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Unique Cultural Experiences in Sri Lanka - part 1

Sri Lanka has many hidden yet unique experiences for every traveller. Here is our series on these experiences;

Ambalangoda mask making and devil dancing

Something that is very unique and yet hidden is a village in the south of Sri Lanka Ämbalangoda”. It is a charming town, most famous for its “devil-dancers” and mask carvers. You will be fortunate to encounter an actual bali (exorcist) or kolam (folk drama) performance, as these are not performed especially for visitors.

On the other hand, if you do manage to attend a ceremony, you can be assured that it is the real thing. The masks of bright colours are created based on the “authentic” masks used for curing patients suffering from 18 types of ailments (Sanni) they suffer. A must visit in your bucket list in south off Sri Lanka.

Bogoda Wooden Bridge

Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya is most famous for its wooden bridge of the Kandyan Era. This bridge is built over the Gallanda Oya river which is a tributary of Mahaweli River and is only surviving bridge of such nature of this Era. The bridge initially made out wood without a single nail was in a very depleted state few years ago.

This has been now renovated by Department of Archaeology. This bridge is thought to be lying on one of the ancient pilgrims paths from Kandy Kindom to the Uva province. The Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya can be reached from the Hali Ela town on the Badulla - Bandarawela Road.The turn off is at the main Hali Ela Junction itself and is marked by a small sign board. The distance to the temple is 11 kms from this junction.

Buduruvagala Statue

Make visit to Buduruvagala Statue which is  2 miles from the Nugeyaya Junction on the Wirawila - Wellawaya road will is a group of Mahayana figures sculptured on the face of a rock. The central figure is a Buddha statue in the “Abhaya Mudra”, 51 feet high, flanked on each side by 3 Bodhisatva figures including the Female Tara figure.

To the left of the Buddha are the figures of Avalokitesvara in the center, Bodhisattva Sudanakumara on to the left and Tara on the right of the central figure. The other 3 figures consist of Maitreya Bodhisattva in the center, Vajrapani or Vajrasattava to the right and Padmapani or Manipadma Bodhisattava to the left. The figures are in high relief and had earlier been finished with stucco. The figures are dated to 8th century A.D. Another must see in Sri Lanka for uncommon locations to be visited.

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