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Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo

An epitome of Buddhist Temples and one of the oldest in Sri Lanka

Tourism in Colombo

Rated 4.33/5 ( based on 3131 reviews )

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Quick Information

Best time to visit
Nov - Feb
Ideal Duration
3-4 Days
Visa
On Arrival
Starting from
Rs. 1,980
  • Culture
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About Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo

Located near the Beira Lake in 61 Sri Jinarathana Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Gangaramaya Temple is a mix of Indian and Chinese architecture. Gangaramaya Temple timings are 6 am to 10 pm. A stellar example of Buddhist Temples in Sri Lanka, it was built by Don Bastian, a famous naval merchant in the nineteenth century. Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo was built in honor of Matara Sri Dharmarama Thero. It came to be known by the locals as Pada Thota Gangaramaya Vihara. A truly remarkable place of worship, this serene, but imposing Vihara displays an eclectic mix of architectural styles – Thai, Indian, Sri Lankan, and even Chinese.

One of the famous Buddhist temples in Colombo, it has several segments built into its huge structure. It has a Vihara Mandiraya or temple for worship, a Cetiya or Pagoda, a Seema Malaka or assembly hall, and even a Relic Chamber. This besides, the temple complex holds within its sacred interiors a museum, a library, educational halls, a residential hall, a Pirivena or seminary, and an alms hall. The history of Gangaramaya Temple is not restricted only to Buddhism, but to communal harmony as well.

Annual Perahera

During the Navam Perahera in the Gangaramaya Temple, a grand procession of several elephants adorned with colourful costumes carry the sacred relics to pay homage to Lord Buddha. In the procession, there are also many troupes of traditional performers, drummers, dancers along with hundreds of Buddhist monks walk in the Gangaramaya Navam Perahera. The festival has been celebrated in the month of February for more than four decades in the temple.

Today the temple serves not only as one of the chief centers of Buddhism and esoterism but has a myriad of other functions as well. It is a center of learning, and houses and old age home, an orphanage, and a vocational training center as well. A treasure trove of Buddhist relics and artifacts, the temple has statues of several Buddhist deities towards its rear. Make sure to follow properly the Gangaramaya Temple dress code to respect the local customs.

With astonishing acreage and a sparkling vitality amidst peaceful serenity, this temple is beautiful, to say the least. One could spend hours on end at this brilliant location without so much as realizing that time has passed at all. The spread of Buddhist Dhamma in Ceylon is illustrated clearly here. Also, this temple has helped spread the Dhamma to Staten Island, New York, and Tanzania. Easily accessible and the very symbol of peace amidst the busy capital city, this vihara is well worth the visit.

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    Should I follow any dress code while visiting Gangaramaya Temple?

    While visiting religious sites, make sure to wear clothes that cover knees and shoulders.

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