One of the most prominent Buddhist temples in Colombo City, Gangaramaya Temple houses an extensive collection of artefacts. Located in the bustling inner-city near the picturesque Beira Lake, this temple complex is a massively popular tourist attraction, a sacred place of worship and a learning and vocational training centre.
Established over 120 years ago, this once little hermitage nestled on a piece of marshy land, has transformed into a must-see attraction. Hordes of people, including local and foreign devotees gather at this bustling space, revered for its embellished architecture and statues showcasing Sri Lankan, Chinese, Thai, Burmese and other artistic styles.
A spectacular work of art, the Temple is elaborately designed and surrounded by statues of Buddha, lions, nymphs and china vases. Standing like sentinels at the door, two golden Buddha statues guide the throngs to the main sanctuary of the Temple and the door is decorated in intricate wood carvings of elephants and swans.
The museum is a treasure trove of Buddha statues from all over the globe, Hindu Gods, old watches, Dutch coins and other antique collectibles. The pièce de résistance is the smallest Buddha statue on the island, encased in a glass box, whereby visitors can view it with a magnifying glass.
As with other temples in Sri Lanka, visitors are advised to dress conservatively and cover their shoulders and the legs below the knee when entering the temple premises. There is no fee to enter the Gangaramaya Temple.