Mostly popular as a tropical island with sunny beaches and breathtaking underwater sea life, Sri Lanka is a destination that also serves to quench the thirst of vacationers keen on exploring and experiencing foreign traditions and history. Those who take a guided tour of the island can witness numerous remarkable artifacts and monuments that remain well-preserved up-to-date, narrating stories about the different key events in the long history of this exotic island. Among the more serene and awe inspiring establishments is the Benthara Galapatha Raja Maha Vihara Temple.
Those residing in resorts in Bentota, a popular coastal region, such as the star class Avani Bentota, can stray away from a day of sunbathing and water sports to this explore this temple situated along the Bentota Benthara river bank few miles off the Colombo-Galle highway. This ancient Buddhist temple is famous for being the resting grounds of the tooth relic of Arahant Maha Kassapa Thera, the third disciple of Lord Buddha. Believed to be built by King Saddhatissa during the 12th century, this humble monument was gravely damaged by the Dutch in the 16th century and rebuilt with far more intricate carvings and designs later on. The stupa structure that presently is said to house the tooth relic was built later on to provide protection from any such foreign invasions.
Thos who explore these holy grounds can witness a variety of paintings, structures, statues and carvings from diffrenet eras such as the arched doorway pills that date to the Kandyan era (15th century), inscriptions on the stone gateway dating to the reign of King Parakramabahu the Great (12th century) as well as an obviously ancient, remarkable and unexplained stone filter of which the age cannot even be determined.
Apart from such rare structures that are bound to pique the interests of even the most indifferent visitor, one can explore these tranquil, temple grounds to observe the locals coming to practice their religious activities and worship the many statues of Lord Buddha as well as the stupa structure housing the holy tooth relic.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.