• Hidden Heritage

    Renowned Sigiriya Frescoes

    The paintings similar to that of the women paintings found in Ajantha Caves in Maharashta, India. Although the frescoes are classified as in the Anuradhapura period, the painting style is considered unique, the line and style of application of the paintings differing from Anuradhapura paintings.
    The dark clouds of danger first fell upon the ancient and most renowned Sigirya Frescoes in the year 1967 when a group of vandals sprayed tar on 15-16 frescoes, the incident was one that could be described as one of the major catastrophes and a huge blow to the Archeology sector of Sri Lanka.

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    Yapahuwa

    Yapahuwa is an ancient city that dates back to the 13th century medieval Sri Lanka. This ancient capital city was built around a giant granite rock and was used as a military stronghold against foreign threats. And the presence of remains of a stupa and a Bo tree enclosure indicates that it was used as a Buddhist monastery as well.

    Gadaladeniya Temple

    The Gadaladeniya Temple consists of a main stupa and four accompanying stupas built around it. The temple dates back to the 14th century Gampola Kingdom of ancient Sri Lanka.

    Dowa Rock Temple

    Dowa rock temple is a heritage site located in the Uva province. Hidden from the main road, a giant unfinished Buddha statue that is carved onto a granite boulder claims the attraction of both tourists and local worshippers alike. It is believed that this temple was built in the 1st century BC during the reign of King Walagamba.

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    Aluvihare Rock Temple

    In the 3rd century BC, during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa who was eager to introduce Buddhism to his kingdom founded the Aluvihare Rock Temple. There are a number monastery caves in Aluvihare, one of which has a 10m long reclining statue of Buddha along with images and ancient inscriptions. You can enjoy excellent views of the North central province from the top of the dagoba on the rocks.

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    Maligawila Buddha Statue

    In the 7th century, a Prince named Aggabodhi carved a statue of Buddha out of a large limestone rock which is 14.5 meters high. In 1980 it was reconstructed and it is now a major attraction to pilgrims.

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    Nalanda Gedige Temple

    Nalanda Gedige Temple demonstrates a collaboration of Buddhist and Hindu architecture. There is the “mandapa” or the waiting hall which is distinctly Hindu and erotic Tantric Buddhist carvings which exhibits the unique Sri Lankan Buddhist architecture. This construction dates back to the 7th to the 11th century, which was a time of chaos between the Sinhalese Monarchy and South Indian Kings.

    Lankatilaka Temple

    The history of the Lankatilaka Temple goes as far back as the 14th century. This unique temple is built of brick, stone and lime plaster. The entrance is formed as a “dragon arc” and you can also enjoy the picturesque view of the surrounding landscape from the stone stairway in the village.

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    Pidurangala Rock Temple

    The Pidurangala Rock Temple served as a sanctuary to over 500 meditating monks. It was built in the 5th century A.D. and is spread over 13.5 acres. There are five major ritual buildings which are the Chapter house, Image House, the Bo tree, stupa and the Sangharamaya or Sabha for the monks, collectively known as the “Panchavasa”. You can also enjoy a stunning view of the Sigiriya rock fortress from the top of this rock.

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    Madirigiriya Vatadage

    The Madirigiriya Vatadage is a circular building which protects and enshrines the dagoba holding the scared relics of the Buddha. It boasts a history that goes way back into pre-Christian times. There are brahmi characters that are carved on to the building which proves the above.

    Aukana Buddha Statue

    Aukana Buddha Statue is said to be the most perfectly preserved Buddha statue in Sri Lankan history. It is in total 12 meters in height and is revered among Buddhists all over the world. It is a graceful embodiment of the Buddha which expresses His serenity.

    Buduruwagala

    Buduruwagala literally translates to “the rock with the image of Buddha”. It dates back to the 10th century. The temple complex houses seven statues, and a huge 51 foot Buddha statue displaying the Abhaya Mudra gesture at its center.

    Ambakke Wooden Temple

    Masterful and intricate wooden carvings, pillars and other structures in the Ambakke Wooden Temple is a major attraction in the Central province of Sri Lanka. The elaborate carvings in the wooden capital pillars have an octagonal shape at the bottom and leaves originating from a square at the top. Decorations include flowers, soldiers, swans, dancers, and many mythological animals. It is remarkable that these intricate carvings were done by the 14th century craftsmen.