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temples in Sri Lanka
Written by Shrinivas on May 13, 2021 Share on

10 Best Temples in Sri Lanka: A Guide to Must-Visit Sri Lankan Temples

Sri Lanka is a nation in South Asia, some 20 miles off India’s southern coast. The highly educated country is well known for its many natural resources, from which they grow coffee, tea, rubber, coconuts, cinnamon, and many other products. In addition, the country is an island with one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations due to its stunning forests, beaches, and scenery, as well as its rich cultural heritage. Sri Lanka is home to a plethora of impressive worship sites for Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and many Hindus. With a long and rich tradition of the Hindu and Buddhist religions, there are many Buddhist and Hindu temples in Sri Lanka.

Also read: Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka for a memorable Vacation

Hindu temple in Sri lanka
Source: Unsplash

10 Best Temples in Sri Lanka

  1. Sri Dalada Maligawa – The Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic 
  2. Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple
  3. Kataragama Temple – Kataragama
  4. Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara
  5. Sri Vajiraramaya Temple – Colombo
  6. Buduruwagala
  7. Dambulla Royal Cave Temple
  8. Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil – Colombo
  9. Naguleswaram Temple
  10. Isipathanaramaya Temple
 

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1. Sri Dalada Maligawa – The Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic

Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, is located in Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is housed inside the royal palace complex and is said to house a tooth from none other than the Buddha himself. Since ancient times, the relic has played a significant role in local politics since it is assumed that whoever owns the relic controls the country’s government. Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhalese kings and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks in part to the temple. The temple that houses the Buddha’s Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the holiest shrines in the entire Buddhist world.

Sacred Tooth Relic Temple
Source: Unsplash

2.  Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple

Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple, surrounded by intriguing stories, was commissioned by an 8th century Chola Princess in homage to the God Murugan for curing her sickness and horse-like disfigurement. Because of this, legend has it that this temple in Sri Lanka and the surrounding area is called Maviddapuram, which translates as “the holy city where the horse-face was removed.” While the temple was restored several times, the current temple dates from the 17th century, making it an important part of Sri Lanka’s history.

3. Kataragama Temple

It is another one of the most ancient temples in Sri Lanka, constructed for Hindus and dedicated to Lord Karthikeya Subramaniam. Lord Karthikeya was summoned to the battlefield by Lord Indra on the final day of the war – a fascinating fact about this shrine. This was done to shield Lord Rama from the wrath of King Ravana, who had fired Brahma Ashram. To worship comfortably, it is best to visit the Kataragama temple in Sri Lanka during the offseason on weekdays.

4. Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara

Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara is one of the ancient Buddhist Temples in Sri Lanka that is thought to be the location of Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. It is also one of the 16 holiest sites for Buddhists in Sri Lanka that Buddha visited and is known as Solosmasthana. This is one of the temples in Sri Lanka, declared an archaeological site by the Sri Lankan government, is regarded as a striking example of the country’s architecture.

Buddha temple in Sri lanka
Source: Unsplash

5. Sri Vajiraramaya Temple – Colombo

Vajiraramaya Temple is located on Colombo’s Vajira Road. It is without a doubt one of the most ornately adorned Buddhist temples in the Sri Lanka. This is the location from which various communities of monks have taken on the task of transmitting the religion’s message to western countries, as well as a base of Buddhist learning for over a century. It not only has grand Buddha statues or stunning architecture, but the temple is beautifully built, grand in nature, and has a deafening silence associated with it. However, you can also whisper in the shrine. On weekends, a temple serves as a learning center for hundreds of Buddhist children in the form of a kindergarten.

6. Buduruwagala

Buduruwagala is a rock temple from the 9th or 10th Centyrt. It is made up of seven ancient Buddhist figures that have been carved into the face of a high mountain. The tallest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka is 51 feet tall, making it the tallest in the country. The massive Buddha figure stands in the middle of the cliff face, flanked on both sides by three smaller statues. The Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, the Goddess Tara, and Prince Sudhana are depicted on the right, while the Maitree Bodhisattva and Vajrapani Bodhisattva are depicted on the left. These are Buddhist personalities from the Mahayana school of thought.

7. Dambulla Royal Cave Temple

Image credits: Pixabay

Via the Golden mouth of a lion-like Beast and a short walk up a hill are five stunning caves that house some of the most majestic temples in Sri Lanka. Larger-than-life Buddha sculptures and intricate, colorful portraits of Buddha can be found in the caves. Visitors will stroll along colonial-style outdoor corridors that link the caves to man-made lily ponds. This has been a Buddhist pilgrimage site for over two centuries. The place, which dates back to the first century BC, is now inhabited by Buddhist monks who oversee the land.

8. Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil – Colombo

It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and built with South Indian granite. It is one of the most famous temples in Sri Lanka. The temple seems to be highly inspired by a high dome, similar to the Srikalahasti Temple in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is also one of the world’s holiest and most ancient Hindu temples.

Also read: 10 Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka On Your Trip in 2021

9. Naguleswaram Temple

This is one of the most well-known temples in Sri Lanka, where the Hindu god Shiva is worshipped. This temple, located in front of the Keerimalai Holy Water spring, also provides a special soul-cleansing ceremony, which should be preceded by a bath in the sacred pond.

10. Isipathanaramaya Temple

It was founded in 1916 by wealthy merchant Duenuge Disan Pedris in memory of his only son Henry Pedris, who was executed by British authorities in 1915 for alleged incitement of ethnic disturbances (which were proven false). The temple was built on 4.9 acres of land acquired by Pedris in 1905. The temple is well-known for providing visitors with a peaceful environment.

Temple in sri lanka
Source: Unsplash
 

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Looking to plan ahead for your next vacation and explore the most enchanting temples in Sri Lanka? Look no further, start planning your journey with the aid of your professional guides, or check out the preset Sri Lanka holiday packages from the Global travel agency Pickyourtrail. Log on to www.pickyourtrail.com.

Also read: The Do’s and Don’ts guide for your Srilanka vacation

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