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Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara

icon-location-red Popular Temple In Kandy

4.50/5 - (2 Votes)

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara, Bibile- Uraniya, Rd, Mahiyanganaya, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

5:00 AM - 10:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

4.50/5 - (2 Votes)
expert
Krishan
Local tour guide
"When visiting Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara in Kandy, make sure to arrive early in the morning to witness the stunning sunrise over the temple, casting a golden hue on the ancient ruins. Don't forget to explore the nearby Manik Ganga river, as it offers a serene setting for a peaceful stroll and a chance to spot exotic bird species."

What is Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara?

Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara isn't just any temple—it's a pivotal sanctuary that stands testament to the deep spiritual roots of Sri Lanka. Nestled in the heart of Mahiyangana, a town steeped in myth and tradition, this Buddhist temple resonates with the devout and the curious alike. It's a place that hums with the whispered prayers of pilgrims and the serene chants of orange-robed monks. But it's not just the spirituality that draws the crowds; the temple's stunning architecture and the aura of tranquility it exudes make it a must-visit spot for anyone exploring the cultural tapestry of Sri Lanka.

History of Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara

The history of Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara is as old as the Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka - and that's not an allegory. It's believed that during his third and final visit to the island, Lord Buddha came to Mahiyangana. The spot where he left a trace of his presence was sanctified, making this temple the site of the first stupa in Sri Lanka, the Mahiyangana Stupa, venerating the Buddha's relic.

As you stroll through the temple grounds, you'll be treading paths that have seen over 2,600 years of footsteps. The chronicles etched into its walls tell of a time when the temple was merely a stupa made of blue lotuses (Nil Mahanel) placed by God Saman, a divine figure revered by the indigenous Vedda community. Over the centuries, kings and devotees expanded this sacred site. Legend speaks of the great King Dutugemunu, who in the 2nd century BC transformed the stupa into a more permanent structure, layering bricks over its original form. Warriors, monarchs, and everyday folk—they've all played their part in the temple's story, making it a living chronicle of faith and history.

When planning your tours in Kandy don't forget to visit Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara.

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Why is Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara important?

The significance of Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara runs deeper than the sum of its bricks. It's revered as one of the Solosmasthana, the sixteen holiest Buddhist shrines in Sri Lanka. The raison d'etre for this temple is the sacred relic of the Buddha enshrined within the stupa, which has made it a pilgrimage site of paramount importance for Buddhists from around the globe.

Moreover, it's a symbol of unity. In its patronage by kings and commoners alike, it represents the shared devotions that cut across different strata of society. For the indigenous Vedda community, the temple also holds special significance, evidenced by their annual Ala Perahera festival, which honors the historical ties between their ancestor God Saman and the temple.

Things to do & see at Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara

Now, let me share some of the hidden gems and experiences that you wouldn't just stumble upon; those that we, who have the temple enshrined in our hearts, hold dear. Begin your journey with the majestic Mahiyangana Stupa. It's not just any stupa; it's an architectural wonder that has stood the test of time, and each layer of bricks tells a story of devout dedication and ancient craftsmanship.

As you move around, notice the intricate carvings and the frescoes that ornate the image house – these are more than just art; they're visual narratives of Buddhist lore that pre-date the glossy pages of history books. Delve into the temple museum, where the past breathes through antique artifacts and age-old relics whisper tales to those who listen closely.

Do you have an auspicious day in your visit? If so, participate in a Pooja (offering ceremony) amidst the resonating sounds of traditional drums and the fragrance of incense blending with lotus flowers. It is both a vibrant celebration and serene meditation; an experience that'll let you touch the very soul of this sacred place.

And when you need a moment of quiet reflection, find a secluded spot in the temple gardens. Here, under the shade of a Bodhi tree, you can just be – with thoughts as transient as the rustling leaves. Witness the simple beauty in the dance of peacocks or the elegance of a butterfly's flight - each a silent sermon on the beauty of life.

Don't leave without interacting with the locals who frequent the temple. Their stories, beliefs, and the oral history they carry add layers to the experience of Mahiyangana. Ask, listen, and learn – for the temple is not merely stone and stupa; it's the heart of a community that has thrived around it for eons.

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With its rich history, spiritual significance, and serene ambiance, Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara is a must-visit attraction for those seeking a deeper understanding of Sri Lanka's Buddhist culture and heritage.

Frequently asked questions

What is Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara, and where is it located?

Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara is a revered Buddhist temple located in the town of Mahiyangana in the Uva Province of Sri Lanka. It is one of the country's most ancient and historically significant temples.

What is the historical significance of Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara?

Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara holds historical importance as it is believed to be the location where Lord Buddha himself visited during his third and final visit to Sri Lanka. This visit is said to have taken place over 2,500 years ago.

What can visitors see at Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara?

Visitors can explore the temple complex, which includes the ancient stupa (dagoba) known as the Mahiyangana Stupa. The temple's architecture reflects the rich Buddhist heritage of Sri Lanka. The serene surroundings and the historical ambiance make it a peaceful place for meditation and reflection.

Are there any annual festivals or religious ceremonies at Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara?

Yes, Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara hosts several annual religious festivals and ceremonies, which draw devotees and visitors from all over the country. These festivals include colorful processions, rituals, and cultural performances.

Is there any nearby natural attraction or point of interest around Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara?

Yes, the Mahiyangana area is known for its scenic beauty and proximity to natural attractions. The Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara is situated in the midst of lush greenery, and nearby, you can find beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, and wildlife sanctuaries that offer opportunities for outdoor exploration and adventure.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara, Bibile- Uraniya, Rd, Mahiyanganaya, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

5:00 AM - 10:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps