8 Day Sri Lanka Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour
Travel to sacred sites & historical monuments. Trace the footsteps if Gautama Buddha’s legendary visits to this island. Fulfill your destiny and discover the spirit of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
DepartureBandaranaike International Airport
Departure TimeAfter Arrival flight time
Return TimeBefore Departure Flight time
Dress CodeCasual. Comfortable. Comfortable Shoes or Slippers. Covered cloths.
IncludeChauffer Guide / Driver (English Speaking)Transportation & FuelLunchDinnerEntrance & Activity TicketsAccommodationAirport TransfersBreakfast
Not IncludedExpenses Of Personal NatureAirline Tickets & Visa
Location 1: GANGARAMAYA TEMPLE
A Uniquely Attractive Temple & A learning Center for Buddhism.Gangaramaya is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Colombo, started by the famous scholar monk Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thera in the late 19th Century. After the Venerable Sri Sumangala, his chief pupil Devundera Sri Jinaratana Nayake Thera took on the administration of the temple. It was he who laid the foundation to convert the little temple to an institute of international reckoning. The next chief incumbent was the Ven. Devundara Keerthi Sri Sumangala Jinaratana Vacissara Thera, the teacher of the Ven. Galboda Gnanissara, who worked to make the Gangaramaya what it is today: much more than a temple in the conventional term, but a place of worship, a seat of learning and a cultural centre.
Location 2: KELANIYA TEMPLE
Buddha's 3rd Visit & Enshrined in the stupa is the gem studded throne where Buddha sat and preached Dhamma.
According to the chronicles, Lord Buddha on the 8thyear after enlightenment on full moon day of Vesak, Visited Kelaniya on the invitation of Maniakkhika the Naga king of Kelaniya, seated on the gem throne, the blessed one preached the doctrine. The gem studded throne is enshrined in the dagaba. This Vihara was built by king Yatalatissa. The height of the stupa is 80ft, circumference is 180ft. The dagaba is in the shape of a heap of paddy. In the temple premises are devales dedicated to Gods Kataragama, Vishnu, Natha and Vibhishana.
Location 3: TEMPLE OF THE SACRED TOOTH RELIC OF BUDDHA
The Temple of the highest veneration among Buddhists & Enshrined is the left canine tooth relic of Buddha.During the reign of king Kitsiri Mevan the tooth relic was brought to Sri Lanka From Kalinga by Princess Hemamali and Prince Danta. The Tooth relic was considered As the symbol of kingship and became the most sacred object of worship in the island. It was customary for the kings to build a temple near the palace, and to become its custodian. The Tooth Relic was taken to Polonnaruwa, Beli gala, Dambadeniya and Yapahuwa — the capitals of ancient Sri Lanka. It was Aryachakravarti who seized the Tooth Relic and ﬂed to India; however, king Parakramabahu III was able to bring the relic back to Sri Lanka. It was king Vimaladharmasuriya I who brought the Tooth Relic to Kandy. The Tooth Relic temple built by him was renovated by his son Veera Parakrama Narendasingha and Kirti Sri Rajasinghe respectively. King Sri Wickramarajasinghe built the Pattirippuwa or the Octaganal shaped building. A new building was constructed to enclose the ancient temple without changing its architecture. The Tooth Relic is placed in the old shrine.
Location 4: MIHINTALE MOUNTAIN
Arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka & a place sanctified by Buddha.
Eight miles east of Anuradhapura, close to the Anuradhapura - Trincomalee road is situated the “Missaka Pabbata” which is IOOOft in height and is one of the peaks of a mountainous range Though this was called Cetiyagiri or sagiri, it was popularly known as Mihintale — the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Thera Mahinda came to Ceylon from India on the fullmoon day of the month of Poson (June) and met king Devanampiyatissa and people, and preached the doctrine. The traditional spot where this meeting took place is revered by the Buddhists of Sri Lanka. Therefore in the month of Poson, Buddhists make their pilgrimage to Anuradhapura and Mihintale. From ancient times a large number of large steps were constructed to climb Mihintale. It is stated that king Devanampiyatissa constructed a vihara and 68 caves for the bhikkhus to reside. At Mihintale there gradually grew a number of Buddhist viharas with all the dependent buildings characteristic of monasteries Of that period.
Location 5: RUWANVELISEYA
Known to be the greatest stupa & Enshrined in the stupa has the most number relics of Buddha.
This is also known as the Mahathupa, Swarnamali Chaitya and Rathnamali dagaba. Inside the dagaba are enshrined valuable gems, statues made out of gold, various valuable objects and also relics of the Buddha which measure about a Don. On the four sides of the stupa are the frontispieces (Vahalkada). The Courtyard on which the stone tablets are laid is known as the Salapatala courtyard. Below the Salapatala courtyard is the compound made of sand (Velimaluwa). On the four sides of the compound are the parapat walls with its ﬁgures of elephants and has been made to appear as though it were supported by the elephants. There are 1900 ﬁgures of elephants on the wall consisting of 475 on each side. Therefore it is known as the elephant compound. In the temple courtyard are the old models of Ruwanveliseya made of stone, a statue of king Dutugemunu worshipping the dagaba. In the image house situated in the temple courtyard are four statues of the Buddhas who have attained Buddhahood in this aeon (kalpa) and the future Buddha (Maitri). The pinnacle of Ruwanveliseya is 24 ft in height.
Location 6: THUPARAMAYA
Enshrined in the stupa is the relic of Buddha's right collar bone.
Thera Mahinda himself introduced Theravada Buddhism and also chetiya worship to Ceylon. At his request, king Devanampiyatissa built Thuparamaya in which was enshrined the collarbone of the Buddha and is considered the ﬁrst dagaba built in Sri Lanka, after the introduction of Buddhism. This chetiya was built in the shape of a heap of paddy. It was destroyed from time to time. During the reign of king Agbo II it was completely destroyed and the king restored it. What we have today is the one constructed in 1862 AD. As it is today after several renovations in the course of the centuries, it has a diameter of 59ft at the base. The dome is 11 feet and 4 inches in height from the ground and has a diameter of 164.5 inches. The compound is paved with granite and there are two rows of stone pillars round the dagaba. During the early period a vatadage had been built round the dagaba.
Location 7: SRI MAHA BODHI "THE GREAT BODHI TREE"
World's most sacred tree. The branch of the bodhi tree under which buddha attained enlightenment.
During the reign of king Devanampiyatissa, theri Sanghamitta brought with her a branch of the Bodhi tree under which prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment. This is the oldest living tree in documented history. This incident took place a few months after the arrival of Mahinda thera. Amidst much rejoicing and ceremony, this tree was planted at Maha Mevna Uyana. It was planted on a high terrace about 21 feet above the ground. Surrounded by railings, it is today one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. There are other bo—trees in close proximity to this sacred bo—tree. The parapat wall round the compound where the bo-tree is planted is about 700 ft. in length, which was constructed during the reign of king Kirthi Sri Rajasingha to protect it from the wild elephants.
Location 8: SOMAWATHIYA
A Temple where miracles happen. Buddha's right canine tooth relic is enshrined in the stupa.
It is believed that a tooth relic of the Buddha is enshrined in this stupa. It is said to have been constructed by king Valagamba in memory of his wife Soma. It is stated that Tooth Relics are found in Tautisa, Nagaloka, Gandhara and Sinhaladeepa. The Tooth Relic in Kandy is believed to be the one which was originally in Gandh'ara. The relic which was at Sinhaladeepa is enshrined in Somawathie Stupa.
Location 9: MAHIYANGANAYA
Buddha's First visit to Sri Lanka. Buddha's Hair and neck bone relics are enshrined in the stupa.
It was the first place visited by the Lord Buddha to settle a dispute between the Yakshas near river Mahaveli. Mahiyangana dagaba was built where the Buddha remained during the visit. According to documentary evidence, it was God Saman who enshrined the hair relic of the Buddha and built the stupa to the height of 7 cubits. Later arahant sarabhu brought with him the relic of the neck (Griva Dhatu) from the pyre of the Lord Buddha enshrined it and enlarged it upto 12 cubits. King Chulabhaya, brother of king Devanampiyatissa, enlarged it upto 30 cubits and king Dutugamunu enlarged it upto 80 cubits. The stupa which had got dilapidated was restored recently. It is recorded that out of the eight seeds from Sri Mahabodhi one seed was planted here.
Location 10: GOLDEN CAVE TEMPLE
The world famous largest and carefully preserved cave temple complex.This temple has been a sacred place of sanctity for the buddhist since the second century BC. The temple stands out as a very impressive cave temple well known for its strategic location on a rock slab reflecting the ancient culture of the island based on Buddhism and inspired by buddhist ideals. The art of sculpture and painting could be well observed. This is certainly a temple of exceptional caliber that makes us certainly proud of Sri Lankas past. There are a series of five caves turned into shrines and also are numerous images of Buddha. The ceiling is too covered with frescoes in which depict great events in the life of the Buddha, and landmarks in the history of Sinhala people.
Location 11: NAGADEEPA ISLAND TEMPLE
Buddha's Second visit to Sri Lanka
In the Jaffna Peninsular, in the island of Nainattiu is situated the Nagadipa Vihara. It is one of the sixteen sacred places of worship in Sri Lanka. According to the chronicles, on the fifth year after enlightenment, buddha visited Nagadipa to settle a dispute between two Naga kings - Chulodara and Mahodara regarding a gem throne. There still remains a dagaba and a vihara.The vihara could be reached by boat. This place is sanctified by Buddha.
Location 12: WATADAGE
A Temple where Tooth Relic of Buddha Kept Enshrined
Watadage is a Circular relic house or a house built encircling a stupa. The Vatadage at Polonnaruwa represents the utmost elaboration of the circular cetiyaghara in Sri Lanka. It is a beautiful circular structure. It consists of two concentric circular stone terraces one above the other. On the stone pillars is constructed the roof of the building. A conventional entrance leads to the first terrace. From this to the upper terrace there are four entrances at the four cardinal points. The upper terrace housed a small dagaba with four statues depicting posture of tranquility (Samadhi). The floor is of stone slabs. According to the rock inscription found there, it is believed that king Nissanka Malla constructed this building.
Location 13: GAL VIHARAYA
Most stunning and well preserved giant buddha statues carved out of a single slab of rock.
The colossal ﬁgures carved on the face of the living rock at Galvihara and the walls constructed to protect the statue can be with certainty taken as representative of the type of the Buddha image that was common during the Polonnaruwa period. These have been destroyed and only the foundation can be seen. Four colossal Buddha images have been carved from one large rock. At the left while facing the shrine is a sedent Buddha. Parakramabahu the Great along with Dimbulagala Kasyapa Thera, puriﬁed and restored the Sasana and engraved in the edict rules for the guidance of monks. The next image is a large ﬁgure of the Buddha. The statue of the Buddha standing with arms crossed over the chest and with a sorrowful expression in the countenance and is the only one of its kind in Ceylon. According to some, this depicts the symbol of “Paradukkha dukkhita” - He who is sorrowing for the sorrows of others. Finally at the extreme right is an image of the recumbent Buddha. There is also a view that this image depicts the Parinirvana (passing away) of the Buddha.
Location 14: MUTHIYANGANAYA TEMPLE
Buddha's Hair and Tear drops that became pearls are enshrined in the temple.A place sanctified by Buddha during his 3rd visit to Sri Lanka and Buddha spent time here with arahants in ecstatic mediation and 60 Bhikkus attained arahantship at once at Muthiynaganaya Temple. Buddha’s hair and teardrops that became pearls enshrined in the stupa. It was built by king Devanampiyatissa and was later enlarged by king Detutis.
- > Schedule, duration and/or locations may vary due to traffic conditions or unforeseen circumstances.
- > Covered attire must be worn inside the sacred sites. Shoulders, Knees must be covered and caps, hats and shoes must be removed before entering the sites.
Included in the tour cost
- >Double or Triple sharing basis
- > Transportation from airport arrival to drop off
- > Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
- > Water bottles
- > Coordinators Fees
- > Drivers / Assistance Fees
Excluded from the tour cost
- > Air Tickets
- > Visa & Insurance
- > Additional Food & Drinks
- > Donations
- > Other Purchases