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Sri Lanka Tourism - Buddhist Sites

Sri Lanka Tourism - Buddhist Sites

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Published by rockstarlk

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Published by: rockstarlk on May 05, 2008
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06/16/2009

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Sacred Buddhist Sites
Sri Lanka Tourism
80 Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka 
Tel:
+94 11 243 7059/60
Fax:
+94 11 244 0001
E-mail:
info@srilankatourism.org
 Website:
www.srilankatourism.org
Sri Lanka
A land like no other
 
He travelled throughout India and visited Sri Lankaon three occasions, spreading the doctrine(dharma) that is the foundation of oneof the world’s major faiths, and the faithof the majority of Sri Lankans.
Lord Buddha’s first visitto Sri Lanka in 528 BC 
 was to try to avert a war betweentwo rival factions of a clan. WhileLord Buddha was still alive, a dagoba — believed to containlocks of his hair — was built on the site where he is said tohave levitated, terrifying and instantly converting the primitivelocal Veddhas to the Buddhist faith.
In the Steps of 
Lord Buddha
A large footprint embeddedatop a 2,234 metremountain, Sri Pada, isbelieved by Buddhists tohave been made by LordBuddha on his second visitto Sri Lanka in 523 BC.
This site, which draws tens of thousands of pilgrims eachyear, is one of several sacred places associated with LordBuddha. Born into a royal family in India, Siddhartha Gautama was deeply disturbed by the sufferings of those around him.He rejected his comfortable life and wandered for many years,searching for a way of life that would help alleviate the sufferingof mankind. Finally, after a period of meditation under aFicus religiosa or bo tree, he attained enlightenment, becomingknown as the Buddha or Enlightened One.
 
In 520 BC, Lord Buddha was invitedto preach by the king of Kelaniya. Today, theKelaniya Raja MahaVihara sits in a park-like setting, just 9kilometres from theheart of Colombo
.The main courtyard containsa shrine house or vihara, astupa (dagoba), and a sacred bo tree, the type under whichLord Buddha gained enlightenment.
The vihara was destroyed and rebuilt severaltimes, the current incarnation having beenconstructed in the early 20th century. This is arguablyone of the most interesting viharasin the country, for inside it, almostevery square centimetre of thewalls and ceiling is decorated withfrescoes, executed by a famouslocal artist.
This ancient dagoba or dome-shaped stupaat
Mahiyangana
, east of Kandy,has been added to for more thantwo thousand years, and is reveredas one of the holiest Buddhistsites in the country.
Lord Buddhareturned to SriLanka five yearslater 
, again in an attemptto prevent a war. Today, a bell-shaped dagoba marks the siteon the small island of 
Nainativu
, west of Jaffna. Nearthe dagoba is a robust tree, the cutting of which is supposedto have been brought with Lord Buddha. After leaving the mountain peak of Sri Pada where, accordingto legend, he left his footprint, Lord Buddha is said to havemeditated at a spot near the east coast, a remote regionbetween Batticaloa and the beautiful Arugam Bay. The
Digavapi dagoba
was built here in the 2nd century BC. Another sacred relic, a tooth of Lord Buddha, isenshrined at Sri Dalada Maligawa or the
Temple of the Tooth, in Kandy
.

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