Negombo is a seaside town where beach fun, an energetic nightlife and plenty of fresh seafood will keep you entertained for a good week. But if you like to explore the other parts of the town and its cultural and architectural heritage, there are plenty of sites to visit. Tucked away in a serene neighbourhood not too far away from many of the beachside Negombo hotels as well as resorts such as Jetwing Beach, Angurukaramulla Temple is definitely worth a visit.
The 300-year-old temple beckons visitors to enter the site through a dragon’s mouth which according to folk belief, also wards off evil with its display of might. Before you enter take a look at the Buddha statue that is approximately 6 metres tall and stroll around the beautiful temple premises where an ancient pond abides in the shade of a host of trees. It is a beautiful garden and several turtles lounge about in the pond seemingly reminiscing about the days gone by.
Once inside, visitors can contemplate the beautiful murals and sculptures that unravel Buddha’s journey through babyhood to enlightenment at the age of 35. Some of the murals tell tales described in the ancient chronicles of ‘Mahavamsa’ which details legendary and historical tales of Sri Lanka’s ancient royalty that goes back thousands of years into the ancient past of the island nation.
Don’t miss out on visiting the Stupa next to the temple, the entrance of which is adorned by bronze statues of lions. The Stupa itself contains another Stupa as well as intricate carvings on its walls. The semi-dark interior contains further murals as well as sculptures.
The most interesting detail of the site, however, is the ancient library, now derelict and moss covered but as fascinating as ever. You can still see the beautiful carvings on the pavilion and catch glimpses of the windows of the library as well as a staircase shaped like a spiral.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.