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The Lost Temples

The Lost Temples
A medieval pilgrimage to three of Sri Lanka’s little visited but most iconic ancient Buddhist temples

Dating to the early Medieval period and representing some of the finest and most unusual architect of the period, the three temples are dotted around Kandy and are: Lankatilaka Vihara, Gadaladenyia Vihara and Embekka Devalaya.

All three combine extraordinary architecture with an abiding atmosphere of Buddhist calm.


Built by King Bhuvanekabahu IV (1341 - 1351 A. D.), Lankatilaka Vihara is considered one of the greatest medieval buildings on the island, its architect a Tamil named Sathapati Rayar, who, as is the way with all great architects, blew his budget, not least on the wages for the Tamil Pandya sculptors brought from Tamil Nadu to create its stunning sculptures.


Another of King Bhuvanekabahu IV’s creations (1341 - 1351 A. D.), Gadaladenyia Vihara, this largest of all island rock temples is the work of the Tamil architect, Ganesvarachari. It is a wonderous mixing of Dravidian and Sinhalese architecture - with a dash of Chinese architectural patterns, perhaps inspired by the intrepid voyages undertaken by the Ming Dynasty’s Admiral Zheng who visited the island and eagerly got himself involved with its politics.


Created by King Vikramabahu III of Gampola (AD 1357 - 1374), the many woodcarvings of Embekke Devalaya had been recognized by UNESCO as the most outstanding carvings on wooden pillars to be found in anywhere in the world; and it is rightly famous for its ornate wooden columns and panels, alive with the carvings of flowers, animals, and glimpses of ordinary life.

To arrange the tour please contact the Hotel Office.
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