Buddhism and Sri Lanka

According to Sri Lankan chronicles, Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. by Arhant Mahinda, during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa.

Sri Lankan Inscriptions

The earliest trace of epigraphy in South Asia is said to be found in Sri Lanka. A piece of pottery, dated to circa the 4th century B.C. has been discovered from the Anuradhapura citadel.

Architecture of Sri Lanka

The architecture of Sri lanka has a long history and shows diversed forms and styles, mainly infuenced by their religions and traditional beliefs.

Sri Lankan Antiquities

Inherited from the past, Sri Lanka has a large number of antiques with cultural and historical significance which reflects the glory of past era.

Visit Sri Lanka

Located in the northern waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an island blessed with a large number of attractons which has made the country an ideal destination for the tourism.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Huluganga Falls

Huluganga Falls
Huluganga Ella Falls is a waterfall situated in the middle of Huluganga town in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. The fall is about 75 m tall and created by the Hulu Ganga River originating from the Knuckles Forest Reserve. The cascaded water finally ends at the Victoria Reservoir. 

The falls is steep and a clear view of it can be obtained from the observation deck built at the down part of the waterfall. The place is not suitable for bathing.

Attribution
1) Huluganga Falls by Mhmshabeer is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 October 2020
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Sri Sugathavanarama Viharaya, Ullalapola

Sri Sugathavanarama Viharaya, Ullalapola Ullalapola Sri Sugathavanarama Purana Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Divulapitiya in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka.

History
According to Wellewe Chandananda Thera, the chief priest of the temple, this Viharaya has been established in 1766 (a fact yet to be confirmed). 

Monuments
The Dharma Salawa (the preaching hall) and the Awasa-geya (the Monks' dwelling building) are the main monuments of this temple with archaeological significance. Also, a number of stone pillars which are believed to be the components of an existed Tempita Viharaya are found near to the Awasa-geya.

Sri Sugathavanarama Viharaya, Ullalapola Sri Sugathavanarama Viharaya, Ullalapola Sri Sugathavanarama Viharaya, Ullalapola Sri Sugathavanarama Viharaya, Ullalapola .
Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 October 2020
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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya

Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The early history of Bellanwila temple is not clear (de Thabrew, 2013). However, locals link the Bodhi-tree of the temple to a history running back to the 3rd century B.C. The ancient text Mahabodhivamsa mentions the name Bellanwila as a place where one of the first 32 saplings that sprang from the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura was planted in the 3rd century B.C. Therefore, many believe that the Bodhi-tree at the present Bellanwila temple is the same one mentioned in the Mahabodhivamsa. However, no any firm archaeological evidence available to prove this fact.

During the Kotte Period, the temple is believed to have received the royal patronage of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.) along with its neighboring Sunetradevi Pirivena, a monastic college and temple built by the king (de Thabrew, 2013).

Reference
1) de Thabrew, W. V., 2013. Monuments and Temples of Orthodox Buddhism in India and Sri Lanka. Author House. p. 65.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 24 October 2020
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Wildlife Sanctuaries of Sri Lanka

Sanctuaries are a category of protected areas in Sri Lanka, administered by the Department of Wildlife Conservation. They ensure the protection of wildlife which is outside to state land and therefore, sanctuaries may include private lands also. Good human activities are allowed in sanctuaries. However, activities such as hunt, shoot, kill, wound or take wild animal or take or destroy any egg of any birds or reptile or any nest of any bird, damage to breeding place of animals are prohibited. Also, it is forbidden to fell, collect, damage or remove any plant, construct any building, road or path, clearing, cultivation, mining, filling, disposing garbage on any state land. It is not necessary to obtain a permit for enter into a sanctuary.

List of sanctuaries in Sri Lanka

No. Protected Area Date of declaration Extent (ha.)
1 Anawilundawa 11.06.1997 1397.0
2 Anuradhapura 27.05.1938 3500.5
3 Bellanwila-Attidiya 25.07.1990 372.0
4 Buddhangala 01.11.1974 1841.3
5 Chundikulam 25.02.1938 11149.1
6 Dahaiyagala 07.06.2002 2685.07
7 Elahera Giritale 13.01.2000 14035.2
8 Elluwila Yaya 11.09.2003 186.0
9 Galoya North Eastern 12.02.1954 12432.0
10 Galoya South East 12.02.1954 15281.0
11 Galway's Land 27.05.1938 56.6
12 Godawaya 25.05.2006 232.0
13 Honduwa Island 19.11.1973 8.5
14 Horagolla 05.10.1973 13.3
15 Kahala Pallekele 01.07.1989 21690.0
16 Kalamatiya 28.06.1984 2525.2
17 Katagamuwa 27.05.1938 1003.6
18 Kataragama 27.05.1938 837.7
19 Kimbulvana Oya 21.06.1963 492.1
20 Kiralakele 08.09.2003 310.0
21 Kirama Oya 06.10.2004 5.0
22 Kokilai 18.05.1951 1995.0
23 Kudasobara (Little Sober Island) 21.06.1963 6.5
24 Kudumbigala, Panama 20.02.2006 6534.0
25 Kurulu Kele, Kegalle 14.03.1941 113.3
26 Lokusobara (Great Sober Island) 21.06.1963 64.7
27 Madampawila 21.09.2007 1217.75
28 Madin Duwa 06.06.1980 0.8
29 Madu Road 28.06.1968 26677.0
30 Maduganga 17.07.2006 2300.0
31 Madunagala 30.06.1993 995.2
32 Mahakanadarawa Wewa 09.12.1966 519.33
33 Maimbulkanda, Nittambuwa 31.10.1972 23.5
34 Mihintale 27.05.1938999.6
35 Minneriya Giritale 29.07.1938 6693.5
36 Muthurajawela I 31.10.1996 1028.6
37 Muthurajawela II 31.10.1996 256.8
38 Nimalawa 18.02.1993 1065.8
39 Padaviya Wewa 21.06.1963 6475.0
40 Paraputuwa Meheni 17.08.1988 189.6
41 Peak Wilderness 25.10.1940 22379.1
42 Pigeon Island 18.05.1973 97.1
43 Polonnaruwa 27.05.1938 1521.6
44 Rawana Ella 18.05.1979 1932.0
45 Rekawa 25.05.2006 271.0
46 Rock Islets, Ambalangoda 25.10.1940 1.2
47 Rumassala 03.01.2003 170.7
48 Sagamam 21.06.1963 616.4
49 Senanayaka Samudraya 12.02.1954 9324.0
50 Seruwila Allei 09.10.1970 15540.0
51 Sigiriya 26.01.1990 5099.0
52 Sri Jayawardanapura 09.01.1985 449.2
53 Tabbowa 19.07.2002 2193.31
54 Tangamalai 27.05.1938 131.5
55 Telwatte 25.02.1938 1424.5
56 Trincomalee Naval Base 21.06.1963 18130.0
57 Udawattakele 29.07.1938 1041.2
58 Vankellei 08.09.2008 4839.0
59 Vavunikulam 21.06.1963 4856.2
60 Victoria Randenigala Rantembe 30.01.1987 42087.3
61 Weerawila-Tissa 27.05.1938 4164.2
62 Welhilla Katagilla 18.02.1949 134.3
63 Welipara (Bar Reef) 03.04.1992 30669.9
64 Wilmanna 30.06.2006 3340.0
65 Wilpattu North 25.02.1938 632.0
66 Yodha Wewa 24.09.1954 4330.1

This page was last updated on 24 October 2020
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Friday, October 23, 2020

Metikotumulla Tempita Viharaya

Metikotumulla Tempita Viharaya
Metikotumulla Tempita Viharaya (also known as Sri Saddharma Thilakarama Viharaya) is a Buddhist temple situated in Essella village in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka.

History
Metikotumulla
The history of the Metikotumulla area, according to folk, is connected with Sakalakala Wallabha (or Sakalakala Wallakabahu), a provincial king appointed during the Kotte Period. Several historical sources such as Rajavaliya and Alakeshwara Yuddhaya (The battle of Alakeshwara) reveal that King Sakalakala Wallabha, one of the sons of King Vira Parakramabahu VIII (1490-1509 A.D.) had ruled this region. According to locals, Sakalakala Wallabha planned to construct a new irrigation tank in the Essella and the clays used to construct the dam were extracted from the area where the present temple situated. After that, the area became to known as Meti-ketu-mulla (clay-plowed-corner) and it was later evolved to the present name Meti-kotu-mulla.

The temple
One of the stone pillars used in Tempita Viharaya building contains the date 1893 and therefore, locals believe that this temple has been established in that year. However, the date 2454 B.E. (1911 A.D.) is found drawn on the front wall of the verandah of the Tempita building.

Tempita Viharaya
Tempita Viharas (the temples on pillars) were a popular aspect of many Buddhist temples during the Kandyan period. These structures were usually built on a wooden platform resting on bare stone pillars or stumps which are about 1-4 feet tall. The roof is generally made of timber and held by wooden stumps. The walls are usually made of wattle and daub and they form the main enclosed shrine room containing the Buddhist sculptures and murals belonging to the Kandyan style. Some Tempita Viharas have narrow verandas and ambulatories circulating the main enclosed space. Construction of these buildings was started in the 17th century and lasted until the end of the 19th century (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Metikotumulla Tempita Viharaya
Statues and paintings in the Tempita Shrine
The Tempita Viharaya is the main aspect of this temple with archaeological value. It is a rectangular building constructed upon 9 granite pillars of about 2 feet tall (Chandrasoma, 2013). The building is 14 feet 6 inches long and 10 feet 6 inches wide and an open-ambulatory has been built around it (Chandrasoma, 2013). The ambulatory is 4 feet 7.5 inches wide and its roof which has been tiled with Sinhala Ulu (semi-circular tiles) is borne by a number of circular pillars erected around the Tempita shrine (Chandrasoma, 2013). The roof of the Tempita shrine is sloping in four directions and has been balanced on supportive wooden pillars as well as the wattle wall of the building. The Maliga Ulu (flat clay tiles) have been used to tile the roof. Also, a small open-hall (a Hewisi Mandapaya) has been attached to the ambulatory in front of the shrine.

The Tempita shrine can be accessed through a wooden flight of steps leading to the small verandah in front of the entrance door. The entrance door has been placed towards the western direction and is guarded by four figures of deities including God Visnu and God Kataragama. A seated Buddha statue accompanied by two images of Sariputta (left) and Moggallana (right), the chief disciples of Gautama Buddha is found inside the shrine.

The inner walls of the shrine have been decorated with paintings depicting Buddhist themes. "The Sath-sathiya (the first seven weeks after attaining Buddhahood)", "the offering of food to the Buddha by Tapassu Balluka (or Trapusa & Bahalika)", "Sahampathi's invitation to Buddha to deliver the first sermon Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta",  "the offering of Deheti to the Buddha by God Sakra" are found among them. The outer walls of the shrine are adorned with paintings depicting "the Suvisi-vivaranaya (Buddha to be receiving the blessing from 24 previous Buddhas)". Locals say that these outer wall paintings were drawn by a painter named Arunolis, a student of the famous Kelani Vihara painter Solias Mendis.

A protected site 
The ancient Tampita Viharaya in the premises of the Metikotamulla Saddharmathilakarama Vihara in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Minuwangoda is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 November 2002. 

Metikotumulla Tempita Viharaya Metikotumulla Tempita Viharaya .
References
1) Chandrasoma, S., 2013. Gampaha Distrikkaye Tempita Vihara (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-9159-85-8. pp.43-49.
2) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. p. 12.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 26 October 2020
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Bellanwila Attidiya Sanctuary

Bellanwila Attidiya Sanctuary
The Bellanwila–Attidiya Sanctuary is one of the Sanctuaries in Sri Lanka. It is situated near Bellanwila Viharaya in Colombo District. The sanctuary is among the most important of the few remaining wetlands around Colombo (Green, 1990)

History
The area where the present sanctuary has been established was agricultural land used to cultivate rice. However, since 1980 it gradually transformed into marshland (Green, 1990). On 25 July 1990, the Department of Wildlife Conservation designated this area as a sanctuary under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance through a government Gazette (Extraordinary) notification published under the no. 620/9. 

The Bellanwila-Attidiya Sanctuary has also been recognized as a wetland of international importance. It was listed in the Directory of Asian Wetlands by the IUCN in 1989 (Henkanaththegedara et al., 2005; Karunarathna et al., 2009).

The wetland
Situated within the low country wet zone, the wetland has a tropical monsoonal climate (Henkanaththegedara et al., 2005; Karunarathna et al., 2009). The annual rainfall for the area is about 2500-5000 mm and the mean annual temperature is approximately 27 (Goonatilake et al, 2001; Henkanaththegedara et al., 2005). 

The Bellanwil-Attidiya Sanctuary is located within the upper catchments of the Bolgoda river basin (Henkanaththegedara et al., 2005). It comprises of marshes, mosaic shallow freshwater ponds, canals, seasonally flooded grasslands, scrublands, paddy fields, and scattered pockets of shrubs and small trees (Goonatilake et al, 2001; Karunarathna et al., 2009). The marshes are extending in an area of about 372 hectares and bounded by a swiftly developing urban landscape (Wickramasinghe et al., 2012). It provides a habitat for a large number of faunas including fishes, waterfowls, tetrapod, serpentoid reptiles, several mammals, and butterflies (Henkanaththegedara et al., 2005).

Bellanwila Attidiya Sanctuary Bellanwila Attidiya Sanctuary .
2) Birds at Attidiya by Sandaru senitha is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
3) Attidiya wetland by Sandaru senitha is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

References
1) Cooray, S.K., Piyadasa, R.U. and Wickramasinghe, D., 2012. Spatial variability of soil characteristics along a landscape gradient in Bellanwila-Attidiya area. Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment, 2(1). pp.61-62.
2) Goonatilake, W.D.A., Perera, L.J.K.R. and Gabadage, D.E., 2001. Amphibians of Bellanwila-Attidiya Sanctuary. Loris, Journal of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka, 22(5), pp.10-14.
3) Green, M.J.B. ed., 1990. IUCN directory of South Asian protected areas. IUCN. pp.196-197.
4) Henkanaththegedara, S.M., Herath, B.J., and Korala, D.J., 2005. Butterfly fauna of Bellanwila-Attidiya Sanctuary and its environs, Colombo district in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Naturalist, 7(1&2), pp.1-6.
5) Karunarathna, D.S., Amarasinghe, A.T., Gabadage, D.E., Bahir, M.M. and Harding, L.E., 2009. Current status of faunal diversity in Bellanwila–Attidiya sanctuary, Colombo District-Sri Lanka. fauna and flora, 7, p.49.

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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Dadagamuwa Viharaya

Dadagamuwa Viharaya
Dadagamuwa Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Dadagamuwa village in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The history of the Dadagamuwa temple goes back to the time of the Anuradhapura period as well as to the 19th century.

The temple
The temple mainly consists of an image house, a Stupa, a Bodhi-tree, monks' dwellings, and a Vatadage. The ruins of ancient structures such as Nidan-galaPadalas-gala, and stone pillars indicate the antiquity of the temple. Out of the monuments situated at the temple premises, the Vatadageya and the image house are archaeologically important. 

Dadagamuwa Vatadage 
Dadagamuwa Vatadage
The Vatadage at Dadagamuwa Viharaya is a quadrangular house enclosing a small Stupa. The roof of it consists of two decks (upper & lower) sloping in four directions and the top of the roof is ended with a pinnacle. The upper roof is borne by four pillars erected around the Stupa. The lower roof is supported on the walls as well as the circular pillars of the outer corridor. 

The inner side of the walls of the Vatadage is adorned with murals of Buddhist themes. Two rows of paintings depicting Jataka tales such as Sambula, Themiya, Dahamsoda, etc. are found among them. These paintings are said to have been done during the period between the latter part of the 19th century and the begging of the 20th century. There are some paintings on the back wall which are incomplete. However, some traces of ancient paintings are found on the walls where the modern paintings peeled off.

Image house & the Bodhi-tree
The image house, according to the date denoted above the entrance door, has been built on 2 September 1905. The Bodhi-tree is considered to be one of the saplings of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya at Anuradhapura. 

A protected site 
The ancient Vatadageya and the image house in the premises of the Dadagamuwa Raja Maha Vihara in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Attanagalla are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 8 July 2005. 

Dadagamuwa Viharaya Dadagamuwa Viharaya Dadagamuwa Viharaya .
References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1401. 8 July 2005.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 18 October 2020
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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Sera Ella Falls

Sera Ella Falls
Sera Ella Falls is a waterfall situated near the Knuckles Conservation Forest in Matale District, Sri Lanka.

The falls is formed by the Puwakpitiya Oya that originates from the Batadandu Kanda mountain and flows towards the Thelgamu Oya, a main water resource for the Moragahakanda Reservoir. The falls is about 15 m tall and cascades from the rockface as two separate sections. There is a cave hidden behind the waterfall where travelers can watch the water flowing from inside. 

Sera Ella Falls .
Attribution
1) Sera Ella waterfalls by Abishek Palraj is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Location Map
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Kadiyanlena Falls

Kadiyanlena Falls
Kadiyanlena Ella Falls (also known as Kataboola Ella Falls) is a waterfall in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. Located in Kadiyanlena village near the regional boundary between Nuwara Eliya and Kandy Districts the falls can be reached by traveling along the Nawalapitiya-Kotmale road about 11 km distance from Nawalapitiya town. The fall is also called Kataboola Ella due to the tea estate nearby with the same name.

The fall is located by the side of Nawalapitiya-Kotmale road and can be observed from the road. Formed by the Kadiyanlena Oya the falls has three segments and several pools underneath each part. The first two segments of the falls is divided from the third segment by the road that crosses the falls via an old arch-bridge. A view of the full waterfall can be obtained at the bend which is located just before the waterfall bridge.

Kadiyanlena Falls .
Attribution
1) Kadiyanlena Falls by Lahiru9837 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Location Map
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Mabodala Kshestrarama Viharaya

Mabodala Kshestrarama Viharaya
Mabodala Kshestrarama Purana Viharaya (also known as Wele Pansala) situated in Mabodala village in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka.

History
The construction dates denoted on the Seema Malakaya, image house and the belfry confirm that this temple has a history running back to the early part of the 20th century. However, according to Wellewe Chandananda Thera, the caretaker of the temple, this Viharaya has been established in 1762 (a fact yet to be confirmed). 

The temple
The temple consists of a Stupa, an image house, a small Devalaya, a Bodhi-tree, a Seema-Malakaya building, a belfry, a preaching hall, and monks' dwellings. The Seema-Malakaya where the monks gather and perform their Vinaya-karma is an old two-storied building. According to the date denoted on its one of the pillars, this building has been constructed in 1925. It was conserved by the Department of Archaeology on 14 June 2013.

The image house and the belfry, as the dates denoted on the respective structures, have been built in 2452 B.E. (1908 A.D.) and 2457 B.E. (1913 A.D.). A stone flower altar that is placed near the Bodhi-tree contains a short inscription and it reveals that the altar was made by a person named Nemis Appuhami in 2468 B.E. (1924 A.D.).

Mabodala Kshestrarama Viharaya Mabodala Kshestrarama Viharaya .
Location Map
This page was last updated on 17 October 2020
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