The Gal Vihara – translating to the Rock Temple – is one of the most famous and ancient Buddhist temples found in Sri Lanka. In particular, the temple is famous for the four Buddha statues it contains – all of which have been carved into a single granite rock face.
According to ancient Sinhalese scriptures, the Gal Vihara was one of the hundred temples that were built by King Parakramabahu I, one of the island’s most famous and celebrated monarchs. The Gal Vihara had served as a centre of Buddhist education in the country – it would go onto fulfilling that duty until the temple was abandoned around the fall of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom.
The Standing Image of the Buddha is one of the Buddha statues you’ll see here and it has been the subject of many discussions among academics and Sri Lankan history enthusiasts. This is due to the fact that there’s an ongoing debate that this is actually not an imagining of the Buddha but one of his disciples instead! The Image of the Reclining Buddha is the largest Gal Vihara Buddha Statue you’ll find and it is in fact, one of the largest statues of its kind found in the entirety of South East Asia!
The attraction is located just a 10 minute drive away from our property and we also offer well-orchestrated tours to the site. Reach out to our front desk to know more about the excursions.