Japanese Peace Pagoda
Japanese Peace Pagoda information
This pagoda, 4km west of town, is a graceful stupa with a twist or two, including a vaguely Roman-looking colonnade ringing its lower level. Niches containing gilded Buddhas contrast superbly with the whitewashed body of the temple. The incense-smoked image room near the entrance, with its Buddha statues and colourful altar, is also fascinating, especially when the friendly resident monk and nun are drumming and chanting.
The main reason for coming here, though, is the chance of seeing herds of passing wild elephants , but they’ve been shy in recent years and don’t come by like they used to. Try your luck: at around 5pm to 6pm, the elephants may pass through a narrow passageway in front of the pagoda, or in the field behind it. Birdwatchers will also find the pagoda platform a handy perch for spotting hundreds of waterbirds that flit about the facing lake.
To reach the temple follow DS Senanayake Rd from the clock tower, which heads towards Inginyagala, passing scenic Ampara Tank. After 4km, a short right turn brings you to the pagoda.