Program & Schedule
According to an official census, there are 119 temples in and around Hanguranketha that require renovation and repair work. Our project is working to bring back to life 10 temples. Your work will include basic renovation, painting and restoration of artwork in and around the temples in the afternoons. In the morning, however, you will be working at a school teaching young monks.
This latest projects are situated in the quiet little village of Hanguranketha, which is approximately one hour’s drive from Kandy. These new projects take you deeper into the rural parts of Sri Lanka away from the noisy and overcrowded cities. Previously known as Diyatileka, Nuwara and Sangaruwan Ketha, Hanguranketha is a village of tremendous historical significance. Although most of its palaces and temples were destroyed by invaders in the early part of the 19th century, there are still a large number of historical sites to be discovered.
Temples of note in and around Hanguranketha include the Pothgul Maliga Maha Wiharaya which is built from the remains of an ancient palace and a library, the Vishnu Dewalaya, the Dadimunda Dewalaya and the Madanwela ancient temple.
The village of Hanguranketha faces several problems such as the lack of clean drinking water, frequent power cuts, poorly staffed schools and run-down temples. We have already setup the following projects and look to add more in the near future based on the needs of the community.
Aims & Objectives
To bring back the lost glory of these ancient temples such that more and more people come to visit these forgotten temples.
Monday to Friday
- Morning: Teaching at the schools for the monks
- Afternoon: Renovation efforts
Participant Criteria & Requirements
Minimum age: -
Maximum age: -
Minimum English level: Basic
CRB required: On Signup
Passport copy required: On Signup
Resume copy required: No
Required qualification: None
- Participants with body tattoos need to be covered and those who have visible piercings must take the ring/studs/etc. out while at the placement.
- Participants below the age of 18 should have parental consent.
- Participants above the age of 65 should have medical clearance.
Living & Location
Hanguranketha is an ancient city had been a thriving paddy field in the ancient time and it was named “Sangaruwan ketha”, later the name changed to the present name Hanguranketha. The city was very useful for the kings of Sri Lanka, especially during the Kandyan period. It was used as the camp city during the troubled period for the kings and the country, due to the south Indian invasions. Many kings had abandoned the royal capital of Kandy in the past and used Hanguranketha as the temporary capital of the island. The city came to being mainly due to temporary occupation of kings in the past. The city was also known as “Diyatilaka” in the past.
You will be accommodated in our center which is located few kilometers away from the town center. There is a beautiful garden to relax in and dining and lounge areas where you can hang out with fellow participants.
Furthermore, there is a refrigerator which you are welcome to use to store food and beverages. Safety lockers are available to store your belongings.
You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are a mix of Western and Sri lankan food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables.
Our house is located few kilometers away from the city center, where you can find anything you might need.
The nearest ATM and supermarket are located a 15 minute walk away from our accommodation.
Activities & Events
No scheduled activities outside the program.
Sights & Surroundings
Gala Uda fortress: Diyatala Kanda is located near the city of Hanguranketha is a well known mountain with historical value. The summit of the mountain commands a panoramic view over the surrounding region.
Potgul Maliga Maha Vihara: This Buddhist temple is one of the most visited religious sites in Hanguranketha. Some of the materials used for the construction are recovered from the Hanguranketha Palace, which was destroyed by the British.
Kitulpe Ranpatge Vihara: This Buddhist temple is one of the several temples that are dating back to Anuradhapura (4 BC to 11 AD) period. Some of the artifacts recovered from the site are dating back to Anuradhapura period.
Panchanari Getaya: Panchanari Getaya is an example of fine craftsmanship of the ancient Sri Lankan artisans. It is a stone carving depicting five female dancers. This rare piece of stone carving is located near the Vishnu Devala.
From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.
Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Population: 20 million
Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and Colombo
Language: Sinhalese, Tamil
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
Time zone: UTC +5:30
Sri Lanka’s over 2000 years of history and culture can still be seen in every corner of its cities and the details of its ever-beautiful ancient temples. With eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and its short distances between the main sights, Sri Lanka is a country that, despite often being overlooked in itineraries, has left travelers filled with awe.
Visit the sacred home of the world’s oldest living tree in Anuradhapura, wander around the colonial architecture of Colombo, get sun-kissed at the untouched beaches that inclose the territory, snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, head to the hills for a cooler temperature and get surrounded by lush natural, visit two thousand year-old temples or get overawed at the sight of hundreds of elephants in Minneriya.
While traveling through Sri Lanka you will experience adventures from the highest and chilliest mountains like the famous Adam’s Peak - a stairway mountain considered sacred in three different religions, thru the elephant shelters, to the most peaceful beaches up north near Trincomalee and their tiny- one floor- hostels facing the calm sea.
Sri Lanka is one of the best destinations to visit year-round as the rainy seasons hit the island in opposite locations at different times of the year. That being said, Sri Lanka is a country that can be visited if you know where to go in search for the best weather.
The south-western monsoon hits between May and September and the dry season occurs from December to March.
North and coastal regions
The monsoon season happens between October and January while the dry seasons takes places between May and September.
Sri Lanka is known for its distinct cuisine, its indigenous holistic medicines, its cricket practices and export of tea, cinnamon and gemstones. Moreover, the country boasts a rich artistic tradition which includes music, dance and visual arts.
Sri Lanka has been shaped by many aspects. The first and most obvious being the heritage of Theravada Buddhism passed from India. Furthermore, the colonial period left a big mark in the country’s traditions and culture, with British elements being featured in every corner as well as Dutch and Portuguese.
Sri Lanka, better known as the “nation of smiling people”, is a paradisiac island that Napoleon described as a world-like biodiversity in a tiny piece of land on the Indian ocean. Multicultural, multi-religious and multi-coloured country, formerly named Ceylon, is known for its delicious black tea, it’s heart-warming inhabitants and its history-filled corners.
Sri Lankan cuisine has been heavily influenced by many factors such as the British colonization, its closeness to southern India and more. Some stables of Sri Lankan food are rice, coconut and spices - many spices.
Kottu Roti, a blend of chopped roti, vegetables and meat is a unique dish served in Sri Lanka and one that everyone must try while here! Another staple dish are hoppers (appa), based on batter, coconut milk and spices.
Sri Lankans eat with their right hands, which can be hard to adjust to at first. However, many restaurants will provide cuttery if requested.
Celebrates the Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. During Duruthu, thousands of people attend colorful parades, which consist of three processions on the nights before the full moon. The processions consist of fireball performers, drummers, dances, decorated elephants and the most important - a gigantic tusker treading a white carpet.
April 13th or 14th: Avurudda (New Year)
Avurudda celebrates the Sinhalese New Year in Sri Lanka. According to Sinhalese astrology, the new year begins when the sun changes from Meena Rashi (Pisces) to Mesha Rashi (Aries).
June: Poson Festival
Poson Festival takes place on the full moon day of June and celebrates the arrival of Buddhism, which occurred when Arahat Mahinda, the son of the emperor of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.
October or November: Diwali (Festival of Lights)
Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, and good over evil. It is celebrated with millions of lights shining over houses, temples, and buildings. Diwali is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November, on the darkest, new moon night of Karitika.
In Sri Lanka, it is tradition to take an oil bath in the morning, wear new clothes, exchange presents and visit the Koil a Hindu Temple. In the evenings, oil lamps are lit to invite the blessings from the goddess of wealth.