Sri Maha Bodhi Viharaya or Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha is a Theravada Buddhist temple on top of a hill in Kandy. True to its “Big Buddha” is known for being a powerful and giant Buddha statue that overlooks the princely state of Kandy. It shows Buddha taking the Dhyana Mudra Position (The Dhyana mudra helps mortals achieve this transformation, thus this mudra symbolizes protection, peace, and the dispelling of fear), which was how he attained enlightenment.
This statue is on the Bahirava Kanda hill, which means the devil’s hills in Sinhalese due to its height and intensity. The white marble Big Buddha is lit beautifully during the nights with yellow lights beaming from the hilltop. It offers panoramic views of Kandy throwing light on the civilization, Kandy Lake, evergreen forests and tea plantations.At an altitude of 27m, the winds rush through like never before; it does not cease the many tourists who flock to the hills to offer their prayers and thanksgiving through lamps, candles and garlands. The experience of climbing the flight of stairs to pay homage to Buddha is a scenic trek.
The best way to get there is by tuk-tuk (Three-wheeler). If you like walking, it will be quite a walk passing the Kandy Police Station. The visitors to the temples must pay around LKR 200-250. The place is not busy or crowded so that you can spend time there while talking to the monks there. As the steps are around the statue, visitors could climb up and see the whole Kandy city. Visitors to the scared temple must wear modest clothes. Best time to be there is either early morning or late in the evening.
Anyone who likes photography and wants to enjoy the evening sunset could visit the place as its gives a beautiful view of Kandy city and the surrounding area.