Anuradhapura, the holy city of Sri Lanka, defined by many as one of the fascinating places in Asia, was the capital for more than 1000 years of the ancient Sinhalese dynasties from 200 BC. to 1000 AD Abandoned for centuries and brought to light only in 1900. A sacred site, the lost city, which is still alive today and used as a pilgrimage destination by thousands of faithful, a town that was large, magnificent, stable, an example of a great civilization with a unique culture. An expanse of ruined temples many still buried under the jungle, others instead well preserved: dagoba, towers, lakes, temples, artificial basins, all in an area of 40 square kilometres. A city consecrated to Buddha and Buddhism but which is also a reference point for Hindus as the name Anuradhapura is the capital of the king of one of the protagonists of the Ramayana, Hindu sacred book, a mystical and magical city. The Anuradhapura Heritage is a site protected by UNESCO and inside is the Sri Maha Bodhi, the heart of the site, the oldest tree in the world with an uninterrupted series of guardians for more than 2000 years. It said that Buddha found enlightenment while I was sitting under a Bodhi plant and the tree that found here comes from a bud of that Bodhi.
Theravada Buddhism is the official religion of the majority of Sri Lanka practised by 70% of Sri Lanka’s population. Theravada Buddhism and religion have long influenced culture is particularly strong in the southern and central regions of the country. Before Visit, find out about these practical label tips.
Never touch or pat the top of a Buddhist monk’s head, including small children in temples. This seen as disrespectful.
Don’t take selfies with a statue of a Buddha.
Don’t turn your back on any figure of the Buddha.
Don’t share appropriate clothes when you are going to religious sites or temples.
Keep in mind that on full moon days, Poya (monthly) is not possible to serve or sell alcohol. Even in these days, no meat is sold in the markets.
If you have Buddha tattoos on your body, you must take care to hide them because it is considered disrespectful to have a Buddha image on your body.
Buddhism in Sri Lanka
A Short History:
Wonderful 15-day spiritual tour in Sri Lanka, bursting with cultural richness, many stunning historical landscapes and fabulous sacred sites with intriguing history. Commencing from Negombo, you will explore the former capital cities and discover more than 9 amazing ancient monuments and temples, such as: The Sacred City of Anuradhapura (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Sigiriya rock fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the incredible stone cave temple in Dambulla, the Ancient Kingdom of Yapahuwa, Arankele Ancient Monastery and the Mysterious Forest Monastery of Ritigala.
What type of Buddhism is practised in Sri Lanka? Theravada Buddhism is the official religion of Sri Lanka, with about 70% of the country’s population as followers.
There are around 6,000 Buddhist monasteries on Sri Lanka with approximately 15,000 monks.
The Siddhartha Gautama’s (Buddha) first visit was in the ninth month after Buddhahood on Duruthu (January) Full Moon Day.(1 B.E. or 528 B.C.)
How did Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka?
Buddhism came to Sri Lanka in the third century BCE. After the Third Buddhist council by Arhanthà Mahinda Thero, son of Emperor Ashoka, during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura.
The religion is 2,500 years old and is followed by 350 million Buddhists worldwide.