Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara
Just outside Colombo is one of the mast sacred and historic Buddhist sites in the country, the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple.
It is here that Lord Buddha made his third and last visit to Sri Lanka, and the Mahawansa records that the original stupa included a gem-studded throne on which the Buddha sat and preached.
The temple is the focus of the traditional Duruthu Maha Perehera procession each January, and is renowned for its reclining Buddha and paintings by artist Solias Mendis depicting important events in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
It has a chequered past. The original temple was destroyed by Indian invaders, restored and later destroyed again by the Portuguese, and finally restored to its present condition by the Dutch.