Gangaramaya Temple: The Most Spectacular Gem in Colombo

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Gangaramaya TempleGangaramaya Temple of Sri Lanka is a worldwide famous Buddhist temple which is established in Colombo. The architecture of this temple is a beautiful mixture of modern as well as cultural essence. The beauty of this temple is exceptionally amazing as is surrounded by the splendid Beira Lake and architected with some immensely beautiful carvings inside the temple. There is a huge statue of Lord Buddha standing inside the temple and the ceilings are adorned with the stories of his life. Inside the temple premise, there is a library, some training centers, a museum, and many more admirable things to explore. Gangaramaya Temple is wide- known for having a baby elephant named Ganga who is unable to walk and is being chained from the back. It doesn’t have any elephant company and it always undulates sideways. It is believed that many of the tourists have spotted her crying as elephants love to be in a group and want space to walk around and she is separated from such features. According to the locals, Ganga has stayed there from the last eight years.


This beautiful temple of Sri Lanka was established in the late 19th century by the famous monk Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thera and after him, the administration of the temple came in the hands of Dewundara Sri Jinaratana Nayake who was his chief pupil. Dewundara decided to convert the small temple into a reckoned international institution.


Hikkaduwe set up the foundation of this small temple in the late 19th century. The temple later became worldwide famous due to its beautiful blend of architecture. The temple had been constructed in Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture styles. However, it is not only a temple only it is also a center of learning. The plot of land on which the temple is constructed is not very far from the placid Beira Lake and originally the land was a small heritage situated on marshy land. The complex includes the Vihara, the Cetiya, The Bodhi Tree, the Seema Malaka (assembly hall of the temple), and the relic chamber. The temple also houses a museum, library, and elm hall, educational halls, and a three-storied Pirivena. Simamalaka Shrine is the major attraction of this temple which was established with the donation of a Muslim donor.

Temple Timing

6:00 am – 8:00 pm

Entrance Fee

Free, However, Donations are accepted

Things to Do

As stated above, Gangaramaya Temple is a beautiful fusion of modern as well as cultural essence. A visit to Gangaramaya Temple is a worth visit place.

  • Museum – The major attraction of Gangaramaya temple is a beautiful museum which is set up in the temple premise. It houses various halls and a beautiful collection of ivories and wood carvings, Ola leaf writings, Buddha Statues, and also the vintage cars. The museum is not only the must visit a place of Gangaramaya Temple but also of the country.
  • Relic Chamber – The name clearly defines this part of the temple. Tourists can spot numerous magnificent statues of Lord Buddha whose visit leaves you with the most sacred memories of your life.
  • Bodhi Tree – A sacred fig tree under which Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment and is one of the most sacred and important places to visit inside the temple.
  • Beira Lake and Seema Malaka – This pristine lake is located at a few hundred meters away from the temple so tourists visiting the temple must not miss this place to explore. Seema Malaka is another temple present inside the temple which is mostly used for meditation rather than prayers.

Other Attractions – Ata Visi Hall is the home to 28 Buddhas. It comprises 28 statues of Lord Buddha and 27 other statues of those who preceded him. Replica of Borobudur is the other beautiful attraction of this temple which was established in the 8th-9th century. Central Java is reckoned to be the home of this famous Borobudur Temple.

How to Reach

After arriving at Colombo Airport, tourists can take a taxi to reach the temple which is at a distance of 40 minutes from the airport.

Travel Tips

  • Tourists are allowed to carry their camera inside the temple only after the permission of the management of the temple.
  • There is no weather consistency so carry a sunscreen lotion with you as the climate becomes warm or hot very often.
  • If you are visiting the temple from a closer location then it is better to take a tuk-tuk to get some more enjoyable traveling experience.
  • Like other Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, Gangaramaya Temple also follows the rule of welcoming the guests with a moderate dress. Do not hurt the sentiments of the sacred temple.
  • Devotees are restricted to carry shorts or sleeveless dress and are requested to cover their shoulder, arms, and legs properly.

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