treasure island july 2013
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DESCRIPTIONSri Lanka The Treasure Island Tourism Magazine
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12The International Buddhist Museum established at the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) premises in Kandy is the only museum that exists that showcases the expansion of Buddhism throughout Asia and other parts of the world.
Not many stop to ponder the craftsmen behind the intricately illuminated, heavily and gaily decorated, huge and regal, gowns, or canopies, that the tuskers wear with pride, dazzling with gold and sequins, in their ceremonial walk in the Kandy Esala Perahera.
The historical Kandy Esala procession and festival
is a revered event in the Buddhist calendar organised
by the Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth
Relic) in Kandy. It gets its name from the month
of Esala (August) in the Buddhist calendar for when
the festival begins.
During the early 90s a Sri Lankan investor laid a master plan to develop the entire city of Kandy - the hill capital
of Sri Lanka. The plan included the development of a fully fledged city complex in a land area of nearly 40,000
square metres in the heart of the city.
EDITOR IN CHIEFHarsha Udayakantha Peiris
CONSULTANT EDITORRenuka Bandaranayake
DEPUTY EDITORRathindra Kuruwita
SUB EDITORRikaza Hassan
CONTRIBUTORS FROM MAIDEN ISSUEProf. Rohana P. Mahaliyanaarachchi Dept. of Agri Business Management of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka
Dr. Iraj Ratnayake Dept. of Tourism Management of Sabaragamuwa
University of Sri LankaDr. Ashoka Dangolla
Senior Lecturer of University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka and Veterinary Specialist
Anslem de Silva - The President of Amphibia and Reptile Research Organization of
Sri Lanka (ARROS)Dr. Ruchira Somaweera Senior Zoologist,
BIOLOGIC Environmental Survey, AustraliaVasantha Nugegoda Zoologist and Animal
Habitat SpecialistChamalka Kothalawala Taxidermist, National
Museums, Colombo Sri LankaChandima Jayaweera - The Most Outstanding
Chauffeur Tourist Guide (Nature & Wildlife) SLTA 2012
Raju Vyas Gujarat, IndiaSujitha Miranda - Veteran Journalist
Sri Lanka Tourism National Museums Colombo
PHOTOGRAPHY Aloka I de Silva
Chandima JayaweeraMaheesha MindulaWarna Liyanawatte
Sanju SamarasingheSuranga Cooray
Tarindra JayanettiMedia and Special Projects Bureau of
Sri Dalada Maligawa
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Hidden amidst the Mulgama forest reserve in Kalthota is the Doovili Ella, so called for the cascade of water droplets that shimmer in sunlight, conveying an impression of a shower of dust or doovili in Sinhala.
The treasure island Sri Lanka is a country of diversity. Its people, flora and fauna, birds, animals and fish and all gifts of nature have their own unique authenticity. All walks of life here is an invitation to come and live by the tranquility of life and nature.
Udawatte Kele or the Royal Forest, in Kandy, is located behind the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. It was declared a forest reserve in 1856 and a sanctuary in 1938. The extent of this forest is about 257 acres.
The Queens Hotel in Kandy was originally the Governor's mansion with a small structure
of buildings constructed to house troops. It would later become the main complex of the Ceylon Rifle Regiment. Since the only street of importance was Malabar Street, the main
complex gave rise to Malabar House in the 1840s.
Raja was a Sri Lankan tusker who belonged to the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. He participated in the Esala Perahera in Kandy for about 50 years and was responsible for carrying the casket of the Sacred Relics of the Lord Buddha from 1950 to 1987.
There exist several reasons why a birdwatcher would prefer Sri Lanka as a bird watching destination. One prime reason is the fact that the country, within its territory of 62,710 square kilometers, offers an unsurpassed opportunity for the birding enthusiast to spot a larger number of species of birds within a minimum period of time. Despite being a small country Sri Lanka is home to 33 species of endemic birds alone.
Fire is all about light and heat. In fact the sun is the main source of all existence on earth. Fire bangles at the Kandy Dalada Perahera is one of the luring attractions for the spectators. The performers dance to the tunes of drums amidst, making beautiful styles and arrays of fire work to entertain the crowds.
These styles express their skills of fire dancing at different ages and stages as well as the excellence of their artistic exercises showcasing the devotion towards the eternal existence of a unique culture.
(Pic. courtesy of Media and Special Projects Bureau of Sri Dalada Maligawa)
12 SRI LANKA THE TREASURE ISLAND JULY 2013
The International Buddhist Museum
established at the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) premises in Kandy is the only museum that exists that showcases the expansion of Buddhism throughout Asia and other parts of the world.
The Museum complex - built and completed at a cost of Rs 200 million - was declared open on May 20, 2011 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Maha Sangha chanted 'Pirith.' From its birth place of India, Buddhism as a religion, spread to different parts of Asia - Southeast and Far East. The Museum's 16 galleries, well stocked with Buddhist artefacts from Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan,
JULY 2013 SRI LANKA THE TREASURE ISLAND 13
A COMPLEX OF WORLD BUDDHISM
THAT OPENS PATHS TO THE BLISS OF SERENITY
14 SRI LANKA THE TREASURE ISLAND JULY 2013
The 16ft high Buddha statue at the entrance
to the Museum. The Buddhas gently
rounded face with full lips, lotus shaped eyes and arched eyebrows, flanked by elongated earlobes and hair in
tight snail-shell curls, is encircled with the divine halo, or aureole. At the top of the aureole are
two Devas (gods), one of them showering flowers
and the other bearing a whisk. The Buddha
is depicted seated, cross-legged, on a
lotus in the preaching posture. The fingers
of his hands unite to form the
Dharmachakra Pravartana Mudra (a gesture) which
denotes the turning of the Wheel of Law.
JULY 2013 SRI LANKA THE TREASURE ISLAND 15
Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, China and of course Sri Lanka, with a number of Indian artefacts set to join the galleries in November this year, showcases the different ways followed in the practice of Buddhism, both Theravada and Mahayana, by the respective countries.
The Mahavamsa tradition which is supported by archaeological and literary evidence indicates
the existence of Indian religious practitioners such as Ajivakas,
Paribbajakas, Jainas, as well as Buddhist mendicants, prior to the
official introduction of Buddhism in the 3rd Century BC by Thera Mahinda. The
chronicle records three visits by the Buddha to Sri Lanka (at Mahiyangana,
Nagadipa and Kalyani), and is said to have gained 16 sacred sites
(Solosmasthana) thus. The Stupa at Kalyani is said to have been built by
enshrining the jewelled throne used by the Buddha while preaching.
The Burmese sibling traders Tapassu and Bhalluka who were lay disciples of Buddha, built the Girikandicetiya stupa
enshrining hair relics of the Buddha, as supported by the 8th century rock
inscription at Tiriyay.
The name plaque with the national flags of the countries that have marked their
presence at the museum.
16 SRI LANKA THE TREASURE ISLAND JULY 2013
The International Buddhist Museum of the Sri Dalada Maligawa is a success of the initiative of the Diyawadana Nilame (chief presiding officer) of Sri Dalada Maligawa Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara. In 2005 he was elected as the 19th Diyawadana Nilame with a majority of 155 votes.
The Museum is situated in a former military complex built by the British Colonial rulers in the 19th century and which post independence served as the main court complex of the Central Province until recent times.
Buddha Image with the 'Makara Thorana' - a
replica from Lankathilake Temple close to Kandy.
It is the only Buddha image of its kind that
depicts the four Devas (gods), namely, Vishnu,