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Nalanda Gedige, Matale

(4/5 based on 55+ reviews on the web)
Nalanda Gedige is an ancient complete stone building near Matale, Sri Lanka. This building was an ancient Hindu Temple constructed in between 8th to 10th century with dravidian architecture and then believe to have been used by Buddhists. Also some scholars describe this building is a dravidian architecture dedicated to a Mahayanaa cult with pronounced Trantric learning and known for an ancient monument of possible Vajrayana Buddhist affinities.Nalanda Gedige is designed like a Hindu temple with a mandapa, an entrance hall, a short passage to a bare cello, and an ambulatory round the holy center. There is no sign of Hindu gods today, however, and the temple is said to have been used by Buddhists.The richly decorated facade sections, laboriously reassembled in 1975, are predominantly in the South Indian style, and may have originated in the eighth to 11th centuries, but cannot be precisely dated. However, the god Kubera appears on the south side of the tympanum over the sanctuary, and this is a feature only to be found in Sri Lanka.HistoryEstimates of its date of construction vary from the 8th to 10th centuries AD. This was a period of great turmoil on the island, with South Indian kings establishing themselves in the wake of the decline of the Sinhalese monarchy. It is possible that Nalanda Gedige was a bold attempt at a fusion of Tamil and Sinhalese cultures.History of Nalanda Gedige as an archaeological site began in 1893, when, according to then Archaeological Commissioner, H. C. P. Bell, "land was acquired round this little-known and solitary shrine of granite construction, popularly styled gedige. It is situated on raised ground in paddy fields, picturesquely surrounded by low hills and wooded hamlets. In 1911 a small gang was detached from the labor force at Sigiriya to thoroughly root out all the jungle growth upon and around the ruin besides cutting still further back the earth silt hiding the bold stylites upon which the fane stands. Very special importance attaches to this unique temple, as it is the sole example yet discovered in Ceylon of composite styles of architecture judiciously blended to form a delightfully homogeneous edifice."
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This temple is only small, and we were the only people there, and that's what made it so worth going. You walk to it through the jungle, just listening to natural sounds in the moist heat, and look ar...  more »
  • I planned a journey to Nalanda Gedige today. The trip took 5 hours to see a simple site. Here's how; leave hotel 6:30, cane to bus station, make sure driver knows where to drop me off, (RS 40) 50” lat...  more »
  • That should make up only, who wants to go deeper into the history of Hinduism and Buddhism.
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Google
  • Supposedly the geographic centre of Sri Lanka. A quick detour, in case you are on the Dambulla - Matale Road, to view a unique temple (which is fairly weather beaten!) that has both Buddhist and Hindu elements. The views of the artificial lake are a bonus. Go with low expectations as the Gedige is simply plain in contrast to the awesome monuments of Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa. But it has a charm of its own.
  • Great place to see. Not as impressive as some of the other buildings in this part of the country...but it is acknowledged as the geographical centre.
  • This is considered as the center of Sri Lanka
  • Simple and best place to evening visit.
  • People called this place as the middle of the island! And also a lot of historical stories behind "Nalanda Gedige"