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
Gal Vihara Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
663 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Great emotion in front of this triple monumental bas-relief representing Buddha in his 3 classic positions: sitting in a lotus flower, standing and lying (15 m long still for the latter). The sculptures are intact and crossed the centuries without a hitch. Dark veins in the rock statues give a great illusion of drapery. The place which you can visit barefoot is a very beautiful serenity. Caution hot hot in summer; plan for College... Regret is just the presence of this not very graceful corrugated iron roof over all but the preservation of this national treasure was probably at that price.
    View original
  • Statue in this size would be one of the top piece. Slowly and enjoy the hours of the day, at a sacred place that keep your shoes to be regretted that that barefoot not. Can still be even in a few seconds the same point too burnt ground. The soles of the feet of the people looking at heat as much ground slowly walked barefoot on what what is it like.
    View original
  • This site is the same caliber as Angkor Wat. Whether you bike, walk or Tuk Tuk, it is a wonderful day. They save the best for last so don't miss Gal Vihara.  more »
Google
  • I think its good to visit these areas in evening or morning when the sun light is low, otherwise it will be an issue to your feet with burning sand. This place seems colorful even after 7pm. And there are some people who willing to share those stories with you, so give them some amount of money and listen to those interesting stories related with these statues and the rock and the place. as well as there is a rock, not so high, right in front of these statues, just climb up and see there are some marks of a guy feet on the Rock. They said that an Englishman shoot to these statues standing on that specific place.
  • 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.
  • Very important historical place. We have to protect them to our future......
  • Amazing pieces of work done during polonnaruwa era
Places to stay near Gal Vihara

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

7 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA June, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE December, teens, kids, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Dambulla BY A USER FROM INDIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 22 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 29 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA July, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM BELGIUM September, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced
View more plans