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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 18, 2018
Headline for 05 Religious Places to Visit around Colombo - Spiritual Getaways in the Middle of the Urban Jungle
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Joanna James Joanna James
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05 Religious Places to Visit around Colombo - Spiritual Getaways in the Middle of the Urban Jungle

When life gets a bit busy in the city life, a spiritual getaway to calm the mind and soul is much needed. Here a list of five amazing religious places to visit around Colombo.

1

Gangaramaya Temple

Sri Lanka is predominantly a Buddhist country, therefore most the religious places you see here are temples built for that faith. One of the most important Buddhist temples in Colombo is the Gangaramaya Temple. The temple is located by the waters of the Beira Lake presenting a most serene getaway amidst all the hustle and bustle of the city that includes skyscrapers, businesses and some of the most luxurious of apartments in Colombo the likes of Cinnamon Life Colombo. So, it's a good place to sit down, meditate and get a new perspective of life, in tranquility.

The Gangaramaya Temple is famous for its impressive buildings and structures which includes the stupa, image house, relic chamber, bo tree and the Seema Malakaya. The latter is situated opposite the main temple, perched above the Beira Lake and can only be accessed through a wooden bridge. This is used as a meditation centre.

The temple has a wide collection of relics, artifacts and sculptures.

2

Kalani Raja Maha Viharaya

Situated about six miles away from Colombo is the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya. This is one of the most significant temples in all of the island as it is believed the place that the Lord Gautama Buddha visited for the third and final time in Sri Lanka. Dating as far back as the 500 BCE, the Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya is a great place to visit if you wish to discover Sri Lanka's illustrious history as well as art and sculpture. The image house of the temple has a spectacular collection of murals created by the renowned Sri Lankan artist, Solias Mendis; that depict the life of the Buddha.

Another reason why the Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya is so significant is for hosting the Duruthu Perahera, which is an extravagant parade that is held on the full moon day of January every year. One of the highlights of this parade are the many elephants who take part in it, including the majestic tusker carrying the sacred relic.

3

Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque

You will come across this stunning mosque whilst shopping in Pettah, the mega bazaar in Fort, Colombo. The Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque or the Red Mosque is an impressive red and white building that was built in 1908.

4

Wolvendaal church

One of the oldest churches to be built during the Dutch colonization in Sri Lanka, the Wolvendaal Church belongs to the 17th Century. The interior of the church is embellished with Dutch furniture including wooden carved pews, lecterns and pulpits. One of the biggest highlights of the Wolvendaal Church is the Tombstones of 5 Dutch governors. Among these you can find the oldest Dutch tombstone in Sri Lanka, that was moved in 1813 from a church within the Fort. Another attraction of this church is its ancient organ, which is still remarkably in perfect condition.

5

Kathiresan Kovil

Situated in the seaside town of Bambalapitiya, the Kathiresan Kovil is a Hindu temple that's dedicated to God Muruga. The kovil is famous for its stunning, colorful gopuram or doorways. The kovil that vertical like most Hindu structures, features amazing sculptures depicting Hindu mythology.

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