The popularity and reputation of Sri Lanka as a travel destination is rapidly increasing, and for good reason.
With two centuries of culture, pristine beaches, endless number of water sports, ancient monuments, fascinating ruins and large numbers of elephants, this island country is definitely a perfect one-stop destination.
However, these are not the only things that have made the place what it is, as there are also many great places of worship here. The following are the top 5 temples in Sri Lanka:
Top 5 temples in Sri Lanka
#1. Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Kandy
This temple houses the country’s most important Buddhist relic, which is a tooth of the Buddha.
During prayers and offerings, locally known as “puja”, the tightly guarded room that contains the tooth is open to devotees and tourists, though they actually will not be able to see the tooth because it is kept in a gold casket that contains a series of 6 dagoba caskets with diminishing sizes.
The entire temple complex covers a very wide area with numerous other temples and museums within it.
#2. Wewurukannala Vihara Temple
Located in the town of Dikwella, this place of worship is regarded by many people as the most extraordinary Buddhist temple within the country.
The main feature here is the Seated Buddha statue that dates back to 1782 when King Rajadhi ruled the land and rises to 160 feet.
One area of the temple depicts the outcome for people who do not follow the Buddhist path of enlightenment with graphic and life-size illustrations of sinners and demons.
#3. Gangaramaya Temple
Directed by one of the more politically adept monks in Sri Lanka, Galboda Gnanissara Thera, this temple complex in Colombo includes a museum, library and an array of extraordinary gilded and bejeweled gifts from well-wishers and devotees over the years.
This temple is the main feature of the Navam Perahera Festival during the February full-moon (poya) day every year and is the center for the lavish Vesak celebrations.
#4. Golden Temple of Dambulla
Since the 1st century, this ancient cave temple has been an important site for both Buddhists and Hindus, having a cave monastery that is home to Buddhist monks.
It walls are adorned by murals that date back about 2 centuries ago, showing the Lord Buddha in all their original intricacy.
This place also has numerous shrines that house about 157 statues of Buddha in various poses, but the highlight is the reclining Buddha statue that extends to 15 meters.
With the vibrant frescos upon its ceiling and walls, the Golden Temple is given the name as home of the biggest antique painted surface in the world.
#5. Thirukketeeswaram Kovil
Located 13 kilometers east of the town of Mannar, this temple is one of the “pancha ishwaram”, which are 5 historical Shiva temples in Sri Lanka that were established to protect the island country from natural disasters.
Ranged around it are pavilions that contain gigantic floats, called juggernauts, that are wheeled out for the Maha Shivaratri Festival every February of the year.
Now, for a religious and cultural exploration in Sri Lanka that will be worth the while and memorable, make sure you visit the temples on this list.
Top 5 temples in Sri Lanka
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