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Additional info for Berlitz: Vienna Pocket Guide (Berlitz Pocket Guides)
Admitted to the Buddhist Order as novices, they go through intensive religious training before becoming a member of the sangha (a monastic community of ordained Buddhist monks or nuns). Mihintale is where the Buddhist monk Mahinda, son of the Indian king Asoka, is said to have converted King Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura to Buddhism. This event marked the introduction of the religion to Sri Lanka. Stalls selling religious offerings are often found near the temples. The wide variety of offerings at these kiosks ranges from lotus flowers and images of the Buddha to food and drink and even plastic toys.
1411–66), from the Gampola nobility in Kotte, who went on to become the last Sinhalese ruler to unite the island. In 1450, Parakramabahu VI took possession of the Tamil kingdom and the independent kingdom at Dedigama, hence bringing the whole island under Sinhalese rule. When he died, however, it did not take long for the smaller kingdoms of Jaffna and the Hill Country to reassert their independence. By this time, there were three established kingdoms on the island: the Tamil kingdom of Jaffna in the north, the Sinhalese Kandyan kingdom in the Hill Country and the Sinhalese kingdom at Kotte.
While some of these objects retain the natural colouring, others are dyed in a variety of colours to create vibrant patterns. A PORTRAIT OF SRI LANKA Traditional Painting Similar to sculpture, the best-known traditional paintings are centred on the Buddha, his life and his teachings; some of the finest examples can be seen in the Dambulla Cave Temples. Folk art gained popularity during the Kandyan period, with artists painting narratives in brilliant colours to illustrate religious themes. The temples around Kandy house the most impressive of these murals.