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International Buddhist Museum

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Hemamali Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

7:30 AM - 7:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Krishan
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the International Buddhist Museum in Kandy either early in the morning or later in the afternoon as these times are quieter and provide a more reflective experience. Also, after your museum tour, take a short walk to the nearby Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue around sunset for a breathtaking view of the city and serene end to your day."

What is International Buddhist Museum?

The International Buddhist Museum, nestled in the heart of Kandy, Sri Lanka, is a treasure trove of artifacts, exhibits, and information that depicts the spread and influence of Buddhism across the world. Not just a mere gallery, this museum serves as a comprehensive educational resource, sharing the rich tapestry of Buddhist history, culture, and art spanning from its origins in India to its dissemination across Asia and the globe. It's a place that manages to convey a profound sense of serenity, whilst also engaging visitors with interactive and enlightening displays.

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The museum is situated within the sacred temple complex of the Temple of the Tooth, which is itself a revered site and bears immense religious significance. I always recommend the International Buddhist Museum to visitors who are keen to delve deep into the essence of Buddhism and its diverse forms across different countries.

History of International Buddhist Museum

The International Buddhist Museum opened its doors in May 2011, following a concerted effort to create the first museum dedicated to the spread of Buddhism around the world. The idea was not only to showcase the rich Buddhist heritage of Sri Lanka but also to highlight the global narrative of Buddhism. The museum resides in what was once the High Court building of Kandy during the British colonial period.

Undergoing a transformation, the building began a new chapter as a unique museum following an extensive refurbishment funded by the Thai government, alongside contributions from other Buddhist countries. The collaborative nature of the project reflects the international scope of Buddhism itself, with each participating country curating an exhibit to reveal its own Buddhist history and cultural integration.

From personal experience, the transformation is profound; the building retains its colonial architecture but is invigorated with a modern purpose: the dissemination of Buddhist knowledge and history.

Why is International Buddhist Museum Important?

The International Buddhist Museum serves an essential role in educating the public about the extent and diversity of Buddhism. By providing a comparative view of Buddhism's evolution in different cultures, it enriches our understanding of the religion beyond its spiritual tenets. It tells a story of cultural exchange, adaptation, and the common threads that link disparate peoples through shared beliefs and practices.

It's also essential for the preservation of heritage. The museum safeguards priceless artifacts, texts, and teachings that might otherwise be lost to time. The importance shines through especially during the vibrant interludes of discussions and questions from curious visitors, revealing the museum's role as a living center for learning.

Moreover, the museum is significant for fostering intercultural dialogue and harmony—ideals at the heart of Buddhist teaching. It's a repository of collective wisdom and a celebration of the unity within diversity.

Things to Do & See at International Buddhist Museum

Within its halls, the International Buddhist Museum offers a multitude of experiences. A favorite, which I always recommend, is to start with the Sri Lankan section, providing a detailed background on local Buddhism and laying a foundation for understanding its global impact.

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Venture further, and you'll find galleries dedicated to each country where Buddhism has taken root, complete with artifacts, scale models, and panoramic images. Notably, the Japanese and Chinese sections capture the distinct Zen and Mahayana Buddhist traditions with their stunning visual displays. Each national exhibit, as curated by that country, reflects their unique blend of Buddhism.

Additionally, interactive touchscreen displays offer insights and narratives, and the museum's library is well-stocked with literature for those seeking to deepen their understanding. Special exhibitions and events often take place throughout the year, celebrating various aspects of Buddhist culture and offering insightful lectures and workshops. And when you need a moment of quiet reflection, the peaceful grounds of the adjoining Temple of the Tooth offer an ideal respite amidst the Kandy's bustling backdrop.

Frequently asked questions

What is the International Buddhist Museum?

The International Buddhist Museum is located in Kandy and it is dedicated to presenting the history and culture of Buddhism from around the world.

Where is the International Buddhist Museum situated in Kandy?

The International Buddhist Museum is situated within the complex of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a significant historical and religious site in Kandy.

What can visitors expect to see at the International Buddhist Museum?

Visitors can explore a range of exhibits that showcase the spread of Buddhism across Asia and the rest of the world, its history, teachings, and cultural contributions.

Is photography allowed inside the International Buddhist Museum?

Photography policies may vary, so it's recommended to check the current rules upon entrance or speak to museum staff regarding the photography guidelines.

What are the opening hours and entrance fees for the International Buddhist Museum?

Opening hours and entrance fees are subject to change, therefore visitors should check the latest information prior to their visit, either through the Museum's official website or by contacting them directly.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Hemamali Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

7:30 AM - 7:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps