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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 4.31/5 ( based on 2959 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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    Chennai

    Joseph's 5 days trip to Colombo

    We had a pleasant trip. But the Itinerary is skewed towards commercial shopping. So better to have our own itinerary.
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    Pushpendra

    Patna

    Pushpendra's 6 days trip to Colombo

    Journey from Newara Ella to Banting was long and exhaustive. It took almost full day. There should be a break. Plan should such that maximum distance between points about 100 KM. Instead of Sigiriya journey can start from Chilaw. Sigiriya fort and Newara Ellya.
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    Mumbai

    Pratik's 7 days trip to Colombo

    The driver made us good journey.. A lot thanks to him.....
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    Bengaluru

    Sailee's 7 days trip to Colombo

    Thank you Nandeesh and Ajith (Driver) for making our trip very awesome.
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    Siddharth Tangirala

    United kingdom

    Siddharth's 4 days trip to Colombo

    We had a really nice Sri Lanka trip covering Srigirya, Trincomalee, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. The hotels were amazing for both nights at Cinnamon group. While the driver, Mr Sisira Kumar drove well, promptly showed up everyday, there were issues following our planned itinerary. He did not want to show
    us places and insisted repeatedly that he was having to work long hours (especially on our last day where we travelled from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya and then to Colombo). He did not wish to follow our itinerary and wanted to drop us in Colombo directly from Kandy. We had to call the travel agent and align the driver with our plans. Additionally, while the itinerary was suggested by the tour company, each morning we had to inform the driver about the day's itinerary, instead of him telling us. Overall, the trip was good except for these minor issues with the driver. I wish the travel company clearly communicates the itinerary with their drivers and asks them to be proactive.
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    Mumbai

    Rajesh's 4 days trip to Colombo

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    New delhi

    Inderdeep's 6 days trip to Colombo

    Travel triangle helped us find the best agent and quote. The services provided by the agent were better than expected. My son had travel sickness. The driver went beyond the call of his duty and found us a local doctor in late evening hours and also hopped several chemists to collect all the prescri
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    Hyderabad

    Dasarath's 5 days trip to Colombo

    Had good time in Srilanka with proper guidance of agent Yes
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    Mohit Jain

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    Mohit's 3 days trip to Colombo

    It was a great experience for us, we enjoyed the hotels and their services. But overall we suffered for vegetation food. You should take care of the vegetarian travelers. As you have mentioned in your itinerary that you will arrange jain food also, please remove it from that because you are unable t
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    Mumbai

    Rohit's 10 days trip to Colombo

    We had a great family holiday courtesy Travel Triangle and Direct Link, our travel agent. Direct Link were thorough professionals and our representative, Dilhari, took excellent care of our needs and requests, including last minute ones during the trip. We were well accompanied by Mr Sana who guid
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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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