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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Spectacular Ancient Buddhist Temples in Sri Lanka you must visit -Monuments of Magnificence
Joanna James Joanna James
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Spectacular Ancient Buddhist Temples in Sri Lanka you must visit -Monuments of Magnificence

Among the world cultures, a special mention must be given to that of Sri Lanka as it has managed to produce a range of spectacular creations that are dedicated to Buddhism . Here are some of the best. 🙏


The Ruwanwelisaya

The Ruwanwelisaya

By Rushdy Nisthar (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Considered as a marvel for its architectural qualities, the Ruwanwelisaya is a gigantic stupa in Anuradhapura.

The stupa is one of the top recommendations of many travel guides such as The Vacation Gateway.

It is built by King Dutugemunu who was the great ruler that won back the country from the South Indian Chola invaders. The stupa has other names such as the Swarnamali Chaitya, Mahathupa, Suvarnamali Mahacheti and the Rathnamali Dagaba

The Ruwanwelisaya stands at an impressive 338 feet with a circumference of 951 feet. This amazing height makes the Ruwanwelisaya one of the world's tallest monuments.


The Golden Temple of Dambulla

The Golden Temple of Dambulla

By Jerzy Strzelecki (Own work) GFDL or [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Located in the city of Dambulla, the Golden Temple is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in the country.

The caves were once the refuge of the great Sri Lankan king Valagamba, who hid here during the time he was planning retaliation against foreign invaders.

After gaining control of the country back, King Valagamba, in an act of gratitude to monks who helped him during his troubled times, built the Golden Temple and monastery.

The cave complex contains a total of 80 caves, but only 5 contain the major attractions that range from stunning murals and statues. These are of the Gautama Buddha, god and goddesses and kings, and queens.


Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple

By Dan arndt (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Here is a temple that easy to visit as it is located in Colombo, the commercial capital where the Bandaranaike International Airport is situated in.

The Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important in Colombo because of its eclectic architecture that has Sri Lankan as well as Chinese, Indian and Thai influence. The temple is made up of several buildings that are located by the serene Beira Lake.

Within the temple premises, there are quite a few interesting components that you can visit such as the Vihara (temple), the Vihara Mandiraya, the Cetiya (Pagoda) the Bodhi tree, the Seema Malakaya (assembly hall for monks) and the Relic Chamber.

Every year in the month of February, the temple hosts the Navam Maha Perahera which is an extravagant display of Sri Lanka's culture.


Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya

The only major Buddhist pilgrimage site in the North of the country, the Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya is said to be one of three sites that the Gautama Buddha visited in Sri Lanka.

The Buddha is said to have visited Nagadipa settle a dispute between two Naga kings who were at war because of a gem-studded throne which was later dedicated to the temple.

Though this magnificent throne has disappeared you can still see a beautiful silver-painted dagoba at the Nagadipa Temple.