Colombo Buddhist Iconography Experience
This 3-hour tour gives you a detailed look at the historic temple of Bellanwila in the Colombo outskirts. Learn about the long history of the temple. Look at the beautiful wooden carvings that decorate the main shrine.
- 3-hour tour of the Bellanwila Buddhist Temple.
- Knowledgeable English-speaking Guide.
- Family Friendly.
- Service of an English Speaking Local Guide.
- Bottled Mineral Water Per Person.
- All Taxes & Service Charges.
- Food or Drinks.
- Expenses of Personal Nature.
- Gratuities (Optional).
What to Expect
You will be starting your tour from the entrance gate of Bellanwila Temple at either 10:00 am or 3:00 pm depending on your preference. This temple can be reached easily by taking a cab from the Dehiwela Junction if you are coming down Galle Road. Your English speaking guide will come over and take you to tour the temple.
This sacred location has a long history of over millennia. According to legends, the temple was created when one of the eight saplings of the Sacred Bo Tree in Kandy (which was brought to the island by the same ancient monks who introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka) was planted where Bellanwila Temple is now. Later devotees worshipped the place and the temple was built. The tree now forms the heart of the temple.
There will be some monks during your tour who will tell you more about this history, and many other legends surrounding the temple. Your guide will be able to translate it for you. But the scene that will grab your attention the most will be the towering Buddha statue within the unassuming main shrine.
The lone windows behind the statue cast a glowing halo to the statue as they light up the shadowed space. Taking a closer look as your eyes adjust to the dim lighting, you will find many carved wooden panels with Theravada Buddhism images and iconography. Your guide will explain the difference between the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist sects in Sri Lanka, and their symbolism. You will also be told about some of the rituals in Buddhism.
Next, the guide will take you to the image house, which is modeled after the Lankathilaka Temple in Polonnaruwa. There, you will find many exquisite paintings and statues. You will get to hear the stories displayed in the paintings.
After viewing the whole temple and experiencing its history, art and, rituals; you will be completing your tour. Your tour guide will drop you off back at the entrance where you started your tour.
- Comfortable Clothes and Shoes Recommended for this tour. (Should Suitable for Temple)