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Gangaramaya Temple Tours

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Gangaramaya Temple
Situated near Beira Lake in central Colombo, Gangaramaya Temple is one of the city’s largest and oldest Buddhist temple copmlexes. Established in 1885 and composed of pagodas, courtyards, and shrines, it’s best-known for its beautiful lake temple (Seema Malaka), which stands on stone pillars above the waters and is reached via a walkway.
 
The Basics
Centered on a monastery, statue house (Vihara Mandiraya), and museum, the Gangaramaya complex is a venerated place that, despite its busy surroundings, feels intensely spiritual. Visitors come to explore the courtyards, admire the ornamentation inside the statue house, and visit the lake pavilion. Other attractions include the museum—its rooms piled with curios and gifts donated by worshippers—a bo tree draped in prayer flags, and flights of steps lined with Buddha statues.
 
To experience the Gangaramaya temple complex, book a Colombo city tour—most include stops at the main complex or the Seema Malaka. Choices include private half- and full-day tours by car, guided walks, daytime or evening tuk-tuk or cycling trips, and tours that also include afternoon tea or shopping time elsewhere in the city. While you can visit Gangaramaya Temple independently, tours have the benefit of guides to explain Buddhist religious life and ensure you see the temple highlights.
 
Things to Know Before You Go

  • Gangaramaya Temple will appeal to those interested in Sri Lankan culture, religion, history, or daily life.
  • Be ready to remove your shoes to enter. Take off your socks, too, as some floors are wet. You can wash your feet upon leaving.
  • Cover your shoulders and legs: Knee-length skirts, shorts, and sleeveless tops aren’t permitted.
  • Take a few rupees for the small temple and museum entrance fees.
  • Allow about an hour to visit, as there’s a lot to see.
 
How to Get There
The main temple stands on Sri Jinarathana Road in Colombo, about three minutes’ walk from the Seema Malaka. The nearest bus stop is Gangaramaya, on Sir James Peiris Mawatha street. Otherwise, the easiest way to reach the complex is by cab or tuk-tuk.
 
When to Get There

Gangaramaya Temple is open daily from 6am to 10pm, and its museum is open from 6am to 6pm. To experience the complex at its most atmospheric, visit during morning, midday, and evening prayer times, or in mid-February when the complex is festooned with flags for the annual full-moon-day celebrations.
 
Be Aware of the Temple Elephant

Visitors should note that the Gangaramaya Temple houses an elephant, which is shackled by its feet, near the entrance, a not uncommon practice in Southeast Asia. Activists are working to highlight this issue and free these visibly unhappy animals, who are used to encourage visitors to donate money to the temples.
Address: 61 Sri Jinarathana Rd, Colombo 00200, Sri Lanka
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191 Tours and Activities to Experience Gangaramaya Temple

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Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

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Learn about the history and culture of Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital city, on this half-day private tour. Visit key landmarks including the Old Parliament building, Vihara Buddhist Temple, and St Lucia's Cathedral to learn more about the unique history and culture of Sri Lanka. Enjoy personalized attention and a flexible itinerary on this private tour, including private hotel transportation, for just you and your party.
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We go to places that near all other tour operator will not ! We look to visit the heart of the country going to the real rustic and local sri lankan hot spots!
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Immerse yourself in Colombo's ancient history and modern culture on this small-group walking tour. You'll get out from behind glass bus windows and experience the bustle of the city yourself by traveling on foot. Your guide will provide insightful commentary as you travel and you'll have plenty of time to ask questions.
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Colombo Tuk Tuk Safari

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Combine food tastings with sightseeing on a private 4-hour evening tour of Colombo by tuk-tuk. Climb into a comfortable, customized tuk-tuk with a private driver-guide, and delve into Colombo’s bustling streets to enjoy the sights, culinary delights, and city lights. Ride by famous landmarks, explore the hottest entertainment spots, and make food stops to sample local staples and snacks. Enjoy the alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks stowed inside your tuk-tuk cooler as you explore.
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Spend the full day enjoying personalized attention while you sightsee, shop, and eat a Sri Lankan lunch. Stops can include Independence Square, Galle Face Green, and the Gangaramaya Temple before spending some free time shopping for souvenirs. A traditional Sri Lankan lunch at a local restaurant is included. Hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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Half Day Private Custom Colombo City Tour

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Explore Colombo’s sights as you wish, without having to figure out routes or public buses, on this customizable private half-day tour. Traveling by air-conditioned car with a personal driver, cherry-pick from the recommended sights and activities to do and see what you want. Explore Pettah Market, Gangarama Temple, the National Museum, and more—the choice is yours. A choice of departure times and hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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Discover the history and culture of Colombo with this half-day tour. Get picked up at your hotel in the Sri Lankan capital and set out on a tour to see city highlights including the National Museum of Colombo and an urban park called Galle Face Green. Cover ground quickly with transportation by private vehicle.
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Colombo’s signature sights are scattered across a surprisingly large area. Spare yourself the city’s hectic traffic and relax on this private door-to-door tour of its star attractions. See the historic Buddhist temples of Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya and Gangaramaya; admire the grand architecture of the Old Parliament Building and Independence Memorial Hall; and soak up the atmosphere at waterfront Galle Face. Upgrade to include shopping at bazaars and markets.
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Enjoy a city sightseeing tour of Colombo, the bustling capital of Sri Lanka. An informative guide takes you to major highlights such as the ocean-facing urban park of Galle Face Green; the Buddhist temples of Kelaniya, Gangaramaya and Seema Malaka; and the War Memorial, Independence Square and more. End your tour with some bargain hunting on a shopping excursion.
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Delve deeper into Colombo than you could alone in half a day on this private tour. Ride a tuk tuk around must-sees such as Independence Square and Galle Face Green as your guide shares details about them you might not have known otherwise. Plus, check out some of the Sri Lankan capital’s tucked-away gems, markets, and street snacks to gain an inside scoop on the city that most visitors miss.
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  • 4 hours
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Exploring Colombo independently and the risk of getting lost or delayed. Make things easy with a private shore excursion that whisks you around the sights smoothly and comfortably. Travel by private vehicle, visit top sights such as the Seema Malakaya Temple, shop for souvenirs at handicrafts emporiums and hear tales of local life from your driver that you'd miss if alone. • Explore Colombo with ease on a private shore excursion from the cruise port or your hotel in Colombo • Forget cabs or buses,sightseeing stress-free by private air-conditioned car • See the sights, shop at markets, and hear about local life and history
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  • 4 hours
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Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

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  • 5 hours
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Shore Excursion from Port Terminal : Colombo City Famous Landmarks

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$30.67
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Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Gangaramaya Temple?