Dagobas. Aka, Stupas

Prayer flags cover the sun at the Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba in Sri Lanka
Prayer flags cover the sun at the Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, a dagoba – also known as a stupa – is a common religious structure.

Every town has at least one. They can be a few inches high or rise above the tallest trees in the forest.

No matter where one goes in Sri Lanka, it is impossible to miss these white domed structures that pepper the landscape.

Yoda. You seek, Yoda! – I can’t hear the word dagoba and not think of the fictional planet that Yoda calls home in the Star Wars movies.

What’s a Dagoba? What’s Inside a Stupa?

Depending on who you ask, the shape either represents the body of Buddha or the five elements: earth is at the bottom, then water, fire, air and nothingness topping it off.

Regardless, all dagobas contain the relics of a sacred person and are there for Buddhists to pray to. Depending on the history of the dagoba, it can also be a pilgrimage spot.

07 - The storage case of the Tooth Relic at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth (taken by Carrie)08 - Fun inside the Temple of the Sacred Tooth122 - The dagoba at the bottom of Adam's Peak130 - Sunrise over the rice fields of Tissamaharama52 - The dagoba above the Aluvihara Rock Monistary55 - Nandala, one of the Ancient Cities and the most tranquil of all of them61 - Anuradhapura - Abhayagira Dagoba - Reflecting63 - Anuradhapura - Thuparama Dagoba - 264 - Anuradhapura - Mirisavatiya Dagoba64a - Me outside the Anuradhapura - Mirisavatiya Dagoba65 - Anuradhapura - Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba - 366 - Anuradhapura - Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba - repairs done dangerously 367 - Anuradhapura - Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba - repairs done dangerously 468 - Anuradhapura - Lanka Rama 269 - Anuradhapura - Jetavanarama Dagoba 378 - Carrie and I in front of the  Dagoba in Mihintale that is said to have spawned Buddhism in Sri Lanka85 - Polonnaruwa, Kiri Vihara Dagoba -95 - Polonnaruwa, Rankot Vihara Dagoba - do not walk up these stairs is denoted by a large branch on themRuvanvelisaya Dagoba in Sri Lanka

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