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Sri Lankan History & Culture

Adisham Bungalow - Haputale

Adisham Bungalow - Haputale

Is a country house near Haputale. At present it houses the Adisham Monastery a congregation of St. Sylvester.The house was built in 1931 by an English aristocrat and planter Sir Thomas Villiers, former Chairman of George Steuart Co, a trading and estate agency based in Colombo. Sir Thomas was a grandson of Lord John Russell and descendant of the Dukes of Bedford. Named after Adisham. Adisham Hall played host too many prominent personalities of the colony until the retirement of Sir Thomas.

Aluvihare Temple - Matale

Aluvihare Temple - Matale

The Aluvihare Temple, on the North side of the Matale town, is the historic location where the Pali Canon was first written down completely in text on ola (palm) leaves. Situated near Aluvihare are numerous monastery caves, some of which exhibit fine frescoes

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura

Sri Lanka's first historic capital, a potent symbol of Sinhalese power and the most extensive and important ancient city of Sri Lanka. It became a capital in 380 BC and for over 1000 years Sinhalese kings ruled from this great city. The Sacred Bo-Tree is the city's holiest site revered by the Buddhists and is the oldest historical tree in the world having stood for more than 2130 years

Avukana Stature - Kekirawa

Avukana Stature - Kekirawa

Is a standing statue of the Buddha. The statue, which has a height of more than 40 feet (12 m), has been carved out of a large granite rock face during the 5th century. It depicts a variation of the Abhaya mudra, and the closely worn robe is elaborately carved. Constructed during the reign of Dhatusena, it may have been made as a result of a competition between a master and a pupil. Avukana statue is one of the best examples of a standing statue constructed in ancient Sri Lanka.

Bogoda Wooden Bridge - Ella

Bogoda Wooden Bridge - Ella

Was built in the 16th century during the Dambadeniya era. This is said to be the oldest surviving wooden bridge in the world. All parts of this bridge were constructed from wood, including the use of wooden nails as fixing material. The roof tiles show the influence of Kingdom of Kandy. The bridge was built across the Gallanda Oya, which linked Badulla and Kandy on an ancient route.

Buduruwagala - Wellawaya

Buduruwagala - Wellawaya

Buduruwagala is an ancient Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. The complex consists of seven statues and belongs to the Mahayana school of thought. The statues date back to the 10th century. The gigantic Buddha statue still bears traces of its original stuccoes 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, which is thought to be his consort-Tara.

Dhowa Rock Temple - Ella

Dhowa Rock Temple - Ella

Is one of the heritage sites in Sri Lanka. The Dowa rock temple could be considered as a Mahayana Sculpture with a huge unfinished Buddha image carved into the rock face. The temple dates back to Before Christ times. It has been built safely inside a ring of mountains. A beautiful river is flown across the plateau. Hence, the area had earned the name, Dowa.

Embekka Temple - Kandy

Embekka Temple - Kandy

Built in AD 1357 - 1374 in Sri Lanka. The shrine consists of three sections, the "Sanctum of Garagha", the "Digge" or "Dancing Hall" and the "Hevisi Mandapaya" or the "Drummers' Hall". The Drummers' Hall that has drawn the attention of visitors to the site, due to the splendid wood carvings of its ornate pillars and its high pitched roof.

Galle Fort

Galle Fort

In the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards, The heritage value of the fort has been recognized by the UNESCO and the site has been inscribed as a cultural heritage UNESCO World heritage site under criteria iv, for its unique exposition of "an urban ensemble which illustrates the interaction of European architecture.

Kandy Perahera

Kandy Perahera

Is the grand festival with elegant costumes held in July and August in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This historical procession (perahera) is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. A unique symbol of Sri Lanka, the procession consists of many traditional local dances such as fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances, in addition to the elephants who are usually adorned with lavish garments. The festival ends with the traditional diya-kepeema ritual, a water cutting ceremony which is held at the Mahaweli River at Getambe, Kandy.

Koneshwaram Temple - Trincomalee

Koneshwaram Temple - Trincomalee

Is also known as Tirukoneswaram Kovil (Hindu temple) which is situated on top of Swami Rock. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, and it is one out of five such temples situated around Sri Lanka. It is believed that this Kovil has been in existence since 2500 years ago, and was renovated by the south Indian Chola king Kulakottan and maintained by other Sinhala Buddhist kings.

Mask Museum - Kandy

Mask Museum - Kandy

This museum is designed to introduce into the richness of the mask tradition of Ambalangoda and to strengthen this cultural heritage. The museum, the workshop and the small library (containing all available anthropological literature on masks performances) may serve as a center for traditional arts, crafts and for research

Mihintale

Mihintale

Is the birthplace of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It was here where the famous King Devanampiya Thissa was confronted by Mahinda Thero and was taught Buddhism. This incident occurred on the full moon poya day In the month of Posson – June. Buddhist of today commemorate this day grandly though pilgrimages to Anuradhapura and Mihintale. It is considered as the greatest monastic city of the world ever.

Munneswaram Temple - Chilaw

Munneswaram Temple - Chilaw

Is an important regional Hindu temple complex in Sri Lanka. It has been in existence at least since 1000 CE, although myths surrounding the temple associate it with the popular Indian epic Ramayana, and its legendary hero-king Rama. The temple is one of five ancient temples (Ishwarams) dedicated to Shiva in the region.The temple complex is a collection of five temples, including a Buddhist temple. The central temple dedicated to Shiva (Siva) is the most prestigious and biggest, and is popular among the Hindus. The other temples are dedicated to Ganesha, Ayyanayake and Kali. The Kali temple is also popular with Buddhists.

Padeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Padeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Is a quaint archaeological treasure that lies within a newly-built temple wall. The ancient temple is situated on a low rock overlooking a small lake. A few steps with a roughly moon stone (without any carving or other decorations) at the bottom of it, makes up the three entrances fitted with waist high half doors of timber. The building comprises a central shrine room surrounded by an open gallery. The gallery also includes some heavily carved wooden pillars. The unique feature in this temple is its brilliant colored frieze of lions that goes almost all around the four sides of the outer wall, forming a kind of screen between the half wall and the roof.

Polonnaruwa Ancient City

Polonnaruwa Ancient City

216 km's from Colombo, was the capital of the island during the medieval period. Polonnaruwa is most famous for its well-preserved city of ancient dagobas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and stunningly beautiful statues. The majestic King's Council Chamber, the Lotus Bath, the Lanka Thilaka Viharaya, the Gal Viharaya (rock temple) and the statue of one of Polonnaruwa's great kings 30$ per head

Sigiriya Fortress

Sigiriya Fortress

Climb the 5th century world famous rock fortress Sigiriya which is also a world heritage site. Magnificently built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD) the Lion Rock is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The pond in the tip of the rock is still a factor of amazement.

Sri Muthumariamman Thevasthanam - Matale

Sri Muthumariamman Thevasthanam - Matale

Is a Hindu temple located in Matale city that is known of the colorful chariots located here. Its history goes back to the early 1800's. The location of the present temple was used by the south Indian immigrants, who came to the island looking for employments. Today, it is one of the biggest Hindu temples in the island.

Sri Subramaniya Hindu Temple - Slave Island

Sri Subramaniya Hindu Temple - Slave Island

Books about Hinduism Found on Slave Island, Sri Subramaniya Kovil is one of Colombo’s most impressive Hindu temples. We were welcomed inside on a balmy February morning, and had an incredible time watching the ceremonies and taking in the atmosphere. When we left, it was with colorful dots on our foreheads and a beginner’s appreciation of Hindu. Slave Island takes its name from the days when Colombo was ruled by the Netherlands.

The Ceylon Tea Museum - Hantane

The Ceylon Tea Museum - Hantane

The museum consists of four floors. The ground floor and the second floor exhibit very old items of machinery. The entire top floor is a restaurant. A panoramic view of the Kandy town surrounded by the beautiful Hunasgiriya, Knuckles Range and the Matale range of hills can be viewed through a telescope mounted on the fourth floor. The grounds surrounding the Tea Museum are to be landscaped with different varieties of teas.

The Dondra Lighthouse - Dickwella

The Dondra Lighthouse - Dickwella

Built during the colonial period when the British were ruling our country. It was originally designed in 1889 by James Douglas and constructed by William Douglas of Imperial Lighthouse Services. Dondra Light house is the highest lighthouse in Asia. It is 161feet in height and contains 7 floors, 14 two panel yellow color windows and 196 steps to the top.

Yapahuwa Ancient City

Yapahuwa Ancient City

Located at Kurunegala, North Western Province of Sri Lanka, Yapahuwa ancient fortress rises to a height of 90 m above the surrounding plains. Built by King Buwanekabahu the First as the capital of Sri Lanka in 1301, today, the Royal residence, the Temple of Tooth Relic, the battle defenses are in ruins. While many traces of other ancient defenses are still be seen, an ornamental stairway remains it’s the main draw.


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