Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Friday was a Poya day in Sri Lanka. Poya is a full moon day, considered the most auspicious of the four phases of the moon by practising Buddhists here in Sri Lanka. The word poya comes from the Pali and Sanskrit words Upa + Fast, meaning a day of fasting.

It is a day when the sale of alcohol and meat is banned island wide. If you wanted alcohol on Friday in the hotel you had to buy it on Thursday and drink it in your room on Friday. Meat was served in the restaurants however.

There are 12 or 13 Poya days in the year. It is the day that practising Buddhists go to temple to make offerings and to pray. They usually wear white or light coloured clothes.

We decided to go and visit the small temple close to the hotel. We changed into white clothes and set off. It was nice to get out for a walk. A tuk tuk driver followed us up to the temple and kindly took time to explain a little of what we were seeing. 

Inside the temple

Decoration on the walls

Beautifully painted ceiling.

He also told us that three young boys that we saw there were going to become monks next week. Interestingly, at the back of the temple in the main building, there was a figure from the Hindu religion. According to our guide, a Sri Lankan King married an Indian Princess and as a result statues from the Hindu religion were added to the Buddhist temples so she could worship in the same place as her husband. Our visit was before the Poya ceremonies, so the temple was quiet The main service would begin that evening at 18.30

Room for Hindu God in the Buddhist temple

The following day on the recommendation of Adrian, we set out to see the temple of Kande Viharaya. It  is located in Aluthgama  This temple got its name "Kande Viharaya" from its location on top of a hill. It was built in 1734 and became the regional Buddhist centre. 

Kande Vihayara, a busy day at the temple.

Offerings made to Buddha

The Stupa - this literally means heap. It is a shrine usually holding Buddhist relics,
 most often the ashes of monks

This Bodhi tree has a history going back to more than 300 years. 

The Bodha Tree. This one has an octagonal building around it each side depicting scenes from Buddha's life.
The Samadhi Buddha statue was constructed in the recent past, the foundation stone was laid in 2014. it is visible from a long distance. At 160 feet, it is the biggest statute of Buddha in Sri Lanka.
New Image House is located under this statue and depicts many stories and incidents related to the life of Buddha. 

This statute of Buddha is reputedly the tallest in Sri Lanka.

Inside the "New Picture House"

New Picture House

The Three!

New Picture House

I'm not sure someone didn't paint this guy!

The call to prayer?

Answering the call.

The steps up to the temple complex.

It is usual to purchase fruit or flowers as a gift to temple

Our Tuk Tuk. - this is our main means of transportation


  1. My gosh! What a wonderful adventure you are on. Everything is so beautiful. The Tuk Tuk looks interesting...but fun!

  2. and to think we were all sitting knitting just a few weeks ago - what a change!

  3. After yesterday's close shave with a mini van, I'm not sure I would use the word fun for a tuk tuk Mary

  4. Yes Annie, this is a very different world, two weeks ago to be sitting, knitting in the Bodrum sunshine was exotic for me. Did you start those socks yet?


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