Situated in the ancient city of Anuradhapura in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka is Ruwanwelisaya, a Buddhist monument commonly referred to as a ‘stupa’.  Rising to a height of over 100 meters, it is amongst the tallest Buddhist monuments in the world today.

Constructed by the Sinhalese warrior King Dutugemunu after defeating King Elara from the Chola Dynasty in South India and unifying the country as one, relics of Gautama Buddha are enshrined within this stupa.

Furthermore, hallowed by the visits of Gautama Buddha, where Ruwanwelisaya temple stands, this site belongs to the 16 sacred places (‘solosmasthana’ in the vernacular) of the island and is a place of veneration for Buddhists visiting the country from various parts of the globe.

Today, more often than not, on full moon ‘poya’ nights during religious celebrations, the entire temple premises is lit up with hundreds, if not thousands, of clay oil lamps, birthing an atmosphere that is astoundingly breathtaking.  Enhancing this scenery are the immeasurable volumes of flowers that are beautifully arranged around the stupa.

Providing a singular setting for photography enthusiasts, the entire experience at Ruwanwelisaya on a Poya Day, is a sight to behold.

Title image by: Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau




Culture and Heritage

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