DISCOVER A VIBRANT WORLD OF HISTORY AND NATURE

Thanthirimale Raja maha Viharaya

Thanthirimale Raja maha Viharaya

Stepping on uncertain ground, there was a silent resolve to conquer the circumstances to appreciate the splendour and solemnity of a long-gone Sri Lankan story. The journey was reminiscent of an era where holy men of this land would have similarly traversed rough terrain; encountering rain, wild animals and invaders, to meditate, tutor and learn. The ancient Thanthirimale Temple in Anuradhapura is spread across, closely located rock surfaces surrounded by dense jungle. The temple ground extending across 250 acres of land is renowned for its many caves, inscriptions, and rock carvings, ruins of monastic residences, meditation chambers, a library and the Sacred Bodhi tree.

Thanthirimale Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist monastery just 64 km away from the Wilpattu Corridor & Tree House Hotel and can be reached within 1 hrs. Via Thanthirimale, Oyamaduwa Road.

The path leading to the Sacred Bodhi tree is along uneven rock, a journey marked by uphill and downhill steps to reach a summit that gives a breath-taking view of the surrounding landscape. The Bodhi tree is surrounded by the vestiges of the temple's history. The outer wall has been repaired to its old glory, while many objects made of rock still remain around the Bodhi tree. The Bodhi tree at Thanthirimale has a history based on legend, which nonetheless has made it very significant.

Another descent takes to another rock marvel; an image of the seated Buddha carved on rock. This eight feet Buddha image is situated under a decorative arch known as ‘Makara Thorana', borne by two lions. Two figures at the higher ends of the arch representing deities are shown in a posture of reverence holding a fan in hand. Evidence from excavations indicates an image house that had enclosed the figure of the Buddha. Situated away from the seated Buddha figure, in a valley-like slope is a huge 45 feet image of a reclining Buddha carved out of rock. The beauty of the image engraved out of natural rock demonstrates the exacting nature of the task, with detail to the robe and its drape.

The monastic residences and meditation chambers were built at different elevations, the rock carvings placed expansively may have given the monks the vantage vision of the Buddha as they strived to attain the supreme bliss through prayer and meditation.


Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura remained the proud seat of kingdom of Sri Lanka. Today Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is replete with renovated monuments, restored edifices, preserved ruins and historical sites where the archaeological excavations are still being continued. Today, foreign tourists and local tourists, who tour Anuradhapura, are simply unable to witness everything, Anuradhapura has to offer, within the confines of a single day. However the major attractions of Anuradhapura can be visited in a single day. Anuradhapura, the greatest monastic city of the ancient world is just 39 km away from the Wilpattu Corridor & Tree House Hotel and can be reached within 45 minutes Via Puttalam - Anuradhapura - Trincomalee Highway.

Anuradhapura was the cradle of glorious Sinhalese Buddhist civilization. The pride of place in Anuradhapura was taken by the ancient stupas and ancient reservoirs. Towering dagobas of stupendous domes, are just to name one among numerous other engineering factors. The vast rainwater reservoirs built by crossing rivers with enormous dams and controlling the outlets with "Bisokotuwa", of course valve pits or sluice gate, extend lifeline to Anuradhapura district to date.

Among the other tourist attractions at Anuradhapura are magnificent rock carvings of monumental richness and remarkable grace, colossal stone pillars that stand proud amidst the ruins of royal palaces, Buddhist monasteries and temples; magnificent stone cut swimming pools of sophisticated hydrology tells a story of its own. City of Anuradhapura is surrounded by three man-made lakes, Nuwara Wewa, Tissa Wewa and Basawakkulama Wewa reservoir to the west with two directions of the city being defined by River Malwatu Oya that flows through it.

A sampling of the sacred Bo tree in the shelter of which Prince Siddhartha Gauthama attained supreme enlightenment was brought to Sri Lanka by Buddhist nun Sanagamitta. Today, the huge specimen of this Bo Tree has no rival to the claim of being the oldest recorded tree in the world.

Loha Maha Prasada -All we have today is ruins of a vast building, next to the sacred tree. Founded by the hero of the nation, King Dutugemunu reigned, it was once home to a community of 1000 Buddhist monks. Ruwanweliseya Stupa, is the oldest in Sri Lanka and contains the collarbone relic of Buddha, Thuparama Vatadage is ringed by columns which originally supported a circular roof. Abhayagiri Museum, a gift to Sri Lanka from China in honor of the 5th century Buddhist academic Fa Hien. Kuttam Pokuna at Anuradhapura built between the period of eight century and tenth century, among the surviving treasures of ancient landscape architecture of Sri Lanka, is the finest. Samadhi Buddha Statue, a serene image of a seated Buddha carved in granite that dates from the 4th century AD, is a masterpiece of ancient Sinhalese Buddhist sculpture found in Anuradhapura. Lankaramaya stupa located south-west of the Abhayagiriya Dagoba at Anuradhapura was built by King Valagambahu, Mirisavatiya Dagaba, Vijitapura Raja Maha Viharaya, Isurumuniya Rock Temple are just to name few other places.


Madu Church

Madu Church

The Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu is a Roman Catholic Marian shrine in Mannar just 115 km away from the Wilpattu Corridor & Tree House Hotel and can be reached within 2 hrs. Via Medawachchiya –Talaimannar High Way.

With a history of over 400 years, and considered as the holiest Catholic shrine in the island. The church plays a major role and has been a symbol of unity not just between Tamils and Sinhalese, but also between people of different religions, including Buddhists, Hindus and Protestants. The Portuguese missionaries from India, especially under the authority of Saint Francis Xavier, are known to have brought Roman Catholicism to the Kingdom of Jaffna, and during this time the Catholics regrouped to form a church in Mantai installing a statue of Our Lady of Good Health in a shrine.

Madhu is Sri Lanka’s holiest Catholic shrine, home to Our Lady of Madhu, a statue of the Virgin Mary that was brought for safekeeping from the Dutch in the 17th century. Madhu is sacred to both Sinhalese and Tamil Catholics still trying to reconcile after more than two decades of civil war. And Madhu is also where Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims come to pay their respects to Holy Mary. At Madhu, Pope Francis will specially bless war victims and his presence in the Tamil north marks an important moment in Sri Lankan history.