The city of Kandy in Sri Lanka is synonymous with the temple that houses the Buddha’s tooth relic but one can go off the beaten track to discover another, hidden away in a cave: quieter, calmer, but rich in history and aesthetic.
Degaldaruwa Raja Maha Viharaya began construction in 1771 under the guidance of the king Kirti Sri Rajasinha but work was completed by his brother Rajadhi Rajasinha. The entrance and main shrine room is carved and sandwiched between two solid rocks with a rock mass of over 40 feet. Admire the reclining Budha and walk up the small hill to see the sacred Bo Tree and the gleaming white Stupa.
There are hardly any tourists or none at all and the chief monk on most days is happy to explain the history and details of the place. You can find Buddhists in white chanting gatha, offering flowers and lighting oil lamps with incense. There is no entrance fee but most local pilgrims put a few Rupees…