Nalanda Gedige, Matale

4.3
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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  • It was just 01km away from main A9 road close to Nalanda town. One of the few places you can visit without paying entrance charges. It considered as center of Sri Lanka. Build in South Indian architec...  more »
  • A pretty very surprised, for this site off the beaten track and very well preserved one of the oldest site in sri lanka between Dambulla and Kandy, it is an opportunity to stop along the road and a little cultural break
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  • Historically important place. It says that this is the right middle of Sri Lanka. Not too much locals visit this place.  more »
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  • It is a Buddhist temple build on between 8-10 centuries in Pallava structural method. It is located 1km from the main road (A9). Peaceful place to visit.
  • How said historians of SL do not know who exactly built this precious temple and say it was built around the 10th century which is nonsense. There is no dravidian influence or architecture but this was built at least over 4500 years ago by indrajit (great king ravanas son) to worship Nikumbila Devi. Some govt scumbags of SL about 35 years ago moved Nalanda Gedige temple from its original place which resulted in the loss of universal powers attracted by this temple. Original Nalanda gedige was built on the exact centre of the earth which is why it's of utmost importance. SL as a country has been going down the drain since this was moved few decades ago and will continue to slide unless until its moved back to its original place. Careful examination here would show us various extraterrestrial objects and planetary systems which says a lot about the relationship ancient hela (original Sinhalese) had with beings from other planets.
  • Nalanda Gedige has been rebuilt while making Nalanda reservoir which is believed to be located in the centre of Sri Lanka
  • If it had not been for our local guide we would not have visited this place. He told us whether we wanted to go to the center of Sri Lanka, and we said YES! An archaeological site with interwoven architectural styles that includes Tantric Buddhist carvings and Hindu elements. One might want to take a closer look at the carvings. A small Stupa is the only other structure near Nalada Gedige. A quiet place well worth a visit.
  • Great historical place this rare architecture shows the combination of Buddhism and Hinduism must see

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Where to stay in Matale

You'll find some fairly standard guesthouses and small hotels in Matale's main urban area, never straying very far from the station and the parks of the city center. Alternatively, explore out of town to the north, east, or south for a host of other more characterful accommodations that show off the fruits of the area, including campgrounds, ecolodges, and farmstays. For a much greater choice of places to stay, look in Kandy, one hour to the south.
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