Western Province

 

Warana Raja Maha Viharaya

Warana Raja Maha ViharayaOn the Colombo-Kandy highway you turn right at the small town of Thihariya and reach the rock temple called Warana. Some say it’s the Ravana Temple with the letters misplaced as Warana. They believe that the temple was donated to the clergy by Ravana’s sister Sohili. Located in the Gampaha District it’s a picturesque site that attracts one to the shrine. The temple is on a rock ledge with paddy fields, coconut plantations, spice gardens and pristine villages around. Many caves in the rock complex had been converted in to temples. Recorded history dates it in the 2nd century B.C. The drip ledges carved in to the rock canopies over the caves as well as the stone inscriptions serve as evidence that the place has a very old history. The premises consist of three levels. At the lowest level there area four caves. The living quarters of the residential monks and the sermon hall is located here. A flight of 40 steps and a path flanked by two beautiful lotus filled ponds will take you to the second level which is partly canopied with an over hanging massive rock. This is where the main squire is located. The over hanging rock is colorfully painted with floral motifs and under this is a group of Buddha statues. Here there is a small dagoba and a chamber dedicated to Hindu deities. A steep climb of another 15 steps takes you to the summit level where a renovated dagoba can be seen along with a shrine room. The view from this level is panoramic. In the whole complex there are about 12 caves and it makes visiting them quite interesting. If it is peace, solace and serene tranquility you are looking for Warana is your El Dorado.

 

 

 

Kelaniya Temple

Kelaniya TempleThe Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, seven miles from Colombo. The Chief Incumbent (Chief Priest) is Venerable Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Thera.
Buddhists believe the temple to have been hallowed during the third and final visit of the Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka, eight years after gaining enlightenment. Its history would thus go back to before 500 BCE.
The Mahawansa records that the original Stupa at Kelaniya enshrined a gem-studded throne on which the Buddha sat and preached.
The temple flourished during the Kotte era but much of its land was confiscated during the Portuguese empire. Under the Dutch empire, however, there were new gifts of land and under the patronage of King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha the temple was rebuilt. It was refurbished in the first half of the 20th century with the help of Helena Wijewardana.
The temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Gautama Buddha and paintings by the native artist Solias Mendis which depict important events in the life of the Buddha, in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, also incidents from the Jataka tales. It is the venue for the Duruthu Maha Perehera procession each January. An 18-foot stone statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara has been erected at the temple.

 

Colombo National Museum

Colombo National Museum
Housed in a beautiful Colonial Era building the National museum is located at Albert Crescent. Stored here is an interesting collection of Old Books, Demon Masks, Antique furniture Art Works, Paintings, ancient china and royal regalia. The adjoining Archives are also preserving a large amount of books and documents of immense value connected to the island where one could smell the history of the land.

 

Viharamahadevi Park

Viharamahadevi Park It’s located next to the popular land mark of the city of Colombo, the sparkling white ‘Town Hall’. The Park was constructed by the British rulers and named after the Queen Victoria. After the island received its independence from the imperial rulers it was named Vihara Maha Devi in rememberance of a queen who gave her life to the ocean to save the island from a tsunami. The park is in full bloom especially in the months of March, April and early May. Across the middle of the park is a broad avenue named Ananda Kumaraswami Mawatha. A beautiful colossus Buddha statue calms your soul at the entrance. Especially during the weekend many people enter this Eldorado to find peace and tranquility. For children there is a fun fair.