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Sandagiri Maha Seya

Description

The Sandagiri Maha Seya, situated near Kandy in the Hanthana Range, is a significant addition to Sri Lanka's cultural and religious landmarks. This giant stupa stands as a testament to the country's rich Buddhist heritage and its ongoing traditions of monumental religious architecture. With its construction beginning on January 27, 2017, and culminating in a completion ceremony on March 28, 2021, followed by a consecration ceremony on September 10, 2022, the project represents a considerable effort supported by both public and private donations, including contributions from organizations like the Path Nirvana Foundation.

The stupa's design is a modern interpretation of ancient Buddhist architectural principles. Unlike older stupas, Sandagiri Maha Seya features a large inner hall supported by a single central column designed to resemble a Bo-Tree, or world tree. This design not only reflects the stupa's religious significance but also serves as a symbol of the world system, with the column acting as the axis mundi. This architectural feature aligns with traditional concepts of stupas as representations of the universe, embodying the Buddha's presence and teachings.

Sandagiri Maha Seya's location, close to the 850 m high pass on the Handana-Uduwela road and in proximity to the Ceylon Tea Museum, enhances its appeal as a tourist and pilgrimage destination. Its terrace offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Hanthana Range, further adding to its allure.

The stupa's construction was spearheaded by Ven. Gangasiripura Dhammaloka Thera, highlighting the project's deep religious motivations and connections to contemporary Sri Lankan politics and society. The Thera's involvement emphasizes the stupa's role in commemorating the military victory over separatist forces, linking the monument to national pride and unity.

Finally, the name "Sandagiri," meaning "forested mountain" or "heap on a hill," aptly reflects the stupa's physical and symbolic presence in the Hanthana Range. It stands as a significant landmark in Kandy, embodying both the natural beauty of its location and the spiritual depth of its construction.

Photo Credit by - Sandagiri Maha Seya Hanthana

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