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The Significance Of Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharya History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

The significance of Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharya as the most sacred worshipping places of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka can be explained by the visit of mighty Buddha. Kelaniya has been a very large city in the past with Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharya as its largest and most mesmerizing temples of Sir Lanka. This beautiful temple is located approximately six miles from Colombo within a sacred area of around ten acres; it also is situated beside the Kelani River which reflects the traditions of Buddhists in the country. The spot of the temple derived its sanctity in the Buddhist era 2351, with the third and final visit of the Buddha to Sri Lanka. During his visit he hallowed the ground on which the temple stands, with the company of 500 Arahants. This event took place eight years after Buddha had gained enlightenment. Thus the history of the temple goes back to before 500 BC. The visiting of the spot by Buddha on a Wesak day, on the invitation of King Maniakkhika has caused that temple to be a tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. During the Kotte era the temple flourished but in the time of the Portugese Empire most of the land was lost. In 1510 when the Portuguese entered, they destroyed the sacred temple and confiscated the land, preventing the Buddhists from worshipping in the temple. However, under the Dutch Empire the temple was rebuilt under the orders of King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha, where new land was also provided. With the help of Helena Wiiewardana the temple was restored in the half of the 20th century. The temple is known for its image of the sprawling Buddha and paintings that paint the major events in the life of Buddha. These events are vital in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, along with being a part of the Jataka tales. The temple is the locaction for the Duruthu Maha Perehera procession on the January of each year. Moreover an eighteen stone statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara has been placed at the temple that makes it attractive to tourists and especially many of the Buddhists from all over the world. There is also a 2500 year old relic chamber that is believed to contain the throne made out of gold and jewels on which Buddha sat to teach, along with Buddha’s hair and utensils.

Maligatenna Raja maha Viharaya

The Maligatenne rock cave temple is not that far away from Colombo, approximately two miles from Tihariya junction. The temple from a far off distance can be visible by a small dagaba, shinning white. The temple has several caves, that are not very deep but they do have dip ledge brows about forty to fifty feet high. The caves are different levels and sizes, with granite slabs on the floor that cause a cool atmosphere in the cave. The caves are at 3 levels where the largest is the main meditation Centre. Theses caves are well known by Buddhists and were built back at the times of Mahinda Thera. King Walagamba used these caves to hide from the Indian attacks till he could make an army, for which this temple was renowned. In order to make the rock caves habitable, drip ledges were cut to take rain water away from the steep rock surface. Most of them were cut during the time of King Walagamba and it is unbelievable due to the height of the rock caverns. As an act of thanksgiving by King Walagamba the large cave was transformed into a shrine room. The King ordered a Buddha statue and today a eighteen feet Buddha statue in the temple. The temple is still used for the purpose of worshipping by the Buddhists till this day, containing mural paintings depicting Jataka stories. At the back of the cave in the outdoor a skeleton hangs in a sheltered nook. This is meant for people to meditate on the nature of life and give a reminder to man that death is inevitable so it is a symbolic of death. To the top of the mountain there which has the dagaba, the path is made of jagged rocks and loose gravel. Besides the dagaba there is also a rectangular pool filled with water and covered with beautiful blooming white lilies. There is a rumor that the pond never runs dry and there is hidden treasure at the base of the pond. This is one of the most beautiful temples in Sri Lanka that should be visited and is an important site for tourists due to its rich historical background and relevance, along with its incomparable beauty. This is also a perfect location to provide you with good scenery as well as beauty and a place where you can observe Buddhists still keeping Buddha’s teachings alive in the temple.

Alagiyawanna falls

The Algiyawanna falls are situated in the Gampaha Distict. Cascading from two boulders, impressively four meter high the waterfall looks absolutely beautiful, especially in the monsoon season. To reach the waterfall we need to travel to Hanwella first, which is thirty kilometers from Gampaha and the waterfall is further two and half kilometers from there. While travelling on the Colombo Kandy Road, we need to turn at Nittambuwa Junction and pass Watupitiwala Attauagalla, and Urpola to get to Hanwella. Turning from the Meewitigama Junction, we have to travel one and half kilometers towards Amitirigala and reach Bopagama Temple. A kilometer away from here stands the beautiful Alagiyawanna falls. The Alagiyawanna falls emerge from the Aquifers of Kandalande Estate and the stream is joined by Nagas Canal. The cascades from two rock boulders show the flow across Agrarian land to Attanagalu tank. This flow of water looks more vibrant during raining seasons. The view has high towering trees which prevent the sunlight from entering and the environment is rather gloomy. The stream overflows with fish, which is one of many reasons why it is a popular waterfall amongst locals. Along with this breathtaking waterfall there are adjoining attractions for tourists, such as archeology sites and Buddhist temple. Ruwanwelisaya, a Buddhist temple also known as Mahathupa, Swarnamali Chaitya and Rathnamali Dagab, was built by King Dutugemunu and is known for its magnificent architecture. In addition to this, it is also the tallest monument in the world, making it an attraction to people all over the globe. Alawala PreHistoric Site and Avissawella are two examples of archaeology sites nearby the waterfall. Alawala caves are famous for the amazing discovery of two prehistoric human remains along with artifacts and utensils. The site is now an archeological dig site which is being investigated by the students, so it is attractive to individuals interested in the field of archaeology. Avissawella on the other hand is located fifty kilometers from Colombo and is called Seethawaka, a name associated with the Sita Devi of Ramayana. In the 17th century this place was once the capital of the Seethawaka Kingdom. These entire sites make the visit to the Alagiyawanna falls even more exciting and interesting, shedding light on the tourist sites in Sri Lanka. The waterfall is a surely a place that depicts and conveys the undeniable beauty and power of nature itself.

Horagolla national park

One of the most established national parks of Sri Lanka is the Horagolla national park. In 1973 the area was assigned to become a wildlife sanctuary due to its rich biodiversity. However afterwards in 2004 this protected areas was declared a national park. The abundance of ‘Hora’ trees in the area, over 13.362 hectares in Gamoaha gave the park its name. The park is the smallest national park on the island and is regarded as the only urban park in the highly populated western province of Sri Lanka. The park is situated next to the Horagolla Walauwa which is the family home of the Bandaanaike family. Not much variety of animal species exists in the park although it does have a garden of carefully planted trees. These include Canarium zeylanicum (Kekuna), Dillenia retusa (Godapara),Caryota urens (Kitul), Pericopsis mooniana (Nedun),Mangifera zeylanica (Atamba), Sacred fig, Alstonia scholaris (Ruk Attana), Acronychia pedunculata (Ankenda), Vitex pinnata (Milla), Mimusops elengi (Moonamal), Breadfruit and Pterospermum canescens (Velang).The trees are seen to be very tall in the park, making it dense and hard to view the sky. The park consists of a low county evergreen forest and a humus soil structure that is ideal for a comfortable walk. The only wildlife in the park consist of Fishing Cat, Sri Lankan Spotted Chevrotain, Golden Jackal, Grizzled giant squirrel and sixty eight species birds; making it an ideal spot for bird watching. The different kinds of birds consist of Parakeets, Black-crested Bulbul, Barbets, Asian Koel, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Layard’s Parakeet and Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher. The rare Clipper, Ceylon Birdwing and Blue Mormon are the butterflies fluttering in the park while an occasional cobra or a python is also observed. The summer house by the canal is spread with aquatic birds which makes it an ideal place to enjoy solitude and relax after a long walk and afternoon well spend at the Horagolla. Both the park and its surroundings are very pleasant, with the visitors accompanied by a department guide. Overcrowding is the biggest problem faced by the traveler to scenic places in Sri Lanka today, including this park so it should be looked into. The biggest advantage of this national park is its accessibility. The garden is ideal for those who enjoy nature and solitude because of its short distance from Colombo. The paths are paved with concrete which makes walking very easy and enjoyable.

Alawala Pre-Historic Archaeological Site

After the discovery of two pre-historic humans’ remains and other artifacts in the Alawala, Gampaha, the place has been a hub for archaeology students and other speacialists. These people are interested in searching for more clues to our mysterious past as shown by the remains. Potugal lena serves as a passage in to the pre-historic Sri Lanka of nearly 125,000 years back. Various excavations in the area have unearthed evidence of an entire livelihood of hunters, gatherers and a religious establishment that is dating back to pre-Buddhist times. When travelling by the Kirindiwela-Nittambuwa main road there is a three kilometers turn off that leads to the Alawala Potgul Viharaya. This is a temple of about 60 acres, encompassing three caves. This is mainly the cave of the temple, also known as Viharalena, potgul lena. The cave is also often referred to as the cave of the library and the thapo lena or the cave of meditation. The shelter of the viharalena, which is situated closest to the temple, carries two eras worth of Buddhist history. Along its length there is a reclining Buddha of the Kandyan Era, which suffered on the hands of the treasure hunters after its reconstruction. On either side of the shelter there are two seated statues of belonging to the Anuradhapura era (377 BC) and the Kandyan Era (1500s AD). The murals are a special feature of the cave along with the aged illustrations of the Buddha that have been drawn on a polished rock surface. The second cave is called Potgul lena having a very strong mystery to it, but to reach it is not an easy task. There is a detour across a streamlet to another isolated footpath that leads to the second cave. The archaeological excavations here have unearthed numerous bone fossils comprising of pieces of skulls, mandibles and molars belonging to pre-historical adult and a child. Moreover bone tools used for skinning and stripping meat off animal bones have been recovered from the site along with the remains of animal bones. Interestingly, a pendant fashioned from a shark tooth was among the jewelry dug out that shows the creativity of ancient man. Archaeologists have also discovered two stone inscriptions in one of the cave’s drip-ledge, stating the names of village officials and instruction for the function of a religious center way before the era Buddhism was well-established in the country.

Dadagamuwa Raja maha Viharaya

The temple is in the Dadagamuwa village that is a thirteen kilometer drive from Gampaha. It can be reached by travelling along Colombo; from Kandy road up to Kalagedihena junction, turn off to Veyangoda road and travel one mile to reach Dadagamuwa Junction from which turn left and travel another half mile to reach the temple. The temple has a “Watadageya”, which is the most important of all the structures. It is decorated with paintings that are strongly believed to belong to Kandy era. The walls of inner halls of this structure decorated with two rows of beautiful paintings. The paintings of the upper row are based on Sambula Jathakaya and Themiya Jathakaya. On the other hand the lower row is based on Dhamsoda Jathakaya. Moreover, there are two paintings in the back wall which are left incomplete. These paintings have been restored during the latter part of 19th century and beginning of 20th century. Hence they are not the original paintings made in olden times. The original paintings seem to belong to the Kandy Era as indicated by the peeled off sections of the existing paintings. In addition to all this the roof of the Watadagaya contains two tiers that are sloping in four directions, where the top of the roof is crowned with a pinnacle. There are many ancient architectural structures like Nidngala, ancient stone pillars and Padalasa Gala present in the temple, giving it a very high archeological importance. The temple also has a dagaba within the “Watadageya” which is shaped like a water bulb, known as ‘Diya bubula’. There are painting of Jathaka stories in the inner hall that is present in the enclosure of the Dagaba and a presence of nine meters high circular stone pillars outside the corridor. Here the spire consists of ten spiral rings with the crystal pinnacle. The stone pillars such as ‘Nidana gala’ and ‘Padalassa gala’ are few additional monuments on the place that provide evidence to the history of the temple. The Bo Tree that stands magically in the vihara maluwa is considered to be a sapling from Sri Maha Bodi Anuradhapura. The serene beauty of the Maha Vihara siste is beyond description through words and the amazing statues, paintings, architecture of the temple adds to its allure. Currently in Dadagamuva Rajamaha Viharaya, Sri Dharmapala Jayanthi Dhamma School plays a vital role in the Spiritual Behavior of the students.

Henarathgoda Botanical Gardens

Henarathgoda Botanical Garden is located around thirty kilometers north-west of Colombo, near Gampaha off Colombo-Kandy road. The variation in the availability of trees in this garden is from distant places like Brazil. The oldest Rubber tree in the island is seen at this park. In 1876 AD, the first seedlings of Brazilian rubber tree ever were planted in Asia, growing and prospering these lovely Gardens. Nowadays, the rubber industry is one the largest sector contributing in the economy of Sri Lanka. There are two entrances from Gampaha and Ja ela to the garden. It is most beautiful during the monsoons as most of the trees are lush and green. In Sri Lanka it rains at least twice a year, the long wet season helps the gardens to maintain the year round verdure. The garden is about seven acres in size, with Attanagalu Oya flows through the garden and a ferry service for the convenience of visitors.  The Gampaha gardens also showcase about one thousand and five hundred types of other plants. Kithul palm supplies Sri Lanka with its rich brown raw sugar, jaggery, and alcoholic toddy. Tall Mahogany and Satinwood trees abound, as well as Figs and even some Eucalypts. The orchid house is also worth a visit to marvel at the variety of colors and forms that these exquisite flowers can take, from pink to blue, brown and green. There is a huge variety of flowering acacias that are well adapted to the arid conditions of the land in Sri Lanka and flourish on the Jaffna Peninsula. Among the trees of the dry-land forests some valuable species are growing in the garden; such as satinwood, ebony, ironwood, and mahogany. In the wet zone, the dominant vegetation of the lowlands is a tropical evergreen forest, with tall trees, broad foliage, and a dense undergrowth of vines and creepers. Subtropical evergreen forests resembling those of temperate climates flourish in the higher altitudes. Forests at one time covered nearly the entire island, but by the late 20th century lands classified as forests and forest. The landscape of Henarathgoda Botanical Gardens is breathtaking with over 10,000 species of flora planted in the garden. During the spring season in Nuwara Eliya thousands of visitors come to see the blooms in the beautiful piece of land .A close estimate of the number of annual visitors is around five hundred thousand.

Negombo beach resort city

Negombo Beach was the first beach resort in Sri Lanka and is an ideal place to start or end your vacations in Sri Lanka. Conveniently located only fifteen kilometers from Sri Lanka’s International Airport, Negombo offers wide beaches, a great selection of hotels and guesthouses. There are many options, ranging from budget to five star resorts, excellent restaurants, well stocked supermarkets and many watersport facilities. The colorful array of coral reefs is present in Negombo, along with a fifty year old shipwreck that acts as an artificial reef for many varieties of fishes. There is availability of Catamaran ride at most hotels. Negombo beach is a very amazing hot spot for tourism that is perfect for various water sports, like diving and wind surfing. To view the best of the sandy beaches it is advisable to head to main hotel drag, where it is possible to hire all sorts of watersports equipment and get enrolled in reasonably prices diving courses. The beaches were used by the Portuguese, Dutch and British as main export harbor for cinnamon, so you will still see many historical buildings. Major attractions in the city are the Old Dutch fort gate that was built in 1672, the Dutch Canal which was then a supply route from the interior of the island, old churches and fishing villagers. The Old Dutch canal running through the town is still being used and is an attraction for those who want to see the country from a different perspective, till this day. Many tourists enjoy watching the old world fishing crafts like the outrigger canoes and the catamarans bringing a variety of marine fishes: such as seers, skipjacks, pomfrets and amber-jacks. In the lagoon lobsters and prawns are also caught and served as fascinating delicacies in the restaurants. On Negombo’s long Beach there are many seafood restaurants, bars and shops. Moreover, the town itself shows the interesting colonial past which was heavily influenced by the Catholic Church. There are numerous ways to explore Negombo but one of the most recommendable ones is traveling along the many canals that are connecting the Negombo lagoon and the sea. Hence we see that there are many activities like exploring the Dutch heritage, snorkeling in the reefs close by, taking a boat out on the lagoon, a refreshing beer in one of the many pubs shows that there is plenty to do even outside the Resort.

Angurukaramulla raja mahavihara temple

Located in close locality of the Bandaranaike International Airport, not far away from the Negombo town, the Angurukaramulla Temple is visited by many tourists. The temple is well known for its Buddha statue that is six meters high. When enter this famed site you will see the gigantic sculpture of a dragon at the base of the entrance, as if it were there to guard the temple from evil spirits. The garish exterior décor of the multicolored tiles, pillars and arches above and around the massive seated Buddha and the gaping maw of some fantastic creature that forms the entrance to the temple, are visible from the road, leading the visitor to expect more of the same. Right from the entrance the temple portrays a unique style of ancient murals and the historic paintings. These are the highlight for the tourists who visit the temple as well. The Angurukaramulla Temple is never missed by the Buddhist pilgrims who pass through Negombo. When entering the premises is impossible not to notice the collection of Buddha statues that are gifted by his devotees. Its unique design, the ornate statues and the colorfully painted deities on the ceiling of the shrine room add to the historic and artistic value of the site. Towards the side of the shrine room is another important part of the temple that portrays stories from the “Mahavansa” of the queens and kings that once ruled the country. Unfortunately, this building id broken down and neglected, the paintings are cracked and faded with large sections of the drawings missing altogether. The Siddha Sooniyam Devale attached to the temple premises is visited by Hindu followers in the area and is a known Hindu place of worship, which in turn attracts more in Hindus in numbers than other shrines do. When you visit this beautiful site you are promised its beauty. The culture and the history brought about by the Agurukaramulla temple, in addition to the warmth and hospitality of the people and the beautiful, gleaming sun that bathes the landscape in a warm tropical glow. The part of the garden has white painted building with intricately worked eaves and balconies with beautiful framework like lace, carrying a little plaque identifying it as a library, declared by Sir Andrew Caldecott in 1941. This building too has fallen into disrepair, although the original plaque still remains.

Aththanagalla raja maha vihara

Attanagalla Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the most famous ancient royal temples in Sri Lanka. The Attanagalla Royal temple is the primary one among its nine subordinate temples and is situated in Western Province, Sri Lanka. The temple is twenty eight miles northeast of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. It is unique because it is the only ancient temple historically recognized as the place where a Bodhisattva, mesning ‘a future Buddha’; fulfilled his Dana Paramita. Dana Paramita is one of the ten perfections to be completed by a Bodhisattva to become a Buddha, known as an Awakened One. He sacrificed his life by giving his head in gratitude in return to a favor he received from a poor and ordinary countryman. Recognized by the name of King Sri Sangabo (247-249 A.D.) he was known in the chronicles and other ancient literature of Sri Lanka, as the most pious Buddhist king in Sri Lankan history. After King Sri Sangabo, his brother Gothabhaya (249-262 A.D.) became the king of the country and built a Stupa (Pagoda) at the place where his brother, Bodhisattva Sri Sangabo, made the great sacrifice fulfilling a parami. According to the Attanagall Vihara Chronicle, during the reign of King Upatissa (365-406 A.D.), one of the monks after having practiced meditation achieved Arahanthship that is ‘Enlightenment’ at this temple. King Upatissa was very pleased to hear this and built a five-story monastery, which he offered to the Maha Sangaha. The Sirisangobo story is perhaps the reason why the temple is so significance, in the story there were three friends; Sangabodhi, Gotabhaya and Sangathissa who came to Anuradhapura to serve the king. A blind wise man predicted to Gotabhaya that all of them would be king but only the last would survive. Gotabhaya however did not tell the others what he was told; hence later on Sangathissa killed the king and took his place for four years. He was later found to be poisoned to death, which followed Prince Sangabo to be king. The king made peace with Rakthakshi, a devil only for prince Gotabhaya to come to the throne. Sangabo lived a simple life in Aththanagalla as a hermit meditating most of the time. Prince Gotabaya wanted to kill Sangobo, which lead to bloodshed so Sangobo himself offered his chopped head as a peace offering to the peasants. This place later became a temple and a lot of people visit it today.

Kalutara

Fa Hien Caves

Fa Hien is a cave in Sri Lanka, located in the south western part of the country, in the area of Kalutara. Fa Hien cave is an important archaeological site which has human skeletal remains from the late Pleistocene. The oldest fragments of the human bones are the skeletal remains of three children and two adults. They also show a secondary burial, when the dead bodies were exposed in the jungle and placed in graves after they decomposed and cleansed by the predators. The cave was named after a Buddhist monk Faxian (Wade-Giles: Fa Hien). The Late Pleistocenehuman skeletal remains discovered in the 1960s and 1980s, along which the first human burials in the cave were uncovered in 1968 by Dr Siran U. Deraniyagala. He was a part of the Sri Lankan government department of archaeology and returned with an assistant, W. H. Wijepala, in 1988. The main findings form the caves comprised of microliths, the remains of ancient fires, and the remains of plants and human beings. It was shown by radiocarbon dating that the cave had been occipied from about 33,000 to 4,750 years ago, from the Late Pleistocene to the Middle Holocene. The human remains from the different levels were taken to the Human Biology Laboratory at Cornell University, where they were studied by Dr Kenneth A. R. Kennedy and one of his graduate students, Joanne L. Zahorsky. The oldest fragments of human bone came from a young child, two older children, a juvenile, and two adults, and showed evidence of being secondary burials: that is, after death, the bodies were exposed, and after decomposition and the predations of scavengers, the bones were placed in graves. The later remains included those of a young child, about 6,850 years old, and a young woman, nearly about 5,400 years old. These discoveries are important to archaeologists and palaeontologists because the earliest of the people buried in the Cave lived at the same time as European Cro-Magnon man and other hominids of the Late Pleistocene around the world. Studies of the teeth found in the cave indicate that the population of Sri Lanka ground nuts, seeds, and grains in stone querns in the preparation of food, and that they continued to live as hunter-gatherers until about the eighth century BC. This shows that Sri Lanka has yielded the earliest known microliths, which didn’t appear in Europe until the Early Holocene.

Kalutara temple

It is located approximately forty kilometers away from Colombo in the city of Kalutara, the third largest city in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. Named after the sparkling “Kalu Ganga” river, Kalutara has a rich history as it once was an important spice trading centre in the region. Today, it is one of the more popular cities of the country, and is home to several beautiful features and magnificent attractions. One of the city’s most famous and legendary attractions is the Kalutara Temple, one of Sri Lanka’s most holiest and most beautiful temples. Home to the only hollow stupa in the world, this temple boasts of a rich history, beautiful structures, marvellous monuments, and an unparalleled spiritual ambience. The beauty and tranquillity of this magnificent, grand temple attracts not only Buddhists, but also members of other religious communities as well as tourists. The temple is located south of the Kalutara Bridge and overlooks the river. It is a must-see attraction for any tourist, as it imparts an experience which represents the spiritual as well as cultural lifestyle of the folk of Sri Lanka. Being built on the site of an ancient Portuguese Fort, the temple was built in the1960’s. Within the cool walls of the stupa of this temple are seventy four beautiful murals that depict various jataka katha. The people who visit for the purpose of praying preform rituals and offerings of oil-lamps, flowers, and incense. Some even are seen pouring water to the roots of the sacred Bo Tree when doing their poojas. An interesting tradition is that almost every motorist who passes by the temple, stops, offers a few coins and prays for a safe journey. A visit to this site offers a spiritual and cultural experience amidst a peaceful atmosphere, by which you will surely be inspired. The visitors who intend to stay have options of Kalutara hotels that can make reservation with The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels. This hospitality group has a number of luxury hotels, where Sri Lanka is in the key locations around the country. There hotels are known to for their excellent service and the legendary Sri Lankan hospitality, they offer tranquil accommodation and a range of luxury facilities and services which will make your stay in this tropical haven most comforting and memorable. Therefore this temple is surely one of the most attractive and magnificent places see when visiting Kalutara,

Dombagaskanda temple

Bodhinagala Aranya Senasanaya can be reached by traveling about three miles from Ingiriya town and then take the left turn from bodhinagalaa road. After traveling about one and half miles you will reach the forest. The Dombagaskanda Forest Reservation where this place is situated was named in 1955. This beautiful place is on a claim and natural environment. In South East of this beautiful forest area, flows the Kalu River and that slope area is rich in herbal plants and southern wet zone plants inheritable to this area. There are about twenty to twenty five monks meditating in the caves situated here and there in this Aranya Senasana. The meditative monks come out from the caves only when they eat and then they go back to the caves in the forest. This area is very calm and high in security. Many foreigners and local visitors come to visit this Aranya Senasana. It is situated surrounding a Buddhist temple; this tropical rain forest is rich in fauna and flora and is a good birding venue in the western province, close to Colombo. There are close to one hundred and fifty species of birds recorded including several endemics such as Legge’s Flowerpecker, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Spot-winged Thrush and the endangered Green-billed Coucal. Some of the other birds recorded here include Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Large Cuckooshrike and Indian Blue Robin. Some of the reptiles recorded here are Earless Lizard and Humped-nosed Lizard. You can also see a wide variety of butterflies which includes Yamfly, Malayan, Tawny Rajah and Cingalese Bushbrown. You could also find many fish species such as Giant Danio, Smooth-breasted Snakehead, Horadandiya and the rare Jonklaas’s Loach. For visitors going along to a temple is free and meditation teaching is also free. The Buddhist belief is that religion should be free, open and truthful. It is a custom, if you go to a temple, to take a small offering such as flowers or food. If you talk to a master for long periods, you may wish to leave a small donation. For some activities such as public talks, meditation courses, retreats; a charge is made, because the expenses involved in organizing them can be substantial. The teaching is not supposed to be denied to people who lack financial accumulation. Hence the temple and the forest both are very attractive sites next to each other for the tourists and Buddhists visiting the area.

Nachichimale temple

The Nachichimale temple is a famous Vipassana meditation center, with map coordinates 6°46’26″N and 80°12’20″E. This makes it easier for us to find the temple on the map when we are travelling around in Sri Lanka. The nearby cities around the Nachichimale temple are Homagama, Kalutara and Panadura, which make the locating the temple easier to find for tourists. A water stream passing by the side of the aranya creates a calm cool environment that is ideal for meditation. The meditation helps prevent stress from getting into the system and works in releasing accumulated stress in the system. On the physical level meditation helps in lowering high blood pressure, lowers the levels of blood lactate and reduces anxiety attacks. It also decreases any tension related pain, such as tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems. Moreover it increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior, improves the immune system and increases the energy level, as you gain inner source of energy. On the mental level it decreases anxiety, improves emotional stability, increases creativity, increases happiness, and develops your intuition as you gain clarity and peace in mind. All of


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