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Lankatilaka Temple

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

6HM7+JX7, Daulagala, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

LKR 500

Find it on google maps

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expert
Krishan
Local tour guide
"Visit the Lankatilaka Temple later in the afternoon when the tourist buses have left; the temple is quieter and the softening light brings a magical glow to the ancient murals. Also, try to sync your visit with a Poya Day, a Buddhist day of observance, as the temple comes alive with local worshippers and a vibrant atmosphere that most travelers miss."

What is Lankatilaka Temple?

Lankatilaka Temple, perched on a rocky outcrop in the district of Kandy, is a marvel of ancient Sinhalese architecture. This exquisite edifice, which translates to the "Temple of the Lanka Crest," stands as a testament to the intricate craftsmanship and spiritual devotion of the past. Its striking features include a unique fusion of Buddhist and Hindu architectural elements, capturing the cultural synthesis prevalent in Sri Lanka.

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I often find myself wandering through its corridors, marveling at the murals and statues that adorn its walls. They say a visit to Lankatilaka can be a journey through time, offering a spectacle that reveals the layers of Sri Lanka's rich history. With each step within its sacred grounds, you can feel the essence of serenity and age-old wisdom enveloping you.

History of Lankatilaka Temple

Constructed in the 14th century during the reign of King Bhuvanekabahu IV of the Gampola Kingdom, Lankatilaka Temple has weathered the ups and downs of time. Its creator, a South Indian architect named Sathapati Rayar, envisioned a structure that would stand as a beacon of religious harmony and aesthetic brilliance. Over the centuries, various kings have contributed to its preservation and enhancement, ensuring its enduring legacy.

Venturing into Lankatilaka's history feels like unearthing chapters of a forgotten saga. You would be intrigued to know that despite its Buddhist affiliation, the temple also houses a shrine dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. This co-existence under the same roof exemplifies Sri Lanka's multicultural tapestry—a blend of beliefs held together in mutual respect.

As times changed, so did the temple's fortunes. There have been times when it faced neglect, yet each instance of revival brought new additions that enriched its cultural tapestry. You can almost hear the whispered prayers of the ancient devotees still lingering in the air, mingling with the chants of the present.

Why is Lankatilaka Temple Important?

Lankatilaka Temple is not just an important cultural landmark—it is a soulful representation of Sri Lankan unity and tolerance. Its dual dedication to Buddhism and Hinduism makes it a powerful symbol of the island's religious harmony. The temple serves as a spiritual nexus for devotees, historians, and art lovers, drawing people from all walks of life into the fold of its tranquil aura.

For the people of Kandy and Sri Lanka at large, Lankatilaka is a cherished part of their heritage. It stands as a testament to the skill and vision of ancient artisans and to the resilience of spirituality amid the trials of time. Among scholars and archaeologists, the temple is esteemed for its historical value and the insights it offers into the Gampola period's societal norms and architectural ingenuity.

And let's not forget, Lankatilaka Temple also commands a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. As you gaze out from its vantage point, the temple seems to act as a guardian overlooking the valleys and hills of Kandy, enveloped in a perpetual embrace with the natural beauty of the land.

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Things to Do & See at Lankatilaka Temple

When you visit Lankatilaka Temple, you're in for a multi-sensory experience. Start with the elaborate entrance, a large gateway known as a makara thorana, which leads into the temple ground. The walls and the towering image house, with its flat roof and white walls edged in elaborate designs, make for an imposing sight. Inside, the main shrine boasts an impressive seated Buddha image, framed by murals and sculptures that tell stories of the Buddha's life.

Take your time to explore the nooks and crannies of the temple. There are intricately carved door frames, stone inscriptions, and the murals that preserve the essence of Kandyan-era painting. Delve into the Hindu section, where you'll find a deity room dedicated to Vishnu, an acknowledgement of the temple's inclusive nature.

Don't miss the opportunity to witness the local devotees engaging in rituals and offering prayers; partake in a conversation with them if you can. This interaction might give you a more profound understanding of the role Lankatilaka plays in their lives. And if you're lucky, you might visit during a time of a local festival, which brings the temple and its traditions to vibrant life.

Frequently asked questions

What is the history of Lankatilaka Temple?

Lankatilaka Temple is a historic Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka that dates back to the 14th century. It was built during the reign of King Bhuvanekabahu IV and is known for its unique Sinhalese architecture.

What are the architectural features of Lankatilaka Temple?

The temple is famed for its high walls and for the giant Buddha statue housed within. Its architecture displays a blend of Sinhalese temple architecture and Tamil Hindu temple architecture.

What can visitors see and do at Lankatilaka Temple?

Visitors to Lankatilaka Temple can admire the intricate murals and sculptures, observe the architectural details of the temple, and participate in religious rituals if they visit during worship times.

How do I get to Lankatilaka Temple from Kandy?

Lankatilaka Temple is located about 12 kilometers from the city of Kandy. Visitors can take a bus, a taxi, or a tuk-tuk from Kandy to visit the temple.

Are there any special festivals or events at Lankatilaka Temple?

Yes, the temple often celebrates Buddhist festivals such as Vesak Poya and Poson Poya with special decorations and ceremonies, attracting many local and foreign visitors.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

6HM7+JX7, Daulagala, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

LKR 500

Find it on google maps