The Viharaya or image house is brilliantly painted and intricately sculpted. It shelters the imposing Buddha statues coloured in vibrant vitality. The surrounding walls are adorned with intricate artistic embellishments depicting vents significant to Buddhist teachings.
Samadhi statue and stupa
The immaculate white stupa, which is in the centre of the temple is fronted by the new Samadhi Buddha statue. It sits in an intricately carved stone image house. Entirely chiselled out of white jade, the statue was done by master artisan Wenhong Sun from Myanmar.
Ata Visi Hall
The Ata Visi Hall or the Atavisi Buddha Pooja Mandhiraya is home to the statues of the 28 Buddhas; the Gautama Buddha born in India as well as the last 27 Buddhas who, according to tradition, preceded him. In this hall offerings are made to the Buddhas.
The Bo Tree, together with the stupa and the Viharaya, forms the important triad within the Buddhist temple. The ‘Bo-tree’ is the Pipal or Sacred Fig tree (Ficus religiosa), under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. It is worshipped by all devotees and prayer flags form.
In Borobudur in Central Java, Indonesia, is the world’s largest Buddhist temple. Built in Gangaramaya is a perfect, impressive and aesthetically pleasing imitation of this example of ancient Southeast Asian architecture. Sitting serenely on stacked platforms are.
Within this chamber are housed sacred relics of the Buddha, his disciples including the Arhant Seevalie and – the latest addition – a sacred relic donated by the Chittagong Buddhist temple of Bangladesh and the Government of Bangladesh. A beautifully designed room where all visitors can worship or admire.
Spreading to several halls, the impressive collection of Gangaramaya has been added to through generations. Every nook and cranny and inch of wall is occupied: Buddha statues, intricate wood or ivory carvings, valuable furniture, curios, a separate section of ola leaf writings, inscriptions and extremely rare vintage cars.
Designed by the country’s renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa, this assembly for monks in the middle of the Beira Lake was built in 1979. With its Southeast Asian influence, minimum colours and the tranquil atmosphere created by the rippling waters and the Bo tree, it is the perfect place for refuge from the madding crowd.