Sunday, March 14, 2021

Tsunami Honganji Viharaya

Tsunami Honganji Viharaya
Tsunami Honganji Viharaya is a Buddhist place of worship situated in Peraliya in Galle District, Sri Lanka.

Tsunami disaster and the Honganji Vihara
On 26 December 2004, an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 9.3 occurred along Northern Sumatra and the Nicobar and Andaman Islands, and Sri Lanka was among the worst-hit countries with more than 30,000 fatalities (Sumathipala et al., 2006). Peraliya where the present Tsunami Honganji Vihara is situated was badly affected by the waves of Tsunami. It is also the place where the largest single rail disaster in world history by death toll, with more than 1,500 fatalities, happened (Rohan et al., 2009).

One year later, as a sign of rising from the disaster, a giant Buddha statue was proposed to be built at Peraliya and its construction works were begun after laying the foundation stone on 24 December 2005.

The statue was unveiled on 26 December 2006 by Rev. Otani Chojun, the president of Honganji Foundation and the chief incumbent of Honganji Viharaya in Kyoto, Japan with the presence of Ven. Banagala Upatissa Thera, the chief Sanghanayaka of Japan, and Mahinda Rajapakse, the then president of Sri Lanka.

The statue
The statue is 18.5 m tall and stands near the seashore facing the sea depicting the Abhaya-mudra, the gesture of reassurance and safety. It was erected to commemorate the victims of the Tsunami tragedy and as a symbol of hope for the mental and spiritual relief of all Tsunami victims in the country, and also promotes the propagation of Buddhism and its culture by making stronger ties between Japan and Sri Lanka.

The statue is also a reproduction of the famous Bamiyan Buddhas at Afganistan that were destroyed on 27 February 2001 by the terrorist group Taliban.

References
1) Rohan, R.P., Hettiarachchi, M., Vidanapathirana, M. and Perera, S., 2009. Management of dead and missing: Aftermath tsunami in Galle. Legal Medicine, 11, pp.S86-S88.
2) Sumathipala, A., Siribaddana, S. and Perera, C., 2006. Management of dead bodies as a component of psychosocial interventions after the tsunami: A view from Sri Lanka. International Review of Psychiatry, 18(3), pp.249-257.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 3 April 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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