Date: 20 Feb to 1 Mar 2020
Time: Specific time will follow
Venue: Paramita International Buddhist Centre, No. 7 Kandy Road, Kadugannawa, Sri Lanka

An amazing 11 day course from 20 feb to 1 march, 2020, that includes a 4 day sightseeing tour to the famous Buddhist pilgrim sites.

Organized by The Buddhist Library in Singapore – Buddhist Library Members get a S$200 discount

Registration is now opened! (Note: registration ends Oct 31, 2019)

In this Buddhist Art Retreat you will learn to draw & paint a Buddha (subject to be announced) according to the tradition of Buddhist Thangka (scroll painting).

This painting retreat is extra special, because it includes a sightseeing tour where we will visit the most beautiful Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka, and look at the ancient artwork, Buddha paintings and murals. Our own buddha drawing & painting practice will make this an even deeper experience and offers a better understanding of Buddhist art.

Participants will be coming from all over the world, and this course offers a wonderful opportunity to combine it with a longer vacation in Sri Lanka or elsewhere in Asia.

You can either choose to draw and color the Buddha with colored pencils or paint your drawing and learn how to work with the special thangka (tibetan scroll) painting techniques. Drawing and painting experience is not necessary, enthusiasm is!

You can also use this retreat to complete the thangka drawings and paintings that you’ve previously made in a course with Carmen.

Paramita International Buddhist Centremeditation-centre-sri-lanka
The painting course will be held at the Paramita International Buddhist Centre, in central Sri Lanka, a beautiful place to stay. You will share a room with another thangka student. More information can be found here under the pink bars.

Sightseeing tour to the most famous Buddhist sites
The sightseeing tour will be after the painting retreat, where you will stay in 3-star hotels, in double rooms (a single room is possible for a supplement). The complete schedule of the retreat and the sightseeing tour can be found here under the pink bars. At the bottom of the page some pictures of the places we will be visiting.


In the morning coach along with guide will come to pick you up from Paramita Meditation Centre.
Leave to Anuradhapura.
Lunch at a local restaurant
Anuradhapura – Commanding a rich Sri Lankan heritage, Anuradhapura – one of the greatest and oldest civilizations in the world starring 113 kings & spanning over 1300 years in its peak – avows of being the greatest city of ancient Sri Lanka following its reign as the first capital. The sapphire of its crown is certainly the Sri Maha Bodhi – the sacred Bo sapling extracted from the tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment – standing more than 2200 years in its pride. Stroll through the sacred trails of the venerated city to adore the legacy that interweaves Ruwanweliseya – the gigantic dagoba resting alongside the Basawakkulama Tank – shading the Samadhi Buddha Statue & Isurumuniya Rock Temple that empower the culture, heritage and supremacy of arguably the strongest kingdom in Sri Lankan history.
Dinner and Overnight Stay at Anuradhapura
Breakfast at Hotel
Transfer to Polonnaruwa via Aukana
Aukana Buddha Statue – Standing up to a solid 40 feet over Anuradhapura the Aukana Buddha Statue – a creation of king Datusena – happens to be one of the foremost cultural & religious attractions in Sri Lanka spearheading fantastic proof of carvings that date back to
the 5th century. The standing Buddha statue chiseled out of a granite cliff with magnificently carved pleats of a robe worn over the left shoulder truly proves not only a subtle talent of a local stone mason, but also a masterpiece of a king who is still venerated by locals.
Transfer to Polonnaruwa
Lunch at a local restaurant
Polonnaruwa – Rising with the decline of Anuradhapura, the city of Polonnaruwa – medieval capital & crown jewel of King Parakramabahu I – remains superior proof of ancient culture & heritage blended with religious beliefs. Walk across its scattered walls of the World Heritage Site – blessed by stupas, resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals and fantastically carved Hindu sculptures – while observing the relic house – Watadage – which boasts of beautiful stone carvings. Take a close glance and you will realize a subtle Hindu influence on architecture and statues found in Polonnaruwa. Or sit by the side of Galviharaya and observe the absolute beauty gushing out of every bend of its huge Buddhist statues. Nissankamalla Council Chamber is however, a head-spinning beauty to just sit back and observe with its swaying pillars reminding the aesthetics of a powerful kingdom which rests beside Parakrama Samudraya – sea of Parakramabahu & masterpiece of irrigation!
Transfer to Sigiriya
Dinner and Overnight Stay in Sigiriya
Breakfast at Hotel in Sigiriya
Early in the morning, hiking to Pidurangala Rock Temple to see sun rising – Pidurangala Rock is adjacent to Sigiriya Rock and is the best viewing spot of Sigiriya Rock as it is only slightly lower. Pidurangala is a popular spot for sunrise as you can enjoy 360-degree views of not only the valleys but also Sigiriya Rock. The Royal Cave Temple is survived only by a few remains. A rock wall still stands to show the foundation of what was once a rock temple. We missed it on the way up in the dark but stopped to check it out on the way down. A huge reclining Buddha, lays inside the temple and we also didn’t stop to take it in on the hike up but it was unmissable on the way down. It has been reconstructed with bricks but much of the original structure remains intact.
Dambulla Cave Temple – In the city of Dambulla lies a hub which has been treasured by many kings since the 1st century B.C. Today, an icon in the face of Sri Lanka, Dambulla Rock Temple houses some of the most unique drawings in magnificently constructed 5 cave temples flanking the golden temple of Dambulla. Observe how exquisitely cave paintings are done along walls that shelter 150 statues of Lord Buddha. As you enter the retreat, look straight up to the gigantic Buddha statue glittering in gold over a land, which today houses an important junction in the country’s economic and cultural uplifting.
Transfer to Colombo
Colombo city tour – Colombo The throbbing metropolis, Colombo – located in the West – is not only the country’s commercial capital, but also the turbine that impels above 50% of the national GDP flanking Colombo’s fancy urban development effort. Drive along the clean streets edging the crystal white Race Course – horse racing hub in 1893 & World War II airstrip – furnished today with lavish clothing, food & tea boutiques. Meanwhile, ride to Pettah & tune into the Floating Market – an offbeat shopping experience – or feel the buzz surrounding the upcoming inspiration, the Colombo Port City – an offshore city – featuring parks, commercial complexes & even an F1 track! Head along Bauddhaloka Mawatha towards ‘Arcade’ facing a historic waypost, the Independence Square. Every designer boutique, top-notch cuisine outlet and even the ‘walk-over fish tank’, have revamped this colonial masterpiece into one of the trendiest shopping and hangout zones in Sri Lanka. Smell the scent of incense while listening to the chiming bells of Gangarama temple. Or, jazz up to Colombo’s night life spiced by night clubs & casinos that borderline its bustle. If you’re lucky, head into an exhibition at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) before swaying your head to an opera or play at Nelum Pokuna that should just drive your day into perfection!
Dinner at a local restaurant
Overnight Stay at a Hotel in Colombo
DAY 4 : COLOMBO – BELLANWILA – AIRPORT (Late Night departure)
Breakfast at Hotel
Leave to Bellanwila Temple.
Lunch at a local restaurant
In the evening, leave to airport from Bellanwila Temple.
Dinner at a Chinese Restaurant
Transfer to Airport for departure flight


Below you will find the table for the Thangka Course fee, 7 nights stay & all meals in the Paramita International Buddhist Centre, and the (optional extension) Sightseeing tour incl. 3 nights in hotel, including all entrance tickets, all meals & transfers.

The first two columns are for non Buddhist Library members, and you can choose if you want a single room during the sightseeing trip (at the Paramita Center you will share a room with another students).

PRICING Non BL Members


Non BL Members

(Single room for hotel)

BL Members BL Members

(Single room for hotel)

Course Fees SGD$610 SGD$610 SGD$610 SGD$610
Paramita Accommodation (Room sharing) & Meals (7 days 7 nights) SGD$250 SGD$250 SGD$50 SGD$50
Sightseeing Trip (4 days 3 nights) SGD$550 SGD$550 SGD$550 SGD$550
Single Room Supplement for hotel

(Request for single room)

SGD$220 SGD$220
**Total SGD$1,410 SGD$1,630 SGD$1,210 SGD$1,430

**Price quoted does not include airfare. For participants residing in Singapore, you may contact Koon Teck (6746 8435) from Buddhist Library to arrange for group booking of flight.

Registration ends on 31 Oct 2019.

Currency of Payment SGD (Singapore dollars)
Mode of Payment TT (Telegraphic Transfer)
Name of Beneficiary Buddhist Research Society
Bank Details DBS swift code: DBSSSGSG
DBS Bank account number: 0010193783
Bank Address: New Upper Changi Rd, #01-707 Blk 210, Singapore 460210

Beneficiary Address: The Buddhist Library, No. 2 Lorong 24A Geylang Singapore 398526

Payment reason (For participants joining Thangka course only. 20 Feb (Thur) to 26 Feb (Wed) Thangka Art Retreat 2020
Payment reason (For participants joining both Thangka course & Sightseeing trip. 20 Feb (Thur) to 1 Mar (Sun) Thangka Art Retreat 2020
Important Notes Senders have to bear all bank charges where applicable
Confirmation of the bookings will be done when we receive full payment
No refunds will be entertained once the bookings are confirmed

If you fly in from Singapore you can fly together with other students if you like, the Buddhist Library can introduce you to each other.Flights: You have to arrange your own flight to Colombo Airport, the main city of Sri Lanka.
Visa for Sri Lanka can be purchased online beforehand, or on arrival at Colombo Airport.

If you fly in from The Netherlands and would like to travel together with other Dutch participants, Carmen can introduce you to each other. She can also do that for people from other countries.

Free transport from Colombo airport to the Paramita Centre and vice versa will be provided on Thu Feb 20 and Sun March 1st.


You can choose if you want to draw & color (advised for beginner students) or draw & paint (for advanced students):

For drawing (preferred for beginner thangka students):
2 large (A2 or larger) drawing paper, long 50cm ruler, (mechanical) pencil and eraser.
good quality colored pencils (such as Prismacolor Premier, Caran d’Ache Luminance or Faber Castell Polychromos)

For painting (for advanced):
A sturdy paper that is suitable for painting or a piece of prepared canvas (surface as fine and smooth as possible), a long 50cm ruler, a (mechanical) pencil, an eraser, gouache paints or acrylic paints and brushes (fine and medium). A List of Materials will be added here soon.

Easiest for traveling is to put the paper in a tube.

If you still have any questions regarding the Buddhist Art Course that you cannot find here, you can contact Carmen


Paramita International Buddhist Centre
No. 7 Kandy Road
Sri Lanka

Kadugannawa is a town located in the Kandy District in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is situated approximately 100 km away from the Country’s Capital – Colombo, along the A1, Colombo-Kandy Road. Paramita Meditation Centre is also situated along this route, and within 100 metres of the famous landmark Kadugannawa Rock Tunnel, known locally as “Gala widapu thena”.

Website: Paramita International Buddhist Centre


Call (+65) 6746-8435 or email Koon Teck at
(Tues-Sat: 12:00 noon-9:00pm / Sun: 10:00am-9:00pm / Closed Mon) Please register a.s.a.p. to be sure of your place.