10 best temples to visit

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Sri Lanka is a major destination to discover magnificent Buddhist temples, with a history dating back over 2000 years. Its massive stupas, Buddha statues, cave paintings, stone carvings, and spectacular views are an absolute sight for sore eyes.

Standing high at 71 meters, the red-brick Jethawanaramaya stupa is Sri Lanka’s largest stupa.

A single most beautiful rock temple complex built on top of a 160 meter high rock with magnificent views over the surroundings including Sigiriya.

The island’s most sacred and significant temple, housing the Sacred Tooth Relic of Gautama Buddha.

Built in 140 BC, Ruwanveliseya is a highly sacred place among Buddhists for enshrining a drona (two quarters) of Gautama Buddha’s relics.

According to Mahavamsa records, Lord Buddha visited this sacred place with 500 arhats during his third visit to Sri Lanka.

Built in the time of King Devanampiya Tissa, Thuparamaya is the island’s first Buddhist temple.

Kataragama Kiri Vehera is among the 16 most sacred Buddhist places in Sri Lanka, hallowed by the visits of Gautama Tathagata.

The temple is one of the most sacred among Buddhists in Sri Lanka, the Bodhi tree is one of the 32 saplings that sprang from the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.

A stupa originally built by God Saman, and later during the 6th-century BC an Arhat thero named Sarabhu brought Buddha's larynx relic which was also enshrined in the stupa.

It is a unique temple perched on Rumassala Hill, with panoramic views of the sea and surrounding scenery.