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Temples in Colombo

Temples in Colombo includes Gangaramaya Temple, Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, Isipathanaramaya Temple, Vajiraramaya Temple, Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam, Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil and many more.

Dedicated to many different gods, the beautiful Colombo temples make for an ideal destination for spiritual seekers and peace lovers. Depicting brilliant traditional architecture and design, these temples also lure architecture buffs and leave them absolutely spellbound with their exceptional beauty and majesty. These super stunning temples belong to various religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity.

Apart from taking you closer to spirituality, the temples in Colombo also offer you a deep insight of the rich culture of the city of Colombo. The Gangaramaya Temple and Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara introduce you to a calm and serene atmosphere and offer you a sneak peek into the life of Lord Gautama Buddha.

Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam and the Shiva Temple are dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva and are adorned with beautifully carved sculptures that offer a treat to your eyes.

Here is the list of best temples in Colombo to visit: 

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Gangaramaya Temple

The Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most popular Buddhist temples in Colombo, known for its serene surroundings and peaceful atmosphere. Situated on the shores of the well-known Beira Lake, the main area of this location houses a large statue of Lord Buddha and the temple's ceilings tell the great stories of his life.

The Gangaramaya Temple is more than just a place of worship as it also serves as a learning facility for Buddhists and cultural students. This place is intact, a treasure trove of interesting elements and lovely sights to explore, attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world.

61 Sri Jinarathana Rd, Colombo 00200, Sri Lanka

6 AM to 10 PM

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is a Buddhist temple that combines historical significance with architectural aesthetics. This Colombo temple has also evolved into an educational institution for students of history and architecture.

The place  is also well-known for being a place of worship for the popular Ramayana character, Vibhishana. The place  contains paintings depicting various stages of Lord Buddha's life as well as a clear depiction of the stories in the renowned Jataka Tales.

Each painting's representation has a clear moral that corresponds to Lord Buddha's eightfold path principles. The place has a spiritual atmosphere and people from all over the world come to visit the place and admir le it's serenity.

Peliyagoda 11600, Sri Lanka

Open 24 hours a day

Isipathanaramaya Temple

Among the many places of worship in the Sri Lankan capital, this century-old temple stands out. Isipathanaramaya is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Colombo. Built by a wealthy merchant to mourn the loss of his only son, who was executed by the British on false charges.

Inside, the bright white domed structure conceals a riot of colourful statues and painted murals. There is also a beautiful Bo Tree and a 40-foot-tall Buddha statue at the temple. Isipathanaramaya is a local temple in Havelock Town that is just far enough south to be off the beaten path. It's a tranquil and peaceful setting and is breathtakingly beautiful.

Isipathana Road, Colombo 00500, Sri Lanka

9 AM to 4.30 PM

Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam

Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam is an abbreviation for Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil, also known as Kapikaawatha Shivan Temple, is a popular tourist destination in Colombo.

It was also known as the Captain's Garden Kovil in earlier days. This Colombo temple is the oldest Hindu Temple in the city, dedicated to the gods Ganesha and Shiva, and is a popular matrimonial venue.

Intricate sculptures, stone-carved masterpieces, and a detailed lotus-carved main door adorn the vibrant main tower. The temple's inner roof is adorned with stunning murals. While the main shrine is dedicated to God Shiva, there are other shrines dedicated to Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Sri Murugan St, Colombo 00200, Sri Lanka

5.45 AM to 10 AM and 5 PM to 8 PM

Vajiraramaya Temple

Vajiraramaya Temple is a well-known Buddhist temple where people come to seek blessings and to pray to Lord Buddha. They also hold 'Buddhism' classes for young people on a regular basis.

This Colombo temple is located in the heart of the city and was founded in 1901 by the erudite monk from South Sri Lanka, namely the Most Venerable Pelene Siri Vajirajana Maha Nayaka Thera.

The state has designated it as a Sacred Site and it is a serene and peaceful setting in the town. The temple is a beautiful place and a perfect family-friendly destination and beholds high spiritual values.

12a Vajira Rd, Colombo 00400, Sri Lanka

Kathiresan Pillayar Temple

Kathiresan Pillayar Temple is a massive century-old Hindu cultural site hidden amongst Colombo's busy business district. Lord Murugan, the Hindu God of Light, Love, and War, is also known as Kathiresan.

Around the main old Kathiresan Pillayar kovil, there are several Hindu temples dedicated to various deities and unique architecture adorned with colourful images of Hindu legend's gods like Shiva and Vishnu. The shrine deities are exquisitely carved.

This temple has a lot to offer in terms of exploration and enjoyment. In a city of bustling tradespeople and workers, it makes for a pleasant and calm space of worship and solace.

VVM5+FP2, Colombo 00500, Sri Lanka

5.30 AM to 10.30 AM and 5.30 PM to 8 PM

Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil

Sri Ponnambala Rameswaram is one of the few remaining solid granite temples in Sri Lanka. The temple's design is inspired by human anatomy. The human body, according to the Vedas, is a microcosm of the vast universe.

All Hindu temples built correctly display this concept, with certain design elements included in the sculptures. This Colombo temple is extremely dark because it is made of stone and has no windows other than spaces for air. Because the only light comes from the large doors on three sides and there is no other space for air entrance, it is common to see a bat winging.

Mayurapathy Kovil

Mayurapathy Sri Pathrakali Amman Kovil, located on Havelock Road in Colombo, is a popular local Hindu temple known for its stunning architecture and cultural elements.

This Colombo temple, dedicated to various Hindu deities such as Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati, and Goddess Maha Kali Amman, also has a large functioning hall and beautiful statues of deities adorned in colourful clothes, ornaments, and garlands.

Shri Bathrakali Amman bestows divine blessings on the Maha Kumbabishekam-The Consecration Ceremony. The Kumbabishekam ceremony is part of the festival to commemorate the temple's reopening with a new look following a massive reconstruction programme.

Sri Sambuddhathva Jayanthi Mawatha, Colombo 00600, Sri Lanka

8.15 AM to 4.15 PM, Closed on Sunday

Sivasubramania Swami Kovil

Located on the Kew Road, Sivasubramania Swami Kovil is one of the largest Hindu temples in Colombo. This temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan and is said to be over a century old. The Gouramis, the temple's monumental entrance tower, is a stunning sight, with intricate carvings depicting various stories and tales from Lord Murugan's life.

The temple is visited by a large number of Hindu devotees, particularly during the various Lord Murugan-related festivities that take place here. There are shrines in the temple for Lords Ekambareswarar, Vallaba Ganapathi, Mother Durga, and planet Sani Bhagwan as well.

131 Kew Rd, Colombo 00200, Sri Lanka

5.30 PM to 10.30 PM and 5.30 PM to 8 PM

Sri Kaleshwaram Temple

Dating back approximately 125 years, Sri Kaleshwaram Temple happens to be one of the oldest Hindu temples in Colombo. The architecture, like that of most major Hindu temples, is incredibly ornate.

Hundreds of sculptures and fine carvings of Hindu deities adorn the high, sloping blue roof, which rises 80 feet above the ground. The interior is relatively plain, but there are some religious paintings and murals on the walls.

The temple's inner roof is adorned with stunning murals and the place also has several rooms where classical devotional music is played. In contrast to the rather dirty streets outside, the atmosphere inside is very clean, welcoming, and calm.

Gudi Road, Kaleshwaram, Telangana 505504

4.30 AM to 8 PM

New Kathiresan Temple

The New Kathiresan Temple is a newly constructed Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Murugan, located near the first or old Kathiresan Temple on Sea Street, a well-known street in Colombo district. It was constructed as an addition to the Old Kathiresan Temple and above the doorway in the temple,  there are elaborate carvings of dozens of Hindu figures and deities in allegoric poses.

It's a serene and peaceful setting and the temple is a treasure trove of interesting objects and beautiful sights to discover. Along with the main shrine of Lord Murugan, there are a few scattered shrines that are astoundingly beautiful.

339 Galle Rd, Bambalapitiya, Colombo - 00400, Western Province, Sri Lanka

6 AM to 8 PM

People Also Ask About Colombo

  1. Which are the best temples to visit in Colombo?

    1. Gangaramaya Temple: Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most popular and cultural places of worship on Colombo's list of Buddhist temples. This Colombo temple is made up of a collection of modern structures. This shrine is regarded as a significant landmark in Sri Lanka.

    2. Dalada Maligawa (Sri Dalada Maligawa): Dalada Maligawa is also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. This Colombo temple is named after the sacred relic of Lord Buddha's tooth, which was discovered by an archaeological team. The beauty of the temple reflects at dawn and it shines during sunset illuminating the surroundings.

    3. Temple of Isipathanaramaya: The Isipathanaramaya temple is one of the oldest and most sacred Buddhist temples in Colombo. People are astounded to see the beautiful Buddhist icons, figurines, and amazing carvings embedded on the temple's interior.

    4. Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam: Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Devasthanam, dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha, is one of Colombo's most prominent and oldest Hindu temples. The temple also serves as a venue for the annual "pongal-harvesting festival."

    5. Koneswaram temple: The Koneswaram temple, also known as Dakshina Kailasam, is a well-known Hindu temple in Colombo. Lord Shiva inspired the shrine's name and the temple is located on top of a rocky outcrop surrounded on both sides by the sea.

    6. Kandaswamy Temple in Maviddapuram: Another well-known pilgrimage site is the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The shrine is lavishly embellished with carved columns and a massive gopuram.

  2. Which are the places to visit in Colombo?

    1. Gangaramayana Buddhist temple: Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, located near the beautiful Lake Beira, is one of Colombo's most important religious and traditional attractions. The temple's architecture and design incorporate elements of Chinese, Indian, and Thai styles, making it an architectural marvel in its own right.

    2. Galle face green: Galle Face Green, a beautiful stretch of open space located between the bustling Galle Road and the magnificent Indian Ocean, is one of Colombo's most popular picnic destinations. It is one of the best places to experience Colombo's traditional street food culture.

    3. National museum Colombo: This museum is the largest on the island and is unquestionably the pride of Sri Lanka. The Museum houses some of the rare and personalised collections of the rulers of the ancient Kandyan dynasty, depicting the country's cultural and natural shades. The museum contains numerous artefacts as well as stunning Italian-style architecture.

    4. Mosque of Jami Ul-Alfar: This Mosque is quite noticeable and stands out with its red and white striped colours, almost like a candy. It is a cultural treasure that incorporates Indian, Indo-Islamic, Neoclassical, and Gothic architectural styles. The Mosque is unique in its own right and is one of the most culturally rich places to visit in Colombo.

    5. Beira Lake: Beria Lake is one of Colombo's most beautiful tourist attractions. Combining picnic, adventure, and pilgrimage elements. For photographers, the lake is a dream come true, especially in the evening when a spectacular sunset illuminates the sky.

  3. What is the best time to visit Colombo?

    Colombo is a year-round destination that can be visited at any time. The weather is pleasant throughout the year, with the exception of the months of June to September, which are affected by heavy monsoons. The city becomes less crowded in May, making it a good time to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The winter sun is best enjoyed and admired at the end of the year. The weather is a little chilly, but it is suitable for sightseeing and exploring the city.
  4. Is there any dress code for going inside temples in Colombo?

    There is no specific dress code, but there are some guidelines to follow when visiting Colombo's cultural temples. Everyone is expected to dress appropriately and the legs and shoulders must be covered as sleeveless or short-sleeved t-shirts or blouses are not permitted. Inside the temple grounds, no hats or footwear are permitted.
  5. What are the different types of day & night tour packages that you can book with Thrillophilia?

    Here are the different types of day & night tour packages that you can book with Thrillophilia:
    1. 2 Nights 3 Days Sri Lanka Package
    2. 3 Nights 4 Days Sri Lanka Package
    3. 4 Nights 5 Days Sri Lanka Package
    4. 5 Nights 6 Days Sri Lanka Package
    5. 6 Nights 7 Days Sri Lanka Package

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