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Sri Lanka Buddhist Temples / Destinations
Aluthnuwara Dedimunda Dewalaya
Aluth Nuwara Dedimunda devalaya is located few kilometers away from the Mawanella town.When you are traveling from Colombo to Kandy, once you pass the Mawanella town you will reach a village call Hingula.
Bandagiriya Hambantota Sri lanka
Bandagiriya, a village located at the very far end of the Hambantota district is known well because of the ancient temple there. The rock on which the ancient stupas and other ruins are found today is considered the highest peak in the Hambantota district.
Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Viharaya
We visited this place during a weekday and there were no visitors at that time. We met a very and kind & pleasant thero (monk), who was in his old ages. He kindly open the temple doors for us and explain about the history of the temple.
Gadaladeniya Temple Pilimathalawa
Gadaladeniya Temple is located at Pilimathalawa, Kandy. When you are driving from Colombo to Kandy, Gadaladeniaya temple road is at your right hand side. After taking that turn from Pilimathalawa, you have to travel another 2 km.
Hunupitiya Gangaramaya Colombo
What was once a swamp adjoining the famous Beira Lake, a landmark in the capital city, is today a vibrant complex comprising the Gangaramaya temple, the 'seema malaka' – an assembly hall for monks – in the picturesque Beira Lake and a vocational training.
The Kalutara Bodhi Complex together with the majestic Chitya is the hallowed and glorious land mark on the main Southern Highway. The thousands who pass along the highway and those devotees, who make a special pilgrimage.
Kande viharaya Aluthgama
This temple got its name "Kande Viharaya" ( temple on the hill), because it is located at a top of a hill. Kande Viharaya Temple was established in year 1734 and became the regional Buddhist center.
Kiri Vehera Kataragama
When we talk about the historic city of Kataragama, one place we cannot forget is the Kiri Vehera. It is one of the five most important sites of worship in the city along with the Maha Bodhi, Kataragama Devale, Sella Kataragama and Vedihitikanda.
Pahiyangala caves lies in Yatagampitiya, which is a remote village about 5 km away from Bulathsinhala in the Kalutara District. Excavation has proved that these caves were inhabited by prehistoric cave men some 37,000 years ago.
Portrait of reclining Buddha, Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa was the capital of Sri Lanka from the eleventh century A.D. This site is also known as the Uttharama by virtue of the fact that it is situated to the North of the Mediaeval city.
Rankoth Vehera Polonnaruwa
Rankoth Vehera (Golden Pinnacle Dagoba)was constructed by the king Nishanka Malla(1187 AD to 1196 AD). According to some of the historical facts this was constructed long before and the king Nissanka Malla did a renovation only.
Ridivihara is located at Ridigama village in Kurunegala district. The name "Ridigama" means "silver village". If you are coming from Colombo, take the Kandy road from Kurunegala and travel around 4km.
Somawathi Stupa is located in the middle of the jungle, in Polonnaruwa District. From Polonnaruwa, you have to travel Sungavila and then take a gravel road which leads to the temple through the Jungle.
Trincomalee Vegama Rajamaha Viharaya
According to the historical facts, the Vegam Rajamaha Viharaya was done by king Devanampiyathissa. Later on some additions and renovations were done by first Bathiya, Second Agkbo, first Vijayabahu and first Parakramabahu.
Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy
Sri Dalada Maligawa, which enshrines the Tooth Relic of the Buddha, is one of the holiest shrines in the entire Buddhist world. The Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka by a princess from Kalinga named Hemamali, securely wrapped in her tresses.
The Maligawila Buddha Statue
The statue was badly damaged but ancient records confirm that King Aggabodhi 1st commissioned the carving of this statue in 600 AD. There is a twofold mystery here. The ancient sculptors first cut and extracted a massive chunk of rock in one whole block from a quarry located a mile away. This entire project required superhuman strength
Asokarama Buddhist Temple in Kalutara
Asokarama Maha Vihara is a temple with over 200 years of history and culture. It offers free vocational and humanitarian services to the Sri lankan community in Kalutara and surrounding areas of Kalutara
Dova Ancient Rock Temple Badulla
Dova ancient rock temple which is located in Dova, Ella area in Badulla district can be identified as one of the foremost rock temples in Uva province with higher historical value. It is facing to Badulla- Bandarawela main road.
Girihadu Seya Thiriyaya
Girihadu seya is considered as the first Dageba in Sri Lanka, done by Thapassue Balluka Merchants. This is located in Thiriyaya close to Trincomalee Pulmoddi road. Load Buddha spent 7 weeks ( sath Sathiya) after his enlightenment.
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya Anuradhapura
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Anuradhapura A branch of the Sacred Bodhi tree under which Gautama the Buddha attained enlightenment which was brought to Sri Lanka in the third century B.C.
Kadurugoda Temple is located in Chunnakam ( Hunugama) in Jaffna district. The main religious attraction in this place is 60 stupa ( dageba) and there are some other Buddhist ruins also. These stupas are build in various sizes.
Sri Lanka Buddhist Tours
Although, strictly speaking, the word Kataragama refers to the place-name of a certain area in southern Sri Lanka, yet the mere sound upon anyone's ear reminds one of Kataragama Deviyo who presides there.
Situated about six miles from Colombo, set within a sacred area of around ten acres, the Kelani Vihara stands beside the Kelani river as evidence of a Buddhist tradition in this country.
Lankathilaka Viharaya Polonnaruwa
Lankathila Viharaya is a Gedige type large image house build by king Parakramabahu the Great ( 1153- 1186 AD). The specialty in this structure is the two pylons at the entrance and the giant Buddha statue in side.
Pidurangala Royal Cave Temple & sigiriya was built by King kassyapa in 5th century A.D.sigiriya & this temple and 1ts Meditation monastery is very important place as Archaeological ( Dala wehera)
Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya Yakkala
You can rash Pilikuththuwa Rajamaha Viharaya from Yakkala junction or from Miriswattha Junction. When you take a turn at Miriswattha Junction from Colombo Kandy main road, you have to travel 6-7 km and you will find a by lane to the temple.
This is the Council Chamber ( Raja Sabahawa) of king Parakaramabahu the Great( 1153 -1186 AD). This also known as Raja Vaishyabhujanga Mandapaya. The Council chamber is 75 feet in length and 33 feet width.
Rankoth viharaya Panadura
Rankoth Viharaya is the most prominent Buddhist attraction in Panadura. This temple was built on the top of a natural rock and can seen from the far distance. Early days this place was known as the 'Galkanda Viharaya" and renamed as Rankoth.
Ruwanwelisaya Dageba, Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura was the first capital of Sri Lanka. This majestic dageba 300 ft. in diameter was constructed by King Dutugemunu (167-137 BC), the first great hero of the Sinhalese.
Sathmahal Parasada Polonnaruwa
This unique type of brick structure is located in Polonnaruwa Dalada Maluwa. According to some archaeologist, this seven story building is a special type of Dageba (Pagoda).
Nagadeepa Rajamaha Viharaya - Nainativu Island Sri Lanka
The Nagadeepa Purana Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the sixteen most sacred places of worship by the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Pilgrims have been coming to the Nagadeepa since about the 1st century AC to worship at its famous Rajayathana stupa.
The Avukana statue is a standing statue of the Buddha near Kekirawa in North Central Sri Lanka. The statue, which has a height of more than 40 feet (12 m), has been carved out of a large granite rock face during the 5th century. It depicts a variation of the Abhaya mudra, and the closely worn robe is elaborately carved.
Upcoming Buddhist Festivals in Sri Lanka for year 2017
Sri lanka Nawam Maha Perahera (February)
The religious significance of the Nawam Maha Perahera is emphatically brought to the fore with the entrance of Nawam Raja, the tusker of the Gangaramaya Temple, bearing the sacred relic of the Buddha. Adorned in the richest finery, its tusks garlanded as a mark of veneration, the Nawam Raja’s presence marks a momentous chord in the procession. Millions of people witness this Nawam Maha Perahera event every year including an estimated 10,000 tourists who lands in Colombo during Nawam Maha Perahera event. Perahera is symbolic of not only spiritual roots, but a rich and diverse culture captured across its length and breadth of performers, turned out in their finest.
Esala Perahera (July)
The month of July pageant is usually held, had been considered a month of celebrations and festivity, both among Indians & Sri Lankans. Even from the lifetime of the Buddha in the 6th century BC, the Esala festival was held to commemorate the Buddha's Conception, his Renunciation and the First Sermon. Also, this month is considered to be the period when ritual performances to the protective divinities are held, eg Pattini puja. Dalada procession and the social traditions are linked so much together; the month of Esala has been named as the procession month, because of the Esala feast. In the 18th century at the time of King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe the four Devala Peraharas and Dalada Perahara were amalgamated and were made series of Peraharas. Being considered a 'chaste' month, the period is held sacred for the availability of water, hence prosperity. . Esala is also considered to be the beginning of the raining season (Vassana) when the monks commence their Retreat.
Kataragama Festival (July)
Every year in the month of July or August, Kataragama throbs with life. A site of pilgrimage for all faiths, Even though Kataragama is so well known its origins still remain something of an enigma. Each religion claims it for its own, perhaps therein lies its appeal. colored paper and peacock feathers. Pilgrims carry these kaavadi on their shoulders, while stepping or dancing to the sound of drumming. Many are not professional dancers, but perform as the fulfillment of a vow. Infliction of physical pain for atonement of sins is part of the rituals at Kataragama; some pilgrims pierce their lips, cheeks or tongue with silver arrow-headed pins. Others hang suspended from beams or dragging carts through hooks pierced in their backs. One of the most well known parts of the festival is the fire-walking ceremony where pilgrims walk over a mass of embers raised by burning logs. Devotees claim that their faith prevents them from harm when stepping on the hot embers.
Adams peak (December to April)
It is revered as a holy site by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. It has specific qualities that cause it to stand out and be noticed; including its dominant and outstanding profile, and the boulder at the peak that contains an indentation resembling a footprint. Pilgrims walk up the mountain, following a variety of difficult routes up thousands of steps. The journey takes several hours at least. The peak pilgrimage season is in April, and the goal is to be on top of the mountain at sunrise, when the distinctive shape of the mountain casts a triangular shadow on the surrounding plain and can be seen to move quickly downward as the sun rises. Climbing at night can be a remarkable experience, with the lights of the path leading up and into the stars overhead. There are rest stops along the way.. For Buddhists, the footprint mark is the left foot of the Buddha, left behind when Buddha visited Sri Lanka, as a symbol for worship at the invitation of Buddhist God Saman.
Vesak Festival (May)
Vesak is a religious and cultural festival in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the month of May.Vesak Day is one of the biggest days of the year and is celebrated by Buddhists all over the world. Buddhists commemorate the important events that took place in the life of Lord Buddha on this day. First comes the birth of Siddhartha Gautama.The second event was Siddharta Gautam’s supreme attainment as the Buddha, the Enlightened One. The third event was Lord Buddha’s Parinibbana over 2500 years ago at Kusinagar.Many religious activities are organized during this period in Sri Lanka such as Sil campaigns, Bodhi Poojas, Dansalas (Freely giving foods, coffee, tea from people), Vesak devotional songs (Bakthi Gee), pandols (thoran) and lanterns.In temples Buddhists worship, offer flowers, light lamps and burn incense. These traditional observances, in essence, have their value in satisfying the religious and emotional needs of the people.Many of them spend the whole day in the temple and reaffirm their determination to follow the teachings of Buddha.On this holy day the ‘Dana’ (alms giving) plays an important role. This is a sign of sharing joy and peace with people. During the Vesak Festival week, Other than the exclusive religious aspects of the festival, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, decorate their houses and public places and arrange for various cultural events.
Poson Festival (June)
Although Poson is celebrated throughout the island, the major ceremonies are to be found in Anuradhapura and Mihintale.Poson Poya is celebrated annually with great fervour throughout the island but particularly in Mihinthalaya where Mahinda Thero first put his foot to preach the word of Lord Buddha. This is why Mihinthalaya is called the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. With the establishment of Bhikku Sasanaya all other elements of a civilized society began to emerge with the art of writing,art, architecture, river civilization, religious rituals in song and dance forms, literature, all with royal patronage.Many religious activities are organized during this poson period in Sri Lanka such as Sil campaigns,Bodhi Poojas,Dansalas(Freely giving foods, coffee, tea from people ), Poson devotional songs, Poson pandols( thoran) and lanterns. Lot of Poson pandols and Poson Lanterns are making Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka.In Poson many temples are filled with Atasil devotees and pilgrims all over Sri Lanka to mark this great event.