Sri Lanka / Feb 20-Mar 1, 2020 / Thangka Painting Retreat & Sightseeing Tour

Home > Classes > Upcoming thangka courses > Sri Lanka Thangka Painting Retreat 20 feb – 1 march, 2020, with subject Wealth Deities

Sri Lanka – Buddhist Art & Painting Retreat incl. sightseeing tour

The subject is Wealth Buddhas: Yellow Dzambala & Vasudhara

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.

Note: Registration
ends Oct 31, 2019

Organized by The Buddhist Library in Singapore – TBL Members get a S$210 discount

In this Buddhist Art Retreat you will learn to draw & paint famous ‘wealth buddhas’; the male Yellow Dzambala and the female Vasudhara, according to the tradition of Buddhist Thangka (scroll painting).

Yellow Dzambala
is the best-known Buddha of Wealth & Abundance and an appearance of Avalokiteshvara (Tib .: Chenrezig), the Buddha of Compassion.
With its round, strong appearance, he takes on a wrathful and powerful form to protect us from harmful forces and negative karma. He helps to reduce all our obstacles while he increases the happiness and prosperity in our lives (both in material and spiritual terms), and in particular grants us financial stability.
In his right hand Dzambala holds a fruit or a wish-fulfilling jewel, and in his left hand he holds a mongoose, a beautiful little animal that is spitting out precious pearls / jewels.

Vasudhara (Tib .: No Gyur Ma) is the beautiful female Buddha of Wealth, Prosperity, Abundance and Growth. Her Sanskrit name means “Flow of Gemstones.” Originally Vasudhara was an Indian goddess, but her popularity has spread to other Buddhist countries. Especially in Nepal she has a strong following among the Newari’s (the indigenous population from the Kathmandu valley) and is therefore a central figure in Newari Buddhism.

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.
Check out the complete schedule here

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.

Read more about the previous Buddhist Art Retreat in Sri Lanka 

Check out all pictures of the previous Buddhist Art Retreat in Sri Lanka on the Facebook Page

More Info, Schedule & Registration

Thu 20 feb: arrival, getting settled & introduction 
Bus transfer from Colombo Airport to the Paramita International Buddhist Centre, time will be announced.
After that the bus will make a stop in Colombo city or Negombo for the people who arrived before the 20th (time and place will be announced).

Those who missed this transit can take a cab from Colombo Airport directly to Paramita International Buddhist Centre, No. 7 Kandy Road, Kadugannawa.

Arrival at Paramita Center: get settled in your room and get shown around the center and the green gardens. We will get to know each other and share out first dinner together, after which the first evening starts with a lecture & introduction of the painting course & its subject Guan Yin.

Fri 21 – Wed 26 feb: Buddhist drawing & painting course
All days start with a guided meditation in the morning (optional) and drawing sessions in the morning and afternoon.
Later in the week we will turn to colouring and/or painting sessions, and you will learn how to apply the special thangka painting techniques.
There will be a lot of individual guidance. In the evenings there will be free time, a lecture on buddhist art or a film.
Sunday afternoon (Feb. 23) is free time and you can go for sightseeing (to Kandy or to the temples nearby for example) or relax and enjoy the nature & surroundings.

In the evening of Wed Feb 26 we will pack our bags and get ready for the exiting second part of this course: the 4 day/3 night sightseeing tour.
After your own Buddha drawing and painting experience you will be guaranteed to look with a different eye and appreciate the centuries old buddhist art even more.


In the morning coach along with guide will come to pick you up from Paramita Meditation Centre. Lunch at a local restaurant.

Anuradhapura – Commanding a rich Sri Lankan heritage, Anuradhapuraone 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.



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. Lunch at a local restaurant, after which we  will visit the city of Polonnaruwa – the medieval capital & crown jewel of King Parakramabahu I. This city 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.

Dinner and Overnight Stay in Sigiriya.


After breakfast at our hotel we will leave early in the morning to hike 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.

After that we will leave for Dambulla and visit the very famous Dambulla Rock 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. Lunch at local restaurant and 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 local restaurant and overnight Stay at a Hotel in Colombo.


Sun 1 March: COLOMBO – BELLANWILA TEMPLE – AIRPORT (optional transfer in the evening)

After breakfast in our hotel we will leave to Bellanwila Temple. Lunch and dinner at a local restaurant and in the evening (optional) transfer from Colombo to the Airport for departure.

Some people of the group will be staying in Colombo for a few more days and/or will continue their vacation in Sri Lanka (for example the beach areas), or elsewhere in Asia (Southern India for example).

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 tables 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 student).

PRICING Non BL Members


Non BL Members

(Single room during sightseeing trip)

BL Members BL Members

(Single room during sightseeing trip)

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 2018.

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
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 confirmedt is available for €105) TOTAL € 755


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 Singapore you can fly together with other students if you like, the Buddhist Library can introduce you to ach other. 

If you fly in from The Netherlands and would like to travel together with other Dutch participants, Carmen can introduce you to ach 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.

Materials to bring
You can choose if you want to draw & color or draw & paint:

For drawing:
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:
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).

The List of Art Materials will be emailed to you.

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-meditation-center-sri-lankaParamita 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

Please register by filling in the form below (in English) or send an email via koonteck(at) This form will go to Koon Teck from The Buddhist Library in Singapore.

You can also call Koon Teck at The Buddhist Library in Singapore: (+65) 6746-8435 (Tue-Sat: 12:00 noon – 9:00pm / Sun: 10:00am – 9:00pm / closed on Mondays)



See you in Sri Lanka!


anuradhapura-buddhist-art anuradhapura-buddhist-art-retreat polonnaruwa-buddhist-pilgrimage