cannot be moved and decided to build a pagoda enshrining the hair relic. Now this is call Girihadu Seya.  

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 Somawathiya Temple – Polonnaruwa

Somawathiya Temple  

Somawathi Chaithya was built in 2nd century BC and this stupa is said to enshrine the right Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. The Somawathi Chaithya is located about 20 km north east of Polonnaruwa, by the bank of the Mahaveli River ("The River of Great Sands") within the Sanctuary. The flood plains of Mahaveli River have been inhibited by a large number of wild animals ranging from elephants, wild buffalo, deer and other animals. This Chaithya(Pagoda) had been abandoned more than fifteen years due to the threat by war.
According to the ancient chronicles of Sri Lanka state that the very first Arahant of this country Ven. Aritta, visited the abode of Gods and brought back to Sri Lanka the Sacred Right Tooth of the Buddha. This Sacred Relic was handed to king Giri Abha and his consort Queen Somawathiya who was King Kavantissa's sister. Queen Somawathie dedicated to construct a Stupa in adoration of the Buddha at Somapura with consent of Arahath Mahinda and the King Giri Abha. It is believed that one of the only two tooth relics of Buddha existing in the world is at the Somawathiya and the other one is at the Dalada Maligawa, Kandy.  


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Dimbulagala Raja Maha Viharaya – Polonnaruwa

dimbulagala stupa 02  
Dibulagala Stupa  

Dimbulagala Raja Maha Vihara is situated 16 kilometres south east of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. The Dimbulagala range houses a number of caves cut into the rock with Brahmi inscriptions over their drip ledges. This forest hermitage of medieval times and holy abode since time immemorial, home to some of the most valued fragments of early frescoes was called the Gunners Quoin by the British . 








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 Seruvila Temple – Trincomalee

Seruvila Teple  

The Seruwila is in the Seruwila village of the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Seruwila in Trincomalee District. Seru, a provincial kingdom had been established in Seruwawila in about the 2nd c.B.C. King Kavantissa is said to have built a dagoba enshrining the frontal bone relics of the Buddha an had been identified as the Seruwila Dagoba. The ruins of ancient buildings are visible in the vicinity of the precincts. Recently some ancient caves and two rock-cut Buddha statues have been discovered in this site.  



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 Kande Viharaya - Beruwala

Kande Viharaya  

The tallest sitting Buddha statue in the world(48m / 160ft)is situated at Kande Viharaya at Beruwal Sri Lanka. The building of the Kande Viharaya was initiated way back in 1734 by the Ven. Dedduwa Dhammananda Thero, an understudy of the most Ven. Weliwita Sri Saranankara Nayaka Thero. Thousands of devotees flock the holy grounds of the Kande Viharaya daily, seeking mental & spiritual relief from all the troubles & worries of day to day life. The tranquility and serenity that the Kande Viharaya brings into your heart, mind, body & soul cannot be expressed or described with words. It has got to be experienced.The "Kshethrarama Pirivena" founded by the Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thero in 1904 is also located within the Kande Viharaya premises. This acts as a vital centre in Buddhist eduction in the country.  

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