When people think of the coastal town of Bentota on the island of Sri Lanka, their minds are immediately swept away with images of pristine beaches amidst tropical landscapes and various dream-like images associated with sun, sand and beaches. If you were to ask the average Sri Lankan about things to do in Bentota, they’ll probably talk about water-sports or of the various luxury resorts prevalent in the area such as Shinagawa Beach. Balapitiya however, is a place shrouded in myth and mystery, and has many wonders to behold, with one of the most prominent being the Sapugoda Temple.
One can easily find a world of tradition and heritage in Bentota, ranging from the practice of the traditional art of Ayurvedhic medicine and therapy to the production of Toddy, a traditional alcoholic beverage native to Sri Lanka that is made out of coconut nectar. Amidst all these various attractions is the Sapugoda Temple, traditionally known as the Sapugoda Rajamaha Viharaya.
The temple is a fairly unique example since it has both traditional and British-Colonial ties. Construction of the temple commenced upon the will of Sri Wickrama Rajasingha, one of the last rulers of Sri Lanka, who was situated in Kandy. Although the building of the temple began during the era of a King’s reign, the presence of two figures, of British soldiers, within the temple suggest that construction finished sometime before 1842. This is because it was required for any construction after that to feature a picture of Queen Victoria.
Presently the temple attracts many visitors with its intricate craftsmanship and wondrous scenery, making it both modest and marvellous. There are numerous stunning paintings showcased within the temple as well as two giant statues of the Lord Buddha. So for simultaneous doze of sun-swept serenity and historical heritage, be sure to visit the town of Bentota and her unique temple.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+