Tsunami Honganj Viharaya
Although not known for its ancient historical significance, the Japanese built Tsunami Honganji Viharaya is a sombre reminder of the tsunami that devastated the coastal belt of the island in 2004. Built in the year 2006, the place of worship is a peaceful one and reflects a more East Asian design, as opposed to the ancient local temples. The highlight of the temple is the tall statue of the Lord Buddha that dominates the skyline of the area. Standing at 30 metres, it is one of the largest statues on the island.
Remembering the Affected Lives
Apart from the large Buddha statue, the place of worship is dedicated to the families and individuals who were heavily affected by the tsunami in 2004. Many devotees who visit the temple, perform rituals for family members or friends who passed away from the tragic incident. Head to the temple after visiting the nearby Tsunami Museum to get a better perspective on the events that unfolded in 2004, and how religion was one of the ways in which made the communities of Hikkaduwa a resilient one.
As this is a place of worship, visitors are requested to dress modestly before entering the premises. Shoulders and knees should be covered and footwear must be left at the entrance.