Pilgrimage Places in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka is known for its rich culture and history and offers many places of religious and historic significance. We have many pilgrimage site for those belonging to all religions.

Adam’s Peak

Also known as the Sri Pada pilgrimage that takes place every year from December to May. Many pay respect to the scared footprint 7,000 feet above sea level situated off Ratnapura. This pilgrimage unites all four main religious of the country, the Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Muslims. There are number of traditions and customs when climbing to the top that can be observed should you belong to a particular faith group. Many believers would recite religious poems to help them climb to the top safely and during the season pilgrims will stay in line to reach to the platform. After completing their worship, pilgrims will ring the bell once for every visit.

Kataragama

Located in the Monaragala district of the Uva Province, Kataragama is a multi-religious sacred city that has over thousands of pilgrims that visit annually. People belonging to different faith groups in Sri Lanka including the Vedda communities and some from South India too are known to pay their respects to the sacred city of Kataragama. The complex has a Mosque, Temple and Hindu Temples and Kovils. The Maha Devale in Kataragama is a place of worship for Hindus from both Sri Lanka and South India. The villagers and some pilgrims believe the nearby Manik River (River of Gems) is a place of ablution before heading into sacred complex as it purifies you by taking a bath. Thinking of heading towards to sacred city of Kataragama with your family members? Yoho Manikpuragama is an ideal choice of stay for the pilgrimage.

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is the first official ancient capital of the country and a sacred city visited by Buddhist pilgrims each year. The city has many temples and stupa but the “Atamasthana” are the eight main locations (Ata eight in Sinhala) the pilgrims worship. These include:

  • Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya
  • Ruwanwelisaya
  • Thuparamaya
  • Lovamahapaya
  • Abhayagiriya
  • Jetavanarama
  • Mirisavetiya
  • Lankarama

Besides these eight places of worship, Mihintale is another known place for pilgrimage. If you are heading towards Anuradhapura on a pilgrimage, Yoho Buddhagaya Mawatha can offer you clean bedrooms and bathroom guaranteeing you comfort during the stay.

Maligawilla Buddha Statue

Located 15 km south of Monaragala is a place where over 1000 pilgrims visit each year. It is said this was once the tallest free standing Buddha statue in the country but was found broken in 1951 and later reconstructed in 1980. Carved in 07th century AD by Prince Aggabodhi of Ruhuna, there is also mention of it in the great chronicle Chulavansa of a temple name “Pathma Vihara” and the statue.

True enough, Anurdhapura, Polonnaruwa, Adam’s Peak, Kataragama, Temple of Tooth in Kandy are among the well known locations. However, there is also Maligawilla, Dambegoda, Dowa Cave Temple, Buduruwagal and a few others as well.

Featured image of Adam’s Peak at night by Eshan Goonetilleke.

Nastashia Ekanayake - Yoho Creator

Nastashia Ekanayake is a travel enthusiastic who enjoys travelling solo when budget and time permit. Having currently moved back to Sri Lanka, she functions as an administration professional by day and wanderer and foodie by night. She enjoys journaling her adventures, exploring the joys of Instagram and looking up her next travel destination.