Culture

Sri Lanka at its finest

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Wewurukannala Viharaya Temple

The temple is a short 1.5km tuk tuk ride away from Meda Gedara and the 50m high seated Buddha figure, the largest in Sri Lanka doesn’t disappoint. The shear magnificence of this beautiful symbol sits within the coconut palms and is often surrounded by worshippers. The sweet smell of jasmine fills the air, a contrast to the hall of horrors you pass through before reaching the Buddha. Complete with life sized models of demons and sinners being punished in boiling cauldrons, sawn in half and disembowelled! It is a reminder of what happens if you disobey the path towards enlightenment, an important message from Wewurukannala Viharaya states, ‘don’t stop in the middle, for a serene paradise awaits just on the other side.’

Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara Rock Temple

Only a 20 minute drive from the villa is another one of Sri Lanka’s incredible temples. Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple which has been built on a 205m high natural rock, surrounded with another four rocks known as Benagala, Kondagala, Bisogala and Seelawathiegala. It has strong similarities with both Sigiriya for its height and rock structure and Dambulla for it’s caves and paintings so if you want to get two for one this is a must!

Dondra Devalaya Temple

Only 20 minute drive from the villa, this is the temple that you can see from the road as you drive through Dondra. Dedicated to God Vishnu, said to be the Guardian God of Buddhism, this is a popular spot for Pilgrims all year round. The temple is the major event site of the annual Esala Perahera festival held in July. To enter the temple site you pass through magnificent gates, many of the buildings are painted beautiful blue to represent the lotus associated with God Vishnu.

This temple can be combined with a trip to see the Dondra Lighthouse.

Handunugoda Tea Estate, Tittagalla, Ahangama

You can't travel to Sri Lanka and not visit a tea plantation. Handunugoda is a 45 minute drive from Meda Gedara and could easily be visited en route to Galle. Handunugoda is a family owned tea estate in Tittagalla, Ahangama. Which has won international recognition producing the famous ‘Virgin White Tea’ which is untouched by hand!

This charming estate is the perfect location for a morning stroll through the plantations complete with, rubber, cinnamon and coconut trees. Take a tour up to the plantation house and stop by for a visit to see the working museum where some of the machines are 140 years old, they can still be seen working today!