gadaladeniya temple
The Art And Architecture


The Gadaladeniya temple is a Buddhist temple located in the hill country town of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is considered one of the finest examples of architecture of the Gampola era, a period from the early 14th century to the mid-15th century. The temple was built by King Wickramabahu III in the year 1344, on a hilltop overlooking the surrounding countryside. It was originally known as Gadaladeniya Vihara, and is now a popular tourist destination and pilgrimage site.

The temple is known for its unique and beautiful architecture, combining South Indian style with Sinhalese design traditions. The entrance to the temple is through a large stone archway, or torana, which is adorned with intricate carvings of floral motifs and mythical beasts. The central shrine of the temple houses a statue of the Buddha in a seated posture, surrounded by frescoes depicting scenes from the Buddha’s life.

One of the most striking features of the temple is the octagonal pavilion, or mandapaya, which stands at the edge of the hilltop. It is supported on a number of carved stone pillars, each depicting different aspects of Buddha’s teachings.

The Gadaladeniya temple is widely regarded as an important cultural heritage site, and it has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Visitors to the temple can enjoy the peaceful surroundings and learn about the rich history and traditions of the Sinhalese people.

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Useful Tips

  • Gadaladeniya Temple was built in the 14th century by King Buwanekabahu IV during the Gampola Kingdom era. It is one of the oldest temples in Sri Lanka.

  • The main attraction of Gadaladeniya Temple is a 5-meter tall Buddha statue named Sakyamuni Buddha. The temple also houses a library that holds rare books and manuscripts.
  • You can take a bus or a taxi from Kandy. The temple is about 12 km away from the city center.
  • The entrance fee for Gadaladeniya Temple is LKR 300 per person for foreigners. Sri Lankan citizens can enter for free.
  • Visitors to the temple must dress appropriately. Shorts, sleeveless tops, and short skirts are not allowed. You must also remove your shoes before entering the temple.
  • The temple is open from 7 am to 7 pm. The best time to visit is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the weather is cooler.
  • You can combine a trip to Gadaladeniya Temple with visits to other nearby attractions such as Lankatilaka Temple and Embekke Temple.
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