If you travel about 2 kilometres or so north from the coastal town of Hikkaduwa, you’ll come across the wondrous sight of the Seenigama Vihara, an impressive structure that lies perched upon its own little island.
The Seenigama Vihara hold unique cultural significance for the local populace. This temple is one of two such sites in Sri Lanka where you can ask for just retribution if you had been robbed. It is said that if you have come upon such a misfortune, visiting the temple and offering tribute to the temple will grant you salvation. Once a sacred ritual has been completed, the thief responsible would either be struck down or meet with some misfortune. All this being said, you don’t have to wait till you are robbed to visit Seenigama Vihara – it has plenty to offer all on its own.
Since Seenigama is on the road that leads to Galle from Hikkaduwa, many tourists and travellers make it a point to visit the temple by making a small detour. The temple itself is divided into two parts with only one section being found on the island, the other is on the mainland. This section can easily be reached on foot and includes the blossoming Holy Tree. Take a moment to admire the architecture on display here. The intricate artwork and design have a unique islandic quality, accentuated by inimitable Sri Lankan inspirations.
Once you’ve got your fill of the mainland section, it’s time to head on over to the island. For this, you’ll be needing to hire a boat. Fortunately, there is plenty of local vessels beached along the shore. For a small fee, they’ll take you onto the island. The boat ride itself can be quite an enjoyable experience – you’ll be treated to the blue expanse of the Indian Ocean and be caressed by the gentle sea breeze. The temple’s interiors are rather picturesque and the island itself is bathed in a quaint and charming atmosphere. If you get your timings right, you might even be able to enjoy all this as the oceanic sunset begins to form up!