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 .
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Gal Vihara Reviews
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  • You have to pay separate to get close, but my telephoto picked up most of the detail of these amazing Buddha carvings.  more »
  • Of Buddha statues when visiting sri lanka if they see many, but these are particularly beautiful, as were performed and for context. I agree with the observation of other travellers for the downsides of plate protection, there should be an effort to improve its visual impact.
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  • Perhaps the most beautiful Buddha images I've ever seen that in a concentration gives a feeling of serenity only, the other lying is splendid. Onduline roof at this boundary, hopefully it is not eternit held onto by tubes in scaffolding, really horrible ...
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  • One of the most impressive place in Polonnaruwa Archaeological heritage. Still difficult to imagine how they did this marvelous creation.
  • 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.
  • Great piece of a history in a massive complex as Polonnaruwa is. Def worth to spend some time and see all the places there.
  • A nice creation of Sri Lankans again. This shows four different modes of load Buddha. The whole creation is made out of a in situ stone.
  • A sacred place of buddhists. It is situated in Polonnaruwa. It contains three types of statues namely sitting statue(indi pilima) , standing statue (hiti pilima), sleeping statue (sethapena pilima). It was constructed in Polonnaruwa kingdom period.

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Where to stay in Polonnaruwa

Famous for its UNESCO-protected and often-visited complex of ruins, Polonnaruwa caters to its visitors with dozens of guesthouses, the majority situated along Batticaloa Road. A number of mid-range and four-star hotels sit on Parakrama Samundra and the shores of Bendiwewa reservoir. Nearby Giritale village, some 7 km (4.3 mi) away, also offers nice alternatives as a rural base. A number of budget-friendly bed & breakfasts can be found near the lake.
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21 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM LITHUANIA August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA February, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SPAIN June, culture, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 41 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SPAIN June, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Polonnaruwa BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, culture, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA May, culture, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA February, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced
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