Gal Vihara
Points of Interest & LandmarksMonuments & Statues
Top ways to experience Gal Vihara

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles858 reviews
Excellent
599
Very good
209
Average
43
Poor
4
Terrible
3

Janka K
Brno, Czech Republic8,174 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Couples
Active Buddhist place. You need to have covered your knees to enter the place. If you don't the stuff will force some big scarf on you and you will pay a small fee and a donation to the place afterwards. You also need to enter the place barefoot so your shoes will be left out at the entrance, behind the fence.
I liked the small branches put under the giant rocks at the place. It's not a part of the place itself, but it's something that people do in a symbolic way to get a support in a time of need in their life.
It's not possible to take the pictures of the place when you are behind the entrance point, since it's not polite to stand with your back towards Buddha. But it's possible to take the pictures of the place when you are behind the small fence that surrounds the place. Everybody does that and at the same time, the people working at the place don't mind. Because of that, the regulation not to take pictures of the place don't make much sense to me.
The tickets needs to be purchased at the ticket office of Archeological museum in Polonnaruwa.
Written 2 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

centralvic
Ballarat, Australia1,214 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
It's just one piece of granite, with 4 statues of Buddha carved into it..
Just amazing.
There are so many statues of Buddha in Sri Lanka, nut all are beautiful to see..
Written 27 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fer
Colmenar Viejo, Spain2,827 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
The Gal Vihara, and originally as the Uttararama, is a rock temple of the Buddha. It was fashioned in the 12th century by Parakramabahu I.
The central feature of the temple is four rock relief statues of the Buddha, which have been carved into the face of a large granitic (granite gneiss) rock.
These are some of the best examples of ancient Sinhalese sculpting and carving arts and have made the Gal Vihara the most visited monument at Polonnaruwa.
Written 27 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

magoolie62
Brisbane, Australia230 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Friends
. Walk among the scattered walls of this World Heritage Site, dotted with stupas, resting Buddha statues. The image of a Buddha at rest is meant to convey a message of tranquilly.
Written 19 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

selvakumar2015
Chennai (Madras), India979 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Solo
Ancient well preserved statues of Lord Buddha in the second significant ancient capital of Sri Lanka.
The statues of Lord Buddha exquisitely carved in granite are awe inspiring.
Considered as a sacred temple by many bhuddists, the temple is a must visit while in pulanaruva.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country to visit not only for the many tourist attractions but also by the genuine warmth of the people.

A beautiful place to meditate and contemplate.
Written 12 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

E.Winter
London, UK410 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
The statues and the craftsmanship is amazing. The w big statues carved into the rocks are just amazing.

There is a fair amount of history here to do with the religion. But as with everything for a better and deeper understanding I would highly advise a trusted guide - dont pick up one of the local ones in the area we have heard bad rumours from police and our guide about them.

Written 27 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alan C
Hong Kong, China367 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
Our guide advised that this was his favourite site in Polonnaruwa and I would not disagree with him. Beautifully carved Buddha statutes in a very pleasant setting, which additionally was very tranquil at the time of our visit. I would imagine not always the case.
Written 11 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CKG1976
Colombo, Sri Lanka66 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
Amazing craftsmanship. Gives insight into different stages of Lord Buddha life. Good to have a guide when visiting these places.
Written 31 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Danushka Basnayaka
Mawanella, Sri Lanka127 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
There are Big Buddhist statues curved in a Big Rock. Curves are very detailed and I was very surprised because it was builded by Ancient Sri Lankans in 12th Century.
Written 20 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pavel from 2HungryWanderers.com
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia79 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
First time I've ever seen 4 huge statues carved into a single rock. The details are well preserved, showing a high level of craftmanship.
Written 5 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Gal Vihara - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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