Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple in Mahiyangana, Sri Lanka. It is believed to be the site of Gautama Buddha’s first visit to the country, and is one of the Solosmasthana; the 16 sacred religious locations in Sri Lanka.
According to legend Prince Saman of the Deva tribe requested the Buddha for a token of presence that could be held high in reverence; thus he was granted a curl of hair from the Buddha’s head. The Prince enshrined the hair relic in the ancient Mahiyangana Stupa. Thus Mahiyangana became the first ever Stupa to be built in Sri Lanka.
The temple of Mahiyangana is a must visit as it boasts of a rich religious and cultural heritage and you can be a part of the rituals and practices carried out by the folk of the surrounding villages.