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The pilgrim route commencing from Seruwila and running through Somawathie, Polonnaruwa, Mahiyangana, Kandy and ending at Sri Pada touches such significant enshrinments as those of the Frontal Bone relic, Right Tooth Relic, Hair Relic and the Gem studded chair, Left Tooth Relic and the Foot Print mark of the Great Master, the Lord Buddha.
According to text there had been three types of relics; the bodily remains of the Master, the objects of use or of wear attributed to the Master and his memorials.
The Mahaweli river (meaning: The Great Sandy River), whose drainage basin is the largest in the country, covers almost one fifth of the total area of the island.
The river has its origin in the mountain range of Sri Pada of the central hills, and flows in a northern direction passing Gampola and then at Kandy, the river makes an easterly turn and flows up to Mahiyangana, where the river once again turns north and flows across the coastal plains of the north east Sri Lanka up to Polonnaruwa.
Sri Pada - N6 48 33 E80 29 59 Pilgrimages associated with the cult of relic veneration have been an age old tradition since the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka.
The extensive size of Sri Lanka in the second century world map of Ptolemy records metaphorically the importance given to the island in his map.
From Polonnaruwa, it flows across the deltoid plains (the flood plain).
Soon after flowing past the national Park associated with the sacred relic site of Somawathie, the river splits into two delta arms to reach the Bay of Bengal: the one flowing towards Koddiar bay at Trincomalee to continue as a major submarine canyon, making Trincomalee one of the finest deep sea harbors in the world, and the other flowing in a north-east direction past the sacred relic site of Seruvila, to reach the Ullackalie Lagoon located to the south-east of Trincomalee.
Prince Vijaya from North India came in 5th century BC and met Princess Kuveni who belonged to an aboriginal clan in the island.The Secretariat of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Heritage Centre do not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other information or documentation provided by the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention to the Secretariat of UNESCO or to the World Heritage Centre. Being a most important natural port of ancient times, the Port of Seruwila (Trincomalee and Koddiyar bay) had been a popular location for international transactions between the East and the West.The publication of any such advice, opinion, statement or other information documentation on the World Heritage Centre’s website and/or on working documents also does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of UNESCO or of the World Heritage Centre concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries. The Island was called the Great Emporium by Cosmos Indicopleustus, a Greek chronicler of the sixth century AD.The great Mahaweli river was one of the favourite migrant routes of those settlers.Consequently, this particular river valley became a significant religious, political and economical route cum boundary and haused a considerable number of large and small religious sites along the winding terrain.
It is evident that the route was populated and utilized throughout the historical phase since pre Christian times due to the existence of Brahmi Inscriptions at nodal locations and consequent to the accounts left by Kings like Gotabhaya in the second century BC, discovery of Sacred Foot Print by King Valagamba in first century BC, Fa Hian in the fifth century, Kings Vijayabahu and Prakramabahu in eleventh and twelfth centuries, Marco Polo in thirteenth century, Al Beruni in the fourteenth century, Iban Batuta in the fourteenth century.