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Sri Lanka is an island nation and shaped like a jewel in the Indian Ocean. Once you land in this country, you will love every bit of it. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage with a spiritual tour to the region’s most significant temples in Sri Lanka and many other religious monuments. Indeed, your visit to these temples will certainly augur you to re-impose faith and get bestowed with Almighty’s blessings. They are spread across all parts of Sri Lanka and are a perfect source of spiritual rejuvenation. Get ready to spend some peaceful time in the temples!
12 Temples In Sri Lanka
The listicle below mentions the top temples in Sri Lanka which you shouldn’t miss during a tour to this beautiful country rich in natural heritage, national parks, beaches and tourist attractions. So, here are a few temples for you:
- Gangaramaya Temple – Colombo
- Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic – Kandy
- Naguleswaram Temple – Kankesanturai
- Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple – Trincomalee
- Shaktipeeth Shri Shankari Devi Temple – Trincomalee
- Kataragama Temple – Kataragama
- Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Temple – Peliyagoda
- Cave Temple – Dambulla
- Muthiyangana Temple – Badulla
- Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple – Jaffna
- Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil – Colombo
- Munneswaram Temple – Chilaw
1.Gangaramaya Temple – Colombo
Gangaramaya Temple is an ancient and one of the top temples in Sri Lanka. Being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence, this temple is situated at the centre of the city. The magnificent Bodhi tree inside this temple is an attraction of sorts. This temple also has a great treasure of the ancient art pieces that were used by the Buddhists.
Location: 61 Sri Jinarathana Rd, Colombo 00200, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: You can take a taxi from Colombo Airport, which should take around 40 minutes to reach.
Entry Fee: INR 120 /-
Places to Stay: Residence by Uga Escapes, Hilton Colombo Residences, Unique Towers Luxury Boutique
Other Key Attractions: Viharamahadevi Park, Beira Lake, Colombo City Centre
2. Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic – Kandy
If anyone of you wants to spend a good spiritual time in Sri Lanka, then Sri Dalada Maligawa is the best place to visit. This temple of the sacred tooth holds Sri Lanka’s most sacred Relic. It houses the tooth of Buddha, kept in a golden chamber and is within the premises of the royal palace complex. The temple itself is gorgeous and the ceremonies inside are extremely interesting to watch which makes it an one of the most interesting Sri Lanka tourist attractions.
Location: Sri Dalada Veediya, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: The best option is to travel by air and the nearest airport is Bandaranaike Airport. Travellers can take a bus or train to reach Kandy thereafter.
Entry Fee: INR 400/-
Other Key Attractions: World Buddhist Museum, Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Places to Stay: Queens Hotel Kandy, Ayaana Boutique Hotel, Hotel Casamara
3. Naguleswaram Temple – Kankesanturai
This is one of the most famous temples in Sri Lanka where Hindu god Shiva is worshiped. Located in front of Keerimalai Sacred Water spring, this temple also offers special soul-cleansing ritual, prior to which you should take a bath from the sacred pond.
Location: Keerimalai, Jaffna 40000, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: You can take the morning train from Jaffna station, and then take local transport to reach the temple.
Entry Fee: No entry fee
Places to Stay: Jaffna Heritage Bungalow, Margosa Green, Gaja Rest, Fox Resorts Jaffna
Other Key Attractions: Nalur Kovil, Neduntheevu, Nagadeepa Rajamaha Viharaya, Casuarina Beach
Suggested Read: 3 Top Restaurants in Katunayake With The Best Food In Sri Lanka
4. Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple – Trincomalee
It is one of the most ancient and famous temples in Sri Lanka. Surrounded by the dramatic Swami Rock and Gokarna Bay, this classical-medieval complex is one of the best places to visit in Trincomalee. The temple is a major Hindu pilgrimage centre and also one of the five abodes of Lord Shiva.
Location: Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: The temple can be reached via Fort Frederick through the path that is lined by shops. Another option is to take a bus from the Central Bus Station.
Entry Fee: No fees but donations from worshippers are welcome.
Places to Stay: Blue Ocean Hotel, Elegant Green Beach Resort, Golf Link Hotel-Trincomalee
Other Key Attractions: Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple, Trincomalee War Cemetery
5. Shaktipeeth Shri Shankari Devi Temple – Trincomalee
It is believed that the original Shankari Devi Temple in Sri Lanka is said to have been built by Ravana. It is listed in the Ashta Dasha (18) Shakti Peethas written by Adi Shankara. This temple is adjacent to Koneswaram Temple, which has great significance for Hindu pilgrims. In addition to this, the temple offers a spectacular vista of the calm Indian Ocean.
Location: Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: All means of transportation are available to this place.
Entry Fee: No fee but donations are accepted.
Other Key Attractions: Kanniya Hot Springs, Trincomalee War Cemetery, Orr’s Hill Army Museum, The Ravana Abyss.
Places to Stay: Hotel Tobiko, Skandig Beach Resort, Trinco Blu by Cinnamon
6. Kataragama Temple – Kataragama
It is another of the most ancient temples in Sri Lanka built for Hindus and where Lord Karthikeya Subramaniam is worshipped. Lord Karthikeya was requested to go to the battlefield by Lord Indra on the last day of war – an interesting history about this temple. This was done to protect Lord Rama from the wrath of Brahma Ashram shot by King Ravana. It is advised to visit the Kataragama temple in Sri Lanka rather during the offseason in the weekdays to worship peacefully.
Location: Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya, Kataragama 91400, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: You can board a bus from Kandy Secretariat Bus Stop, and take it to either of the bus stations like – Kandy Clock Tower Bus Station, Torrington Bus Station, and Maligawa Bus Stop.
Other Key Attractions: Tissa Wewa, Lunugamvehera National Park, Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara
Entry Fee: INR 260/-
Places to Stay: Grand Tamarind Lake, Thisara Rest Kataragama, Mandara Rosen, Lavendish Okrin Hotel
Suggested Read: 4 Things To Do In Kolonnawa, Sri Lanka For An Amazing Holiday!
7. Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Temple – Peliyagoda
Famous Kelaniya temple in Sri Lanka is one of the most significant temples in Colombo for Buddhists. With amazing murals on its walls depicting the stories about Lord Buddha, this temple is worth visiting as a tourist as much as a devotee. This temple maintains a unique identity as one of the most sacred sites in Sri Lanka where it is believed that Lord Buddha had visited while he had come to this country.
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: Easily accessible from all corners of the Capital city of Colombo by taxi, car and even bus.
Entry Fee: No fees rather one can give a donation which is accepted.
Other Key Attractions: Sri Lanka Planetarium, National Art Gallery, Crow Island Beach Park
Places to Stay: Aubrona Hotel, Earl’s Red Colombo, Elyon Colombo Hotel, Opulent River Face Hotel.
Suggested Read: 4 Things To Do In Moratuwa For Party Freaks In Sri Lanka!
8. Cave Temple – Dambulla
This temple is also called the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a UNESCO world heritage site. It is also the largest and best-preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka. Considered one of the most popular temples in Sri Lanka, it is here that worshippers enjoy the top views of surrounding at specific points from the cave. The paintings on the walls are very old and beautifully done. Do visit this unique cave temple in Sri Lanka on your visit.
Location: Kandy – Jaffna Highway, Habarana 50150, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: Apart from local bus or hired cars, tourists can take the cute and efficient tuk-tuks to travel in Sri Lanka. From Sigiriya, there are tuk-tuk services that will take you to the base of the temple. And from the Dambulla bus terminus, the base is a walk of 15 minutes away.
Entry Fee: INR 600/-
Other Key Attractions: Golden Temple of Dambulla, Popham’s Arboretum, Karu Arts and Crafts
Places to Stay: Jetwing Lake, Boulde Range Resort, Sigiriana Resort, Dambulla Villa
9. Muthiyangana Temple – Badulla
The Muthiyangana Temple is one of the most most beautiful temples in Sri Lanka and regarded as one of the Solosmasthana, the 16 sacred places in Sri Lanka. This temple will take you to the time of Buddha and you will find a beautiful Dragon Pandol at its entrance. Add it to your itinerary to as a must visit temple.
Location: Station Road, Badulla 90000, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: It is located in Badulla town, around 20 km from Ella. You can take a bus or train from Ella and tuk tuk will cost you some money.
Entry Fee: No entry fee
Places to stay: Weligama Holiday Inn, Capital City Hotel, River Side Holiday Inn, RIO Hotel and Resorts
10. Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple – Jaffna
It is one of the most famous Hindu temples in Sri Lanka dedicated to Lord Skanda, known as the God of War who was the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. It is believed that this legendary temple was built by a Chola Princess from Tamil Nadu. The architecture of this temple is breath-taking with elaborately decorated columns and a towering gopuram. You can visit this temple all year round to seek the blessings of Lord Murugan.
Location: Jaffna, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: Located at about 400 km from Colombo, direct railway services and buses from Colombo are available. One can also travel to the nearest international airport at Colombo at a mere 16 km.
Entry Fee: No fees but rather donations are accepted
11. Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil – Colombo
One of the most popular temples in Sri Lanka, it is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and constructed with the South Indian granite. The temple seems to be heavily influenced by a high ceiling that reminds one of the Srikalahasti Temple in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is also one of the oldest and ancient Hindu temples in the world. Avoid visiting here on Friday and Tuesday as these are the busiest days in a week.
Location: Kotahena, Colombo, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: Buses and taxis connect Colombo with other places in Sri Lanka.
Entry Fee: No fee.
Places to Stay: Golden Pier City Hotel, City Motel, Earl’s Red Colombo, Elyon Colombo Hotel
Other Key Attractions: St Anthony’s Shrine, St Lucia’s Cathedral, Wolvendaal Church
12. Munneswaram Temple – Chilaw
The Munneswaram Temple Complex is a collection of five temples that includes a Buddhist temple, a Shiva temple and the other three includes the temples that are dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Ayyanayake and Kali. They remain popular of all the temples in Sri Lanka whose unique architecture appeal to all. Tourists and Hindu population celebrate Mahashivratri here with grandeur. The beauty of this temple is its Munneswaram function that remains a 28-day festival and can be attended by anyone and everyone from different religious faiths.
Location: Wariyapola Road, Chillaw 61000, Sri Lanka
How to Reach: It is best to travel to Colombo via air and then you can easily hire a car or also prefer railways from Colombo.
Entry Fee: No fee
Places to Stay: Anantaya Resort and Spa Chilaw, Carolina Beach Hotel, Chilaw City Hotel, Hotel Athina and Restaurant
Other Key Attractions: Anawilundawa Bird Sanctuary, Negombo Beach Park, Captain Fernando Negombo Boat Tours
The temples in Sri Lanka are worth visiting to know the glorious past of the region for centuries. You may be a devotee seeking to worship here or simply a traveller willing to explore the region to the best, a trip to Sri Lanka welcomes tourists to visit some of its finest temples that remain popular globally.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Temples In Sri Lanka
A. It differs from person to person. Once you have been to the main prayer room, the rest time can be explored in less than 45 minutes.
A. It is highly recommended to observe a modest dressing while visiting the temples in Sri Lanka. Also, avoid anything sleeveless.
A. Yes, all possible facilities are available for the differently-able person, which can help them in every possible way.
A. One Sri Lankan Rupee equals 0.40 Indian Rupee.
A. Sri Lanka is safe as a whole. But, basic precautions should always be taken while visiting a new country.
A. It completely depends on the season during which you are travelling. Light cotton clothes are a good idea during summers. In case of travelling to the mountains, you will need to bring some warm clothes as the temperature above 2000 meters of height is extremely low. Some covered clothing should also be carried for visiting Temples in Sri Lanka.
A. The average temperature in Sri Lanka is 27 degree Celsius. Warmest average maximum temperature is 31 degree Celsius around February-May. The coolest average low temperature is 22 degree Celsius in January and February.
A. No, food is not allowed inside the temples. You can only carry the food offerings but nothing more than that.
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