Asokaramaya Temple.

I've passed by the Asokaramaya Temple so many times when I've driven past Thimbirigasyaya Road and it never stood out to me with it's plain walls and undaunting exterior. On the outside it looks like the average pansala, but upon entering I discovered that it's like a completely different world through the simple gates.

The Temple

As I go in, I'm faced with the excited yaps of 3 dogs who've taken refuge under the temple's roof. They snoop around expecting treats but of course I have no treats so I try to shoo them away but they won't leave. I don't mind. There are gentlemen around the place with ekel brooms and dustpans, sweeping up Bo leaves strewn along the paved paths. There's a light breeze and a serene silence hangs over the environment. It's hard to believe such a peaceful place exists in the heart of Colombo.

We stand around confused for a bit before a gentleman approaches us and asks us to follow him. His name is Sunil and he speaks adequate English enough for us to understand what he has to teach us about the temple.

He leads us to the main building in the centre, which has beautifully intricate painting on the ceilings. An ominious door remains shut while he tells us that the ceiling's being painted for the last 6 months and that the young painter Shantha Jayarathne is currently carrying on work passed down from his late father. 

Interior

Sunil Uncle then leads us inside this big ominous building and I couldn't believe my eyes as I looked around. Every single space on the walls was painted over. There were scenes depicting the Buddha's life from infancy up until the time he attained enlightenment, but there were also so many more of the Buddha's parents and other significant occurrences during his life.

Inside you will be greeted by a wildly decorated doorway with statues of angels, fierce lions and dragons and on either sides of the room you'll find yourself face to face with two colossal 'guardians' as Sunil Uncle put it. In the middle of the room they are guarding, sits the Buddha himself. 


There's another doorway to the left where they've constructed a massive statue of the Buddha's passing away, which you can identify upon closer inspection of the way the feet are depicted (statues of the Buddha resting have the feet aligned, while ones of his passing away have a gap between the positions of the toes). 

There are several other rooms that hold sculptures depicting Buddha's descent from the Heavens and the statues of the devas are simply amazing. 

There are a bunch of smaller, locked rooms that Sunil Uncle was kind enough to show us. The room pictured here holds a Buddha sent all the way from Burma as a gift. It's interesting to note the different depictions and artistry of Buddha in different regions.

This one, is a depiction of Buddha's ascent onto Adam's Peak.

The sheer amount of detail and painstaking effort put in to decorating this place is admirable. The building itself isn't very big but it's so easy to get visually lost here.

Exterior 

On the outide you'll find areas where the Pirith ceremonies are held and a little open courtyard sort of place where you can sit down and reflect. There's a gargantuan Bo tree right smack in the middle here and when sunlight filters through the leaves onto the white tile it makes a beautiful sight. 

A few steps away you'll find a little hut that houses a few statues of Hindu deities, mainly Kali, Shiva, Ganesh and Lakshmi.

There's also a fairly sized Dagoba with a large orange sash going around it, that's visible from the main road.

Conclusion

The temple itself is a wonderful sight to behold and it's well worth a visit if you're in Colombo. You are allowed to sit and revel for as long as they remain open without being disturbed. Keep in mind that appropriate clothing must be worn at all times (as per the rule for visiting any religious place) and you are required to take your shoes off upon entering certain areas of the temple. A donation is also encouraged.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Highlights.

Latest.

KAMU.

Cinnamon Lakeside’s delicious High Tea spread- 2022

Cinnamon Lakeside has made an exotic appearance at the main lounge, serving a range of

Kamu

Cooking with the Silvermill Coconut Culinary Range

As a Sri Lankan, can you imagine cooking without coconut? It is a universally accepted

Highlights Kamu

Cheers to The Great Indian Roast at Bombay Borough

By Hashini Pathirana We are all here for a short time and definitely for a

Highlights Kamu

Get Fuel’d with Street Burger’s All New Lunch Menu!

By Shamrina Carim Street Burger has launched an exciting, affordable, and a simple lunch menu

Highlights Kamu

Fine Dining with a Sri Lankan twist

Black Coral at Jetwing Beach, Negombo By Shanali Fdo Bringing the luxury of fine dining

Kamu

An epic Saturday brunch at Uga Residence

By Shamrina Carim Rare bar + Kitchen is a quintessential significant historical home that is

Highlights Kamu

Trending.

A Silver Lining at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts Colombo

Seasonal celebrations centered around Resilience of the Nation   Colombo, Wednesday 30th November 2022: Resilience, a

Trending

Kingsbury Colombo launches a “Christmas Carriage of Hope”

The Kingsbury Colombo launched their “Christmas Carriage of Hope”, a festive icon that represents the

Trending

PickMe celebrates the launch of PickMe Pass!

PickMe had an exciting event where they celebrated the launch of their new initiative PickMe

Trending

Shangri-La Colombo Toasts to Five Years of Celebrating the Colorful Joys of Life

Shangri-La Colombo toasts to five years of celebrating the colourful joys of life here in

Trending

Don’t miss these 11 Daraz Deals on Electronic Appliances

Daraz 11.11 Biggest Sale! Daraz, the leading e-commerce platform in Sri Lanka, is all prepped

Trending

A Cabin Immersed in Nature

The Latest Addition to Hanthana Eco Lodge Delivers a Transcending Experience Inspired by the wonders

Trending

Yamu Guide.

5 Places to watch the FIFA World Cup

By RR It's been a week of toasting wins and drowning sorrows around the globe. 

Highlights Yamu Guide

High Tea Buffet Round Up 2022

By Ruchika Seneviratne The exquisite British tradition of High tea has well and truly cemented

Highlights Yamu Guide

Vegan and Vegetarian Spots around Colombo (October 2022)

By RR This article is dedicated to all the vegans and vegetarians out there looking

Highlights Trending Yamu Guide

5 Things to expect at Nelum Kuluna

By Ruchika Seneviratne It is the ‘Full happening’ place in Colombo right now. It seems

Yamu Guide

7 Cozy Cafés around Colombo (October 2022)

By Rahma Rifkhan Every now and then, we all just need to press pause on

Highlights Yamu Guide

6 Stores to get the iPhone14

By Shanali Fdo Bigger and better than ever Apple has done it again! The talk

Highlights Yamu Guide