Galmaduwa temple

A short turn off from the Kundasala Road just outside of Kandy and you will come upon a strange sight: the unfinished Galmaduwa Viharaya. Traditionally ascribed to King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe, it is said that while this building was being completed the king heard of the discovery of a cave at Degaldoruwa and stopped the work on Galmaduwa shifting his attention to Degaldoruwa. Sadly, in its unfinished state, this building was never used as a temple.

The Galmaduwa viharaya is an impressive building of strange architecture. As its local name suggests, it is basically a pavilion built of stone and brick. But a high gopuram gives it a Hindu identity. There is an ad mixture of Tamil-Hindu influence within the Buddhist place of worship.

J.P Lewis, says that the “Galmaduwa Viharaya probably enjoys the unique distinction of being the most Hindu-looking Buddhist temple in existence”
Describing its architectural features he says : “The central building is surrounded by a massive wall with an overhanging and deeply molded cornice, the outer wall is pierced on three sides by five windows; on the fourth, which is on the west side, the place of the central window is taken by a doorway of slightly larger dimensions. The distance between the central building and the outer wall according to rough measurement is 14 feet. The former is 29 feet, the latter 16 feet square. There are but two doorways, one into the enclosure and one opposite it into the sanctum. They are each 6 feet wide, the windows 4 1/2 feet. The thickness of the outer wall is 3 ¼ feet, not including the moldings of the wall of the sanctum 3 feet.

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