Sacred Spaces: The Undiscovered Temples and Shrines of Sri Lanka

Temples and shrines of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is home to some of the most enchanting temples and shrines. While popular sites like the Temple of the Tooth Relic and Dambulla Cave Temple attract tourists from around the world, there are numerous hidden gems waiting to be explored by the discerning traveler. In this article, we unveil the undiscovered temples and shrines of Sri Lanka that add a unique charm to the spiritual tapestry of Sri Lanka.

Mulkirigala Rock Temple

Nestled in the southern part of the island, Mulkirigala Rock Temple is a hidden marvel. With its ancient cave dwellings and a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside, this temple provides a serene and peaceful atmosphere for visitors. Climbing the rock reveals a series of caves adorned with murals and ancient sculptures, offering a glimpse into the country’s rich history.

Pro Tip: Visit during sunrise or sunset for a magical play of light on the rock formations. 

 Ridi Viharaya

Known as the Silver Temple, Ridi Viharaya is tucked away in the central hills of Sri Lanka. This temple boasts a remarkable collection of silver artifacts and is believed to have been a significant pilgrimage site for centuries. The tranquility of the surroundings adds to the spiritual experience, making it an ideal destination for those seeking solace.

Don’t Miss: The annual Esala Perahera, a grand procession showcasing traditional dances and vibrant costumes. 

Lankatilaka Temple

Situated in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Lankatilaka Temple is a testament to Sri Lanka’s medieval architectural prowess. The temple’s unique fusion of Hindu and Buddhist elements reflects the island’s diverse cultural influences. The massive standing Buddha statue inside the temple and the panoramic views of the countryside from the top make it a must-visit destination.

Insider Tip: Hire a local guide to unravel the historical mysteries and stories behind the temple’s construction. 

Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Viharaya 

For the adventurous souls, Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Viharaya is an off-the-beaten-path gem. Located in the Eastern Province, this ancient temple is believed to date back to the 2nd century BC. The scenic journey to reach the temple, coupled with its serene surroundings, creates a truly immersive experience for those seeking a connection with Sri Lanka’s spiritual roots.

Adventure Seeker’s Delight: Combine your visit with a trip to nearby archaeological sites for a comprehensive historical expedition. 

Degaldoruwa Cave Temple

Nestled near Kandy, Sri Lanka, the Degaldoruwa Cave Temple is an 18th-century marvel renowned for vibrant murals and intricate cave architecture. It offers a serene retreat, featuring Buddha statues, captivating artistry, and distinctive Kandyan architectural style.

Key Features:   

–     Majestic Murals: Vibrant depictions of Buddha’s life.

–     Buddha Statues: Peaceful statues in various postures.

–     Architecture: Distinctive Kandyan architectural style.

Visitor’s Tip:  Guided tours reveal captivating stories behind the temple’s creation and its mesmerizing murals.

Galmaduwa Hindu-Like Buddhist Temple

Near Peradeniya, the Galmaduwa Hindu-Like Buddhist Temple uniquely fuses Hindu and Buddhist architectural elements. Its distinct appearance, vivid sculptures, and cultural significance reflect the harmonious coexistence of these two traditions.

    Key Features:   

–     Architectural Fusion: Seamless blend of Hindu and Buddhist styles.

–     Vivid Sculptures: Elaborate stone carvings of deities.

–     Pilgrimage Site: Attracts devotees and tourists alike.

 Visitor’s Tip:  Attend a religious ceremony to witness the harmonious blend of Hindu and Buddhist rituals, showcasing Sri Lanka’s cultural diversity and tolerance.


Sri Lanka’s sacred spaces extend far beyond the well-trodden tourist paths. Exploring these undiscovered temples and shrines of Sri Lanka not only provides a deeper understanding of the country’s spiritual heritage but also allows for a more intimate and authentic travel experience. Whether you’re an avid history buff, a spiritual seeker, or simply a curious traveler, these hidden gems are sure to leave an indelible mark on your journey through the enchanting island of Sri Lanka.

As you embark on the exploration of Sri Lanka’s hidden treasures, consider entrusting your journey to the expertise of Journeyscapes Travels. With a reputation for curating enriching travel experiences, they can transform your visit into an unforgettable adventure, ensuring you discover the heart of Sri Lanka with unparalleled authenticity.

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