Solosmasthana | Sunday Observer


29 April, 2018

1. Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya (Badulla District)

The Mahiyangana stupa is said to have been built during the lifetime of The Buddha enshrining the lock of hair given by Him to God Saman when He first visited and preached to the primitive people of Sri Lanka. It was the first ever stupa to be constructed in Sri Lanka.


2. Nagadipa Purana Vihara, Nainativu Island (Jaffna District)

Constructed at the site where The Buddha visited Lanka for the second time, five years after attaining Enlightenment. He intervened and mediated in settling a dispute between warring Naga kings, Chulodara and Mahodara, over the possession of a gem-studded throne. This precious throne which was offered to The Buddha, was returned to the Naga Kings and was later enshrined in this stupa.


3. Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya (Gampaha District)

Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya is situated about 10 km from Colombo on the Kelani River valley. This temple was the site of the third and final visit of The Buddha to Sri Lanka, eight years after gaining Enlightenment. Its history goes back nearly 2,566 years. The Mahawamsa records that the original Dagoba at Kelaniya enshrined a gem studded throne on which The Buddha sat and preached. The annual Kelani Duruthu perahera is held in the month of January.


4. Sri Pada (Ratnapura District)

It is believed that The Buddha placed his footprint on the summit of this sacred mountain during his third visit to Sri Lanka. The mountain is 7,360 feet high, it is the fifth highest mountain in the country and has several approaches, the main one beings through the Hatton town and Ratnapura District. During December and April thousands of devotees climb the mountain to pay obeisance.


5. Diva Guhava (Ratnapura District)

The cave in which The Buddha spent the day after placing the footprint on Sri Pada. It is now believed that this cave is near the Sri Pada mountain in the Ratnapura District. From here He proceeded to Dighavapi in Ampara District.


6. Dighavapi Raja Maha Viharaya (Ampara District)

The chetiya constructed by King Saddha Tissa in 137 BC at the site where The Buddha spent sometime with Arhants absorbed in ecstatic meditation, during his final visit. Enshrined are the relics of The Buddha.


7. Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya (Badulla District)

A chetiya erected by King Devanampiyatissa enshrining the relics of The Buddha. The site has been consecrated by The Buddha, who spent a few moments absorbed in ecstatic meditation.


8. Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara (Hambantota District)

One of the largest Dagobas (Stupas) in the Ruhunu. The temple is said to have been built by King Kavantissa in the 2nd Century BC. The Silpasena Pirivena has been at this site.


9. The Sri Maha Bodhiya (Anuradhapura District)

The Sri Maha Bodhi tree is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world (2,200 years). It is the right branche of the very tree beneath which, at Buddha Gaya in North India, The Buddha gained Enlightenment and was brought to Sri Lanka in the 3rd Century BC by Princess Sanghamitta, sister of the Arahant Mahinda , who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka.


10. Mirisawetiya Vihara (Anuradhapura District)

The first religious edifice built by King Dutugemunu (161-137BC) and according to the Mahavamsa, the relic studded sceptre of the King is deposited in the Dagoba.


11. Swarnamali Vihara (Anuradhapura District)

Building of the Maha Stupa was commenced by King Dutugemunu and completed by King Sadda Tissa (137-1198 BC). For the relic enshrinement ceremony Arahants had been present from all Buddhist countries at the time, which included India, Kashmir, Persia and Alexandria. Of the 6 donnas (a certain measure of capacity), of the bodily relics of The Buddha, one drona of sacred relic is enshrined here. The Chetiya is 338 feet high. It is more commonly known as the Ruwanvelisaya.


12. Thuparama Vihara (Anuradhapura District)

It is the first chetiya to be erected after the establishment of The Buddha Sasana in Sri Lanka and was built by King Devanampiyatissa in the front of a paddy heap. The sacred right clavicle bone of The Buddha is said to be enshrined here. The pillars capped with sculptured capitals ranged in concentric circles round the dagoba indicate that it was roofed over originally.


13. Abhayagiri Vihara (Anuradhapura District)

Built by King Valagambahu (89-77 BC) on a site which too has been hallowed by The Buddha. Relics of The Buddha, and the Tripitaka inscribed in gold leaves are said to be enshrined here.


14. Jetavanarama Vihara (Anuradhapura District)

The waist-band used by The Buddha is said to be enshrined here. It was constructed by King Mahasena (276-303 CE) the last King of the Mahavamsa Chronicle.


15. Sela Chetiya (Stupa) Mihintale Raja Maha Viharaya, Mihintale

Situated 10 km from Anuradhapura, Mahintale is the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It was here that in the 3rd Century BC. Arhant Mahinda met King Devanampiyatissa who was out hunting and converted him to Buddhism. Mahintale became the abode of Arhant Mahinda and 3,000 monks. Hundreds of shrines and caves where the monks lived can be seen at the Mihintale rock and a stairway of 1840 step leads from the bottom of the rock to the summit. The Sela Chetiya, The Kantaka Chetiya, Ambasthale Dagoba, Maha Seya and Indikatu Seya are all in this temple complex The Urna Lome, the sacred hair relic between the eyebrows, is said to be enshrined at Sela Chetiya.


16. Kiri Vehera, Kataragama (Moneragala District)

First built by a local ruler called Mahasena, upon a site hallowed by a visit of The Buddha, it is said to have enshrined in it the golden seat, from which The Buddha delivered the sermon, a lock of hair and the royal sword used by Prince Siddhartha to cut off his hair at the time of the great Renunciation.

- Internet