Sunday, April 4, 2010

Exploring Bentota - Buddhist Temple of 'Galapatha Raja Maha Vihara

A 15 minute drive from our hotel, The Tax Exotica saw us at another 'must visit' place  in Bentota  Buddhist Temples - also known as the 'Benthara Galapatha Raja Maha Vihara'. This ancient Budhist temple is famous for the tooth relic of the 3rd desciple of Buddha that lies buries in the Stupa. This temple is believed to have been made in the 12th century, it however was destroyed by the Dutch in the 16th century and was subsequently rebuilt giving it a newer look.
 A Long path leads upto the main building
 This is the main entrance to the temple complex. At this point you will be required to remove your shoes. ( When it is hot , your feet can really burn). The arched doorway is made of 2 upright monolith carved pillars with another 2 pillars on the top and bottom of the doorway. Dating back to the 'Kandyan Period' (1590 to 1830), these pillars are elaborately carved with the 'Nari Latha' motifs. The Nari Latha is a mythical creeper orignating in the Himalayas that when it blossoms , the flowers take the shape of dancing girls.   
The main temple building houses a mumber of brightly coloured statues and images. The sleeping Buddha is a long over 25 ft statue that is placed on the floor in sleep posture.
One of the statues in the temple. There is a visible connection to Hinduism.
Statue of the Budha where offerrings are made
You cannot miss this large bell with inscriptions near the entrance, It is supported on two ancient rock pillars.
At the end of the tour, remember to make an entry in the guest book that is maintained and make a donation to the monastry.

Read and see my photo album on my website - Destinations Worldwide

6 comments:

  1. These photographs are amazing, I am very under-travelled, and love looking at beauty like this, alas only through my PC screen, your a lucky guy to have photographed such nice images.

    Thank you for these, I will add them to my collection, next year I go to Tibet so I should have my own images to share, I'll be in touch !! Thanks Pravine !

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  2. Love your blog. Lots of info

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  3. Thank you for the good information. I visited this temple last Monday, 16th January 2012. I cannot explain why it is, but I was deeply impressed and I felt a very special aura and attractive power.

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    2. Thanks Frank for your comments. The temple does have a special aura around it

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  4. I remember that place. I was there with my family in 2010. It's nice to be there again by your photos. I live far, far away from Sri Lanka, in Poland.
    Thank you.

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