Pilgrimage to Kande Viharaya Temple – Hallowed Shrine on a Hill

Thousands of Buddhist devotees make a pilgrimage to the Kande Viharaya Temple in Aluthgama ,Sri Lanka which is greatly venerated by them. Kande Viharaya Temple is so called because it stands on a hill in Kaluwamodera, Aluthgama, a short distance away from the main Colombo- Galle Road. Some call it the Bentota Kande Viharaya as it is close to the town of Bentota, a major tourist hub. The term Resort Bentota refers to a variety of accommodation and if you are looking for comfort and aqua sports then AVANI Bentota Resort and Spa would be a good choice.

Kande Viharaya Temple was founded by the Venerable Karapagala Dewamitta Thera in 1734 and plays an important role in socio-cultural and religious activities of the country. It became a refuge for the victims of the Tsunami in December 2004 and a memorial for them is found in the chambers below the 160 feet statue of the sitting Buddha, the globe’s tallest. The outer chamber has life size statues of Sri Lankan Kings. The inner chamber has Buddha statues and paintings depicting the life and teachings of the Buddha. The entrance to this temple is modern having been built in 2009 and has a thorana modeled on the one in Sanchi, India.

The original stupa erected by the venerable Udugama Chandrasara in the year 2327 of the Buddhist era was very small. A larger stupa enclosing the original stupa was built in the year 2479 of the Buddhist era by the venerable Pothuwila Saranatissa Thera. The stupa is 27 feet high and is dome shaped .A row of lotus petals run above the basal rings and around the dome. Intricate designs embellish the Hatharas Kotuwa and the Devatha Kotuwa. The Relic Chamber is the oldest building and houses the sacred Buddha Relics and the relics of Arahath Seevali. A moonstone lies at the entrance to the relic chamber. A Bo Tree, 09 Devales and the Khettarama Pirivena established by the Venerable Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera are part of the temple complex.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world.


Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle – A Historical And Archaelogical Treasure Trove

The Cultural Triangle stretches from the medieval Royal City of Kandy (present hill capital) in central Sri Lanka to the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa and includes Dambulla and Sigiriya all of which lie in the north-central province, the Rajarata of ancient Lanka and the cradle of its civilization. These historical cities are much patronised tourist destinations with Sri Lanka hotels rising to the occasion by providing high quality facilities and services including leisure activities. If you want to pamper yourself while delving into the past and wish to go adventuring in the jungles, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts would be suitable to meet your needs.

Within the Cultural Triangle are Sri Lanka’s first and second capitals, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Anuradhapura is a city dotted with great dagobas, many monasteries and palaces, reservoirs and a complex system of irrigation works .The Ruwanveli Seya, Thuparamaya, Mirisavetiya (shaped like a mound of chillie) are great stupas. The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya, the sapling of the Bo Tree in Buddha Gaya under which the Buddha attained enlightenment is perhaps the most sacred site in this city. Mihintale, birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism is nearby. Polonnaruwa, has the beautiful Gal Viharaya, a fine example of stone carving and the Vatadage is an elaborate edifice. The great Parakrama Samudraya is Polonnaruwa’s great man made reservoir and neighbouring Polonnaruwa is the historic jungle shrine, Somawathi Chethiya.

Sigiriya or the Fortress in the Sky is another marvel within the Cultural Triangle. With its beautiful female frescoes, the highly polished Mirror Wall, ruins of palaces, gardens and the lion paw entrance, Sigiriya stands globally unique. Kandy is home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Royal Palace and the spectacular Esala Perehera (Pageant). Dambulla’s Rock Temple, Yapahuwa and Panduwasnuwara, the Minneriya National Park (Great Elephant Gathering in dry season July – September) and Kaudulla National Park are part of the Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world. Google+

Small but Highly Biologically Diverse Island in Asia – Exploring the Wonder of Asia!

Water Streams of Sinharaja Rain-forest

Water Streams of Sinharaja Rain-forest : Courtesy : Rainforest Eco Lodge

Commonly referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka is known the world over for its many natural attractions. The country featured over 3,000 years of a rich documented history and heritage and is a haven for every travel and nature enthusiast.

The country’s vast biodiversity is one aspect which draws in countless tourists from around the world. Be it flora or fauna or even microbes, each of these living organisms plays a big role in maintaining the ecosystem. Sri Lanka has a massive 4,000 species of flowering plants with 3% of all such plants being endemic. The best place to witness most of the country’s plant life is at the famous Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Commonly referred to as a ‘biodiversity hotspot’ of Sri Lanka, the Sinharaja Rainforest was designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978 and 1988 respectively.

Some of the endemic bird species visitors may witness at the reserve include; the red-faced malkoha, green-billed coucal and the Sri Lanka blue magpie all of which are beautiful birds. While the reserve has many tales as to how it came into being, it never ceases to please its visitors. A treasure trove of flora and fauna, the reserve is a must-see attraction, especially for nature enthusiasts. The entrance fee is priced reasonably and comes with a tour guide.Those who would like to visit the reserve may stay at hotels near Sinharaja Rainforest or those that are situated at its border such as The Rainforest Ecolodge – Sinharaja.

Though the Sinharaja Rainforest is teeming with thick foliage and other exotic denizens, it doesn’t offer sightings of elephants and leopards. Those who would like to see such wildlife can head over to the Yala National Park. The Yala National Park is incidentally the island’s most visited park and is the second largest of such parks in Sri Lanka. Consisting of five blocks, two of which are open to the public, the Yala National Park lies in the Southern Province. It attracts a large number of tourists both local and foreign thanks to its abundance of wildlife. The park is home to the endemic Sri Lankan Leopard and holds the record for the highest density of leopards in the world.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world.Google+