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The best spiritual holiday experience in Sri Lanka

Luxury Holidays Asia

Temple Stay in Anuradhapura

Beach vacations, hill country stays, wildlife adventures, and historical expeditions all sound good to enjoy on your Sri Lanka holiday. But when you are looking for something unique to experience or to immerse yourself in a spiritually rich getaway, a temple stay in Anuradhapura must make it to your bucket list in Sri Lanka. This is an experience that lets you enjoy the culture, nature, and local life while evoking a deep connection with your mind and body. In this article, we share all about the LHA’s new initiative – Temple Stays in Anuradhapura, which offers a one-of-a-kind experience during your holiday in Sri Lanka.

What is a Temple Stay in Anuradhapura?

With a temple stay, you get to stay in an active Buddhist temple where you can spend time closer to Buddhist monks. Participate in meditating sessions and spend your time in mindfulness with the guidance of the monks. The calm and serene surroundings will help you take a real break from your noisy everyday life and give your mind the space to breathe and heal.

A temple stay in Anuradhapura, the first kingdom of Sri Lanka, offers you the best chance to have a firsthand spiritual experience. The city has a long history and is home to many ancient sacred sites. It is a place that has preserved the Buddhist culture at its finest to this day, thanks to many holy monks over generations. So, there’s no better place to experience the Sri Lankan temple culture in Sri Lanka than here, as you will be able to watch the rituals and traditions that are practised daily by monks up close– even take part in them as you like to get a hands-on experience.

A temple stay also offers many opportunities for you to explore the culture, history, cuisine and local lifestyle of the nearby communities.

Your accommodations will be set on the temple premises and will have all the amenities and facilities you need for a comfortable stay.

So, let’s look at what you can experience during your Temple Stay in Anuradhapura.

Temple culture

Wake up to the chirping birds and experience what life is like in a Buddhist monastery. The lifestyle of Buddhist monks is well known to be humble, spiritual and simple, and this is your chance to experience it firsthand. Witness how food is offered to monks by villagers and the daily rituals and routines of Buddhist monks. Staying in the temple will also give you an amazing opportunity to observe offerings made to lord Buddha and other religious and spiritual practices monks carry out every day. The best part is you can always help and take part in them as to your liking and be a part of the culture for just a moment for a change. Also, the company of monks will open new ways of thinking, possibilities, and ways of life and even provide some nuggets of wisdom to help you become closer to your spirituality.

Organic food cultivation experiences

The villages nearby are abundant in organic plantations, and you could pay a visit to learn how farming is done in the area. Meet a generational farmer with generational lands, learn the tricks and tips of the trade, and help him with farm work for a one-of-a-kind experience. Here, machinery is not widely used, making farming labour-intensive work. From planting seedlings to watering and harvesting, most of the farming activities are done by hand, which gives you too the opportunity to get fresh dirt on your hands and enjoy the process of food production while helping a local farmer and admiring the beauty of nature.


Quiet your mind and calm your soul with exclusive meditation sessions with real monks in a real temple- Just imagine how things could get better for your meditating practices. Receive guidance from the monks and learn from the best who have walked the walk. Whether you are a beginner or a pro at meditating, they will help you start from where you are and help you improve during your stay.

Vegan Foods

Experience the best vegan diet with Sri Lankan flavours, which will ensure that you’ll never miss any meat throughout your stay. Made from local produce or produce harvested from the backyard of the temple, all your meals will be prepared from fresh produce following the farm to table concept.

Cooking sessions

If you love cooking and are interested in learning the way around a Sri Lankan kitchen, you would love a live cooking experience in a traditional kitchen. Join village grama in her kitchen and learn about the spices, local tools and local produce. You can also watch how Sri Lankan rice and curry are made following generational old recipes in the village style. Feel free to participate in the process, get hands-on experience and enjoy the meal prepared together at the end of the session.

Accommodation Options Available

During your stay, you get to stay in special semi-luxury accommodation that has a spacious room with an attached bathroom. This is separate from the temple building but is on the temple premises. Currently, we have two rooms with attached bathrooms and everything a westerner would need to enjoy a comfortable stay. Some of the facilities include

  • Air conditioning
  • Queen size bed
  • Attached bathroom
  • Hot water
  • Toiletries
  • Heater
  • Coffee maker

Nearby sites

Anuradhapura Ancient Site

The sacred city of Anuradhapura is only a 40 kms away from the temple premise. Being the first kingdom in Sri Lanka, this is a popular historical city where ancient ruins still stand with pride. From gigantic stupas to massive Buddha statues, grand ruins of palaces and temples to man-made lakes, the area has so much to explore. The area has been the victorious capital of 122 Kings and queens and has many interesting stories with many intricate arts and crafts that showcase the constructional brilliance of the yesteryears. With a 14-century-long history, this ancient is a UNESCO World Heritage site that tells a unique story that has been preserved for hundreds of years.

Wilpattu Safari

A safari ride in a national park is a must-see when you are in Anuradhapura. Wilpattu National Park is one of the best choices for your safari adventure in Sri Lanka for many reasons. The national park, which spans 1317 square kilometres, is home to many wildlife species, including elephants, leopards, peacocks, deer, wild boar, monkeys and many more. The beautiful small water bodies, or Villus, unique to the national park, add to the beauty of the national park. A safari ride on a 4×4 jeep into the thick wilderness where exotic wildlife resides is one the great ways to be a part of nature and get close and experience wildlife. There are early morning and evening safaris that you can join at your convenience and watch a sunrise or a sunset, depending on the time you are on the safari.


Mihintale is another sacred site for Buddhists near Anuradhapura that encompasses history, natural beauty, and spirituality. The Mihintale rock is believed to be the place where Mihindu Thero, an Indian Buddhist monk who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka, met the Sri Lankan king at the time for the first time. After embracing Buddhism, the king built this beautiful temple that still stands strong to this day. During your visit, enjoy the ancient paintings and statues and join the thousands of Buddhist devotees who flock around the place every day. The view of the surrounding greenery from the top is breathtaking. The area becomes a whole other world that leaves visitors in awe in the evening with the sunset.

Kalawewa elephants

Watching wild elephants is a cool experience. But what makes things even better is when you get to see them in a lake, bathing, swimming and drinking water.

Witness tuskers and baby elephants against the glistening waters of the lake as the lush tree line merges the blues of the sky and the lake is a sight to behold whether you are an elephant lover or not. Kalawewa(Kala Lake) is one such place located in Anuradhapura, where elephants gather, especially from October to November.


Avukana Buddha statue is a masterpiece of the Sri Lankan stone workers, which was built in the 8th century. The standing Buddha statue with calm eyes that follow you 180 degrees is considered the pinnacle of stonework in Anuradhapura Kingdom. The statue is known to radiate calmness and peace, which is contagious to anyone looking at it.

Plan your Temple Stay in Anuradhapura

Enjoy an unforgettable stay in Anuradhapura, waking up your spiritual senses while enjoying the local lifestyle. Let LHA take care of the details and logistics of your plan so you can enjoy a wonderful getaway in a local temple. Contact us today.

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