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© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Mahiyangana Temple

This is one of the places visited by Lord Buddha so is very popular as a pilgrimage and regarded as a very Holy place. According to tradition the area was inhabited by the Yakkhas (demons) clan. Their chief after listening to Lord Buddha, requested a relic so that the clan could worship in his absence. The Deity Saman also listened to Lord Buddha’s teachings. Buddha plucked hair from his head which Saman and the Yakkkas then protected by building what is now the main stupa to protect this sacred relic of Buddha’s hair. Later a shoulder bone from Buddha’s funeral pyre was added and over the centuries this original stupa (the first in Sri Lanka), has been greatly enlarged.

Temple elephant carrying his food

Detail of ancient carving

Stalls leading to Temple where pilgrims purchase the appropriate offerings to be made at the Temple and shrines

Water lily stall - buds being prepared for offerings

The main stupa a Mahiyangana