If you are looking for the emblematic picture, a hallmark of Sri Lanka, representing the appearance of this particular country and no other world region:
It’s the white dome of a brick dagoba on a dark granite rock boulder. Similar kinds of boulders and monad rocks, which are a characteristic feature of Sri Lanka’s lowlands, can be found in all parts of the former South-Continent called Gondhwana, namely in South America, Africa, Australia and India. But none of these world regions is Buddhist. So you will rarely find white dagobas built on those continents and subcontinents.
Dagobas (stupas) from earlier Buddhist periods can be found in India, of course, but they are earthen mounds or elaborate stone monuments, usually not painted with white colour - and actually not as many or as densely distributed as in Sri Lanka. However, there is at least one country with even more stupas than Sri Lanka. Many, many, really many more "Chedis" - the Southeast-Asian form of dagobas - are hallmarks of Myanmar, formerly known as Birma. But they are not built on dark rock boulders. Thailand and Myanmar and other Buddhist areas of Asia were not part of the archcontinent Gondhwana. Myanmar’s stupas are golden and not white and their shapes do resemble bells and not hemispheres. But there is a hemispheric form of Chedis in Myanmar, too.
To come to a conclusion: These hemispherical forms are called “Ceylonese” or “Sinhalese” in Myanmar. The reason is: They were built by a group of monks that introduced a monastic reform from Sri Lanka. Monks from Myanmar were studying in Sri Lanka and documented their loyalty to the country of that form of Buddhism they considered to be more pure and unadulterated. Accordingly they started creating dagobas in a more Sinhalese fashion. The most famous examples are the Sapada brick pagoda in Bagan (Pagan) bearing the name of the reform monk who returned from Sri Lana, and the even more eye-catching hemispheric and glimmering white Kaunghmudaw-Pagoda in Sagaing near Mandalay.
Nevertheless, it is not built on an even eye-catching dark rock, which can be seen at many places in Sri Lanka - and only in Sri Lanka.
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