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RELIGIUS SITES

RELIGIOUS SITES KANDY

Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka located in the Central Province. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka.The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.

RELIGIOUS SITES KATARAGAMA

Kataragama is a pilgrimage town sacred to Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and indigenous Vedda people of Sri Lanka. People from South India also go there to worship. The town has the Kataragama temple, a shrine dedicated to Skanda Kumara also known as Kataragama deviyo. Kataragama is located in the Monaragala District of Uva province, Sri Lanka. It is 228 km ESE of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Although Kataragama was a small village in medieval times, today it is a fast-developing township surrounded by jungle in the southeastern region of Sri Lanka.

The ancient Kiri Vehera Buddhist stupa, which is believed to be built by the regional king Mahasena in the 6th century BC is also a major attraction in Kataragama area. The town has a venerable history dating back to the last centuries BCE. It was the seat of government of many Sinhalese kings during the days of Rohana kingdom. Since the 1950s the city has undergone many improvements with successive governments investing in public transportation, medical facilities, and business development and hotel services. It adjoins the popular Yala National Park.

RELIGIOUS SITES THISSAMAHARAMA

Tissamaharama is a town in Hambantota District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka.

It used to be the capital of the Sinhalese Kingdom of Ruhuna as early as the 3rd century B.C. Only few buildings from that period can still be seen today. The presence ordinary early Tamils in Tissamaharama was confirmed following archaeological excavations in 2010. The Tissamaharama Tamil Brahmi inscription, a fragment of black and red ware flat dish inscribed in Tamil in the Tamil Brahmi script was excavated at the earliest layer in the southern town.

The large artificial Tissa Wewa lake, which was a part of a sophisticated irrigation system, also dates from that time.There are five main lakes in the vicinity of Tissamaharama: Tissa Wewa; Yoda Wewa; Weerawila Wewa; Pannegamuwa Wewa; and Debarawewa Wewa.

Today, the town mainly serves as a starting point for visits to Yala National Park and Kataragama.

RELIGIOUS SITES KIRINDA

Kirinda is a coastal village in Sri Lanka. It is located in the Southern Province.

RELIGIOUS SITES WEHERAHENA

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.

He managed to get the villagers organised and built a small clay house for him self but soon came with a grand idea of building the largest buddha statue in the world. He also wanted to build a tunnel temple as in ummaga jathaka story.

RELIGIOUS SITES KELANIYA RAJA

The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, seven miles from Colombo. The Chief Incumbent (Chief Priest) is Venerable Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Thera.

Buddhists believe the temple to have been hallowed during the third and final visit of the Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka, eight years after gaining enlightenment. Its history would thus go back to before 500 BCE.

The Mahawansa records that the original Stupa at Kelaniya enshrined a gem-studded throne on which the Buddha sat and preached.

The temple flourished during the Kotte era but much of its land was confiscated during the Portuguese empire. Under the Dutch empire, however, there were new gifts of land and under the patronage of King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha the temple was rebuilt. It was refurbished in the first half of the 20th century with the help of Helena Wijewardana.

The temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Gautama Buddha and paintings by the native artist Solias Mendis which depict important events in the life of the Buddha, in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, also incidents from the Jataka tales. It is the venue for the Duruthu Maha Perehera procession each January. An 18-foot stone statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara has been erected at the temple.

RELIGIOUS SITES BELLANWILA

Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Bellanwila, Colombo District, Sri Lanka.Located around 12 km south to the Colombo city, near Dehiwala - Maharagama road, the temple attracts hundreds of devotees daily and is famous for its annual Esala Perehera festival which usually takes place in the month of August or September. One of the most venerated Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, many devotees flock to worship the sacred Bo tree of Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara, which is considered to be one of the first offshoots of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.The present chief incumbent of Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara is Ven. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka Thera.

RELIGIOUS SITES KALUTARA BODHI

Kalutara Bodhiya is a Bodhi tree located in Kalutara, Western Province of Sri Lanka. Situated on the Galle Colombo main road, by the side of Kalu River just south to the Kalutara city, it is believed to be one of the 32 saplings of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.A Buddhist temple Kalutara Viharaya and a modern Stupa, Kalutara Chaitya are located in close proximity to this sacred fig.One of the most venerated religious place in Sri Lanka, hundreds of Buddhists visit this religious place daily.

RELIGIOUS SITES DAMBULLA

Eight sites of Sri Lanka have been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage, namely, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa (1982), the ancient city of Sigiriya (1982), the Golden Temple of Dambulla (1991), the old town of Galle and its fortifications (1988), the sacred city of Anuradhapura (1982), the sacred city of Kandy (1988), Sinharaja Forest Reserve (1988) and the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka (2010).