Gal Vihara, Polonnaruwa

4.7
Discover the fascinating 12th-century rock temple of the Buddha at Gal Vihara. The temple houses four beautiful statues of the Buddha, all carved from the same, single piece of granite. Admire the statues, which demonstrate some of the finest examples of Sinhalese rock carving. Wander around the temple and admire the standing Buddha, which measures 7m (23 ft) in height. However, unique features on this statue have led to heavy speculation that it could depict not the Buddha, but in fact one of his disciples, Ananda. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings as you appreciate the three other statues in the temple; the seated Buddha, the reclining Buddha, and Vidyhadhara Guha. Shoes are forbidden within the site, so bring some socks to walk across the sometimes hot ground. Arrange to visit Gal Vihara and other attractions in Polonnaruwa using our Polonnaruwa trip maker site .
Create an itinerary including Gal Vihara
map
Places to stay near Gal Vihara
Gal Vihara Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
645 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • There are four Buddhas here: sitting, standing, reclining and the Vidyhadhara Guha. They are all carved from the granite rock and impressive both due to the scale and the texture derived from the gran...  more »
  • Visited in the evening. Calm and quiet. It’s ideal for meditation Only place mostly preserved during the south Indian invaders destruction, specially Kalinga Magha. Believed to be that this place was ...  more »
  • It is a part of them that they must visit inside the Archaeological Park, as you go along the road will find you.
    View original
Google
  • The most popular place to visit of the whole complex which means it can be busy but it's worth braving the crowds. There are incredibly impressive carved statues including a huge lying Buddhas. I have seen many a lying Buddha throughout my travels in SE Asia so it takes a lot to impress me and this bloody impressed me. The craftsmanship involved is amazing.
  • Good need a way to walk after shoes are removed. The foreign s burn their feet and they don't want to send their friends, further this is not good as we are a kind of hospitable nation.
  • One of the most impressive place in Polonnaruwa Archaeological heritage. Still difficult to imagine how they did this marvelous creation.
  • Buddhist temple. Historical place... Attractive place of tourists
  • You can spend about 4-5 hours inside of the premises. The ticket counter is far away from the sites. Indians get 50% discount if you took your ORIGINAL passport (copies wont work). The ruins are fantastic. Do NOT miss Hatadage and Lankatilaka.

Plan your trip to Polonnaruwa

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Gal Vihara by other users

21 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Dambulla BY A USER FROM HONG KONG June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Polonnaruwa BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Polonnaruwa BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA April, relaxing, romantic, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: April, relaxing, romantic, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 5 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA April, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM GERMANY April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 44 days in Asia BY A USER FROM KUWAIT April, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Polonnaruwa BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND July, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Polonnaruwa BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dambulla BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA April, culture, relaxing, romantic, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans