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Gal Vihara, Polonnaruwa

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Monument Landmark
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. Plan to see Gal Vihara and other attractions that appeal to you using our Polonnaruwa travel itinerary planner.
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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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  • This was my favourite site to visit when we went to the ruins at pollonnaruwa. There is a sitting and a reclining Buddha and they are beautifully carved out of rock. Shoe removal and modest dress are ...  more »
  • Simply amazing. The morning and evening time is the best time to visit this amazing shrine. You can rent out a cycle from your resort and within 15 mins, you can ride from city. You can meditate in th...  more »
  • Sri Lanka is a country build up with Buddhism. This Load Buddha monuments prove that. creator has given lives to rock as Sri Lankan say. visit the site you will experience the grate carvings that has ...  more »
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  • An ancient Buddhist religious place. There are incredible creations of three sculptures of the Lord Buddha, in a row. Magnificent carving talent is exposed with ancient cultural richness. A calm & quiet place.
  • Ancient rock temple of Polonnaruwa built during the reign of the Great king Parakramabahu I. Three magnificent Buddha statues are carved on the same mass of rock.
  • Best-preserved stone carvings of lord Buddha from Polonnaruwa era is located here. A small patch of paintings from that era is also visible if you look closely at the two sides of the cave with the sitting Buddah statue.
  • Ancient religious place in Sri Lanka which shows the proud history of Sri Lanka. Buddha statutes are carved on a rock. Must visit place for every Buddhist.
  • It's a great historical place to visit as a local or foreign tourist.and you can see the ancient Sri Lankan technology .