Kande Vihara in Beruwala, Sri Lanka

A giant Buddha perches atop a colorful pedestal at Kande Viharaya, an 18th-century hilltop temple. Sitting cross-legged, he stares straight ahead over the walkway, his expression empty. At 160 feet tall, he’s one of the tallest sitting Buddha statues in the world.

The massive statue has been successful at drawing more locals to the historic temple since it was unveiled in 2007. It’s an eye-catching sight, one you’re sure to notice from a distance. But the amazing Kande Viharaya has...

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