The International Buddhist Museum is the world’s first international Buddhist museum. It is located near the National Kandy Museum and the temple of the tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This place was formerly the palace of King Wimaladharmasooriya of Kandy. The British built a Victorian style mansion and stayed in Kandy Kachcheri. The museum was established with the contributions by 17 countries including Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Bhutan and Afghanistan.
The International Buddhist Museum presents a unique concept to represent the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia, and each country is responsible for maintaining its exhibitions. With the presentation of elements of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, this is the ideal place to make a comparative study of the subtle variations of faith and the traditions of each country. There are photographs, models and giant statues depicting the spread and impact of Buddhism on people in various places.
Part of Sri Lanka shows how Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka during the reign of Emperor Ashoka of India, Arahat Mahinda and Sangathithiri. The Pakistani section represents a budding Buddhist civilization of ancient Gandhara (modern South Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), while the Afghanistan part represents an ancient Buddhist civilization.
The Bhutanese section shows the spread of Mahayana Buddhism. There is a section which depicts the Buddhist heritage of Nepal, the birthplace of the Buddha. Since Buddhism is the third largest religion in Bangladesh, this section highlights the heritage of Theravada Buddhism, and its connections to Buddhism in parts of China and Korea. The Japanese section shows the arrival of Buddhism from Korea and the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce explains its history of Theravada Buddhism.
The Upasampada Telephone – Thai section shows how monks from Siam (now Thailand) were brought in to re-introduce the clergy with Sri Lankan monks. Welivita Sri Saranankara Thera who plays a key role in restoring the tradition. Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia represent their relations with Buddhism.
You can choose a free audio guide. Or you can choose a tour guide at 1070LKR. The museum has a lift that allows disabled visitors to visit the museum.
Time : 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Highlights : Do wear covered clothes from shoulder to toe and remove the shoes.
Price : Approximate price starts from 1070 LKR per adult