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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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202 Tours and Activities to Experience Gangaramaya Temple

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Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

star-4.5
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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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.00
Price varies by group size
From
$35.00
Price varies by group size

Colombo Tuk Tuk Safari

Colombo Tuk Tuk Safari

star-5
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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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.00
From
$72.00
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Colombo City Tour by Tuk Tuk

Colombo City Tour by Tuk Tuk

star-4.5
Get an intimate look at the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo during this 3.5-hour sightseeing trip by tuk tuk with a small group. Travel like Sri Lankan locals do as you weave through traffic, stopping to check out city landmarks like Colombo Harbour, the Pettah neighborhood, Wolvendaal Church, Independence Square, Gangaramaya Temple, and much more.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$56.00
From
$56.00
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Airport Layover Colombo City tour

Airport Layover Colombo City tour

star-4.5
Get a comprehensive tour of Colombo on this half-day excursion. First-time visitors or those short on time in Sri Lanka's capital city will enjoy learning about the city's culture, history, architecture, and modern-day life through guided commentary. Highlights include the Cinnamon Gardens, the Old Parliament, Beire Lake, the National Museum, the Gangarama Seema Malakaya, and other important sites.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$51.00
Price varies by group size
From
$51.00
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Private Colombo Walking Tour with Ajeet De Soyza

Private Colombo Walking Tour with Ajeet De Soyza

star-5
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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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$42.67
From
$42.67

03 Nights in Amazing Sri Lanka

03 Nights in Amazing Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka is ranked as the best destination in the world to travel. It's full of natural beautify, wild life, rich cultures and traditions etc. Lush green surroundings, Historical places, beautiful landscaping, amazing view points and beautiful beaches are some of them. We have packed most of the important attractions in Sri Lanka just for 04 days and organized in the best way to explore. Transport will be provided by an air conditioned car in very good condition and a good English speaking chauffeur will be available through out your stay in Sri Lanka. Over 10 years of industry experience we have gained will be the definite
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  • 4 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$290.00
From
$290.00

Private City tour in Colombo By tuk tuks or Cars

Private City tour in Colombo By tuk tuks or Cars

star-4.5
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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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$26.67
Price varies by group size
From
$26.67
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Colombo City Tour

Colombo City Tour

With this tour you can visit Colombo National Museum, Gangarama temple, Seema malaka, Independence Memorial Hall, Red Mosque and Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya and some other in a single day
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  • 6 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$44.11
Price varies by group size
From
$44.11
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Half Day Private Custom Colombo City Tour

Half Day Private Custom Colombo City Tour

star-4.5
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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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$28.00
Price varies by group size
From
$28.00
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Half-Day City Tour of Colombo

Half-Day City Tour of Colombo

star-4
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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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$27.00
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$27.00
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"THE ORIGINALS" Tuk Tuk Safari Sri lanka, the first and the best on the Island !

star-5
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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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$61.87
From
$61.87

Private Colombo City Tour

Private Colombo City Tour

Sightseeing in Colombo can be stressful if you’re using cabs or the often-crowded buses. Check out the city’s attractions in one smooth, easy trip on this private tour, with a guide to fill you in on the sights. Traveling by private air-conditioned vehicle, visit Seema Malaka, the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, and more; and tailor the duration and itinerary to suit your personal wishes. Central hotel pickup and drop-off are included for convenience.
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$21.34
Price varies by group size
From
$21.34
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Half Day Colombo City Tour

Half Day Colombo City Tour

Sightseeing in Colombo can be stressful if you’re using cabs or the often-crowded buses. Check out the city’s attractions in one smooth, easy trip on this private tour, with a guide to fill you in on the sights. Traveling by private air-conditioned vehicle, visit Seema Malaka, the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, and more; and tailor the duration and itinerary to suit your personal wishes. Central hotel pickup and drop-off are included for convenience.
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  • 1 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$20.00
Price varies by group size
From
$20.00
Price varies by group size

Shore Excursion Colombo City Tour Highlights

Shore Excursion Colombo City Tour Highlights

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
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
From
$45.00
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Shore Excursions Colombo City Tour

Shore Excursions Colombo City Tour

star-3.5
Exploring Colombo independently on a cruise port-of-call can mean negotiating with cabs, 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 Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple; shop for souvenirs at handicrafts emporiums; and hear tales of local life from your driver that you'd miss if alone.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$20.00
Price varies by group size
From
$20.00
Price varies by group size

Colombo Sunset Street Food tour with Naushad

Colombo Sunset Street Food tour with Naushad

Make the most out of your time in the bustling city of Colombo by visiting the coolest spots with the help of a local! hidden gems that only locals know and get ready for an amazingly authentic experience!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$32.00
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$32.00

Shore Excursion to Colombo City Tour & Kelaniya Temple for 2 People

Shore Excursion to Colombo City Tour & Kelaniya Temple for 2 People

Combine a comprehensive tour of Colombo with a visit to the Kelaniya Temple on this private shore excursion. With the capacity for one to two people, this tour includes round-trip transportation from the cruise port and personalized attention from your guide. Enjoy the ability to move at your own pace and ask plenty of questions.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.00
per group
From
$80.00
per group

Colombo Day Tour

Colombo Day Tour

Colombo is Sri Lanka’s commercial capital and major port. It is a fine amalgamation of all the hues and cultures within this paradise isle. This chic metropolitan brings together the many facets of this island nation. City tour will include a visit to the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple & Simamalaka Shrine designed by Sri Lanka’s leading architect Geoffrey Bawa. Take time to visit the oldest Hindu Kovil in Colombo and The Wolvendael Church. You will also be provided time to relax at the Independence Square and drive by the Old Parliament House, Town hall, Nelum Pokuna Performing Arts Theatre, BMICH together with time for shopping at the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct
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  • 5 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.00
From
$64.00

Highlights Colombo Day Tour with Afternoon High Tea in Kingsbury Hotel

Highlights Colombo Day Tour with Afternoon High Tea in Kingsbury Hotel

star-5
The ideal introduction for first-time visitors to Colombo, this private tour ticks off top sights in the laid-back, history-packed Sri Lankan capital. Highlights include Gangaramaya Temple, one of the city’s oldest temples, ancient and colonial relics in the Colombo National Museum, and a traditional high tea in Kingsbury Hotel. Travel comfortably between locations in a private, air-conditioned vehicle.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.00
Price varies by group size
From
$52.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Highlights Colombo Day Tour With Afternoon HIGH TEA In Galle Face Hotel

Highlights Colombo Day Tour With Afternoon HIGH TEA In Galle Face Hotel

star-5
Discover sights and tastes of Colombo during this full-day city tour. Cover ground quickly in an air-conditioned vehicle and see city landmarks including Gangaramaya Temple, the National Museum of Colombo, and the Old Parliament Building. Relax over an elegant afternoon tea at the Galle Face Hotel.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.00
Price varies by group size
From
$52.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Shore Excursion Colombo City Tour Highlights

Shore Excursion Colombo City Tour Highlights

star-5
Make the most of your time in Colombo by booking a private shore excursion. You’ll travel via private transportation and skip the hassle of dealing with crowds or multiple pickups and drop-offs. Follow a comprehensive itinerary designed to show you the best of the city, asking questions and enjoying personalized attention along the way. Highlights include the National Museum, Gangarama Seema Malakaya, Beire Lake, Jamiul Alfar Mosque, and other landmarks.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.00
From
$35.00

Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

star-5
This is the ideal choice for first-time visitors looking to cover Colombo’s main attractions in under a day. Save time planning an itinerary and bartering with cabs; and relax as a driver-guide and private air-conditioned vehicle take you around the signature sights. Admire the Independence Memorial Hall and Beira Lake Seema Malakaya Temple; see worshippers at the Gangaramaya Temple, and learn about Colombo’s history and culture from your guide’s commentary.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Night Cycling from Colombo

Night Cycling from Colombo

star-5
Explore Colombo’s historical streets on two wheels on this private evening cycle tour. Pedal around illuminated squares, landmarks, and parks in the quieter atmosphere of dusk while learning about their history. View Independence Square and Gangaramaya Temple, check out lesser-known colonial-era sights, and visit Galle Face Green, the seafront green originally created by the island's Dutch rulers. Light snacks and refreshments, plus full cycling equipment included.
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  • 5 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.00
From
$88.00
Taking safety measures

Private Colombo City Tour with English Speaking Chauffeur

Private Colombo City Tour with English Speaking Chauffeur

star-5
On this Private Colombo City Tour, you can see the top sights of the nation’s capital in one day, with all transportation and entrance fees included. Travel by ac private car or van, where you’ll take a panoramic sightseeing tour past major landmarks like Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, Independence Square. Plus, visit Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, Old Parliament building, Colombo Fort and Galle Face Green.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$93.34
Price varies by group size
From
$93.34
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

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?