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Nalanda Gedige, Matale

(60+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site
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
  • Not so far from Matale town. There was good architecture. It is ancient Hindu temple.This temple built between 8th to 10th centuries. Nalanda is 20km north to aluwihare temple. I came from A9 route fr...  more »
  • Nalanda Gedige is small but has a charm of its own. It is an ancient complete stone building of Hindhu temple and the main deity was Sri Vishnu. It is located in Nalanda in the Matale district little ...  more »
  •  Nalanda Gedige is free but also very small. A small photo, quite a lot more time because unfortunately no need to spend when it is not an absolute specialist for very early Hindu architecture.
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  • 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"