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Solosmasthana (The 16 Places of Worship)

 (1.) Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya(Badulla District)

The Mahiyangana stupa is said to have been built during the lifetime of Lord Buddha enshrining the lock of hair given by Him to God Saman when Budha first visited Sri Lanka and preached to the primitive people living there. It was the first ever stupa to be constructed in Sri Lanka.

 

(2.) Nagadipa Purana Vihara – Nainativu Island (Jaffna District)

Constructed at the site where Buddha visited Lanka for the second time, five years after attaining Enlightenment. He intervened and mediated in settling a dispute between warring Naga kings, Chulodara and Mahodara, over the possession of a gem-studded throne. This precious throne which was offered to the Buddha, was returned to the Naga Kings and was later enshrined in this stupa.

 

(3.) Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya,Kelaniya(Gampaha District)

Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya is Situated about 10 Km Colombo on the Kelani River valley. This Temple was hallowed during the third and final visit of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka ,eight years after gaining enlightenment. Its history goes back nearly 2,566 years. The Mahawansa records that the original Dagoba at Kelaniya enshrined a gem studded throne on which the Buddha sat and preached.The annual kelani Duruthu perahera is held in the month of January.

 

(4.) Sri Pada (Rathnapura District)

It is believed that Lord Buddha placed his footprint on the summit of this sacred mountain during his third visit to Sri Lanka. The mountain is 7,360 feet high, it is the fifth highest mountain in the country and has several approaches ,the main ones being through the Hatton town and Rathnapura District. During December and April thousands of devotees climb the mountain to pay obeisance.

 

(5.) Diva Guhava(Rathnapura District)

The cave in which Lord Buddha spent the day after placing the footprint on Sri Pada and it is now believed this cave is near by the Sri Pada mountain is Rathnapura district.From here He proceeded to Digha Vapi in Ampara District.

 

(6.) Dighavapi Raja Maha Viharaya,Dighavapiya(Ampara District)

The cetiya constructed by king Saddha Tissa in 137 BC.at the site where Lord Buddha spent sometime with Arhants obsorbed in ecstatic meditation, during his final visit. Enshrined are the relics of Lord Buddha.

 

(7.) Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya,Badulla.

A cetiya erected by King Devanampiya Tissa enshrining the relics of Lord Buddha. The site has been consecrated by Lord Buddha, who spent a few moments absorbed in ecstatic meditation.

 

(8.) Tissamaharama Raja mahavihara,Tissamaharama(Hambantota District)

One of the largest Dagobas (Stupas)in Ruhunu is situated in the temple which is said to have been built by king Kavantissa in the 2nd Century BC. The Silpasena Pirivena has been at this site.

( 9.) The Sri Maha Bodhiya,Anuradhapura

The Sri Maha Bodhi Tree is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world(2,200 years).It is the right branches of the very tree beneath which ,at Buddha Gaya in North India, Lord Buddha gained enlightenment, and was brought to Sri Lanka in the 3rd Century BC by princess Sanghamitta,sister of the Arhant Mahinda ,who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

 

(10.) Mirisawetiya Vihara,Anuradhapura

The first religious edifice built by king Dutugemunu (161-137BC), and according to the Mahavansa, the relic studded scepter of the king is deposited in the Dagoba.

 

(11.) Swarnamali Vihara(Ruwanveliseya – Maha Stupa),Anuradhapura

Building of the Maha Stupa was commenced by king Dutugemunu and complete by king Sadda Tissa (137-1198B.C) For the relic enshrinement ceremony Arahants had been present from all Buddhist countries at the time, which included India, Kashmir, Persia, Alexandria. of the 6 donnas(a certain measure of capacity),of the bodily relics of Lord Buddha,one drona of sacred relic is enshrined here. The  Certiya is 338 feet high.

 

(12.) Thuparama Vihara,Anuradhapura

It is the first certiya to be erected after the establishment of the Buddha Sasana in Sri Lanka was built by king Devanampriyatissa in the form of a paddy heap. The sacred right clavicle bone of Lord Buddha is said to be enshrined here. The pillars capped with sculptured capitals ranged in concentric circles round the dagoba indicate that it was roofed over originally.

 

(13.) Abhayagiri Vihara,Anuradhapura

Built by king Valagambahu(89-77BC)on a site which too has been hallowed by Lord Buddha.Relics Of Lord Buddha, and the Tripitaka inscribed in gold leaves are said to be enshrined here.

 

(14.) Jetavanarama,Anuradhapura

The waist-band used by Lord Buddha is said to be enshrined here. It was constructed by king Mahasena(276-303,CE)the last king of the Mahavamsa Chronicle..

 

(15.) Sela Cetiya(Stupa)Mihintale Raja Maha Viharaya,Mahintale

Situated 10 Km from Anuradhapura ,Mahintale is the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It was here that in the 3rd Century BC. Arhant Mahinda met king Devanam Piyatissa who was out hunting, and converted him to Buddhism.Mahintale became the abode of Arhant Mahinda and 3,000 monks. Hundreds of shrines and caves where the monks lived can be seen at the Mahintale rock and the stairway of 1840 wide steps leads from the bottom of the rock to the summit. The Sela Catiya, The Kantaka Cetiya,Ambasthale Dagoba,Maha Seya and Indikatu Seya are are all in this temple complex The Urna Lome, the sacred hair relic between the eyebrows, is said to be enshrined Sela Cetiya.

 

(16.) Kiri Vehera,Kataragama(Monaragala district)

First built by a local ruler called Mahasena, upon a site hallowed by a visit of lord Buddha ,it is said to have enshrined in it the golden seat, from which Lord Buddha delivered the sermon ,a lock of hair and the royal sword used by Prince Siddhartha to cut off his hair at the time of the great Renunciation.