One of the most legendary attractions in Gampola , the Embekke, Lankatilaka, and Galadeniya is a short distance from each other and sometimes referred to as the three-temple loop. The temples serve as a living testimony to Sri Lanka’s Buddhist heritage, history, and exceptional craftsmanship.
Each temple holds a considerable amount of historical information of the ancient kingdom’s era, carved mostly in stone.
Even if the temples themselves weren’t fascinating, and they are, the seven-kilometer path that connects Embekke, Lankathilake, and Gadaladeniya leads past rice fields and through small towns and would be worth walking in its own right.
Embekke temple was built by King Vikramabahu III to honor King Mahasena who ruled Sri Lanka from 277 to 304 AD. The Devalaya (temple) has three main areas; the Sanctrum of Garagha, Dancing Hall, and the Drummers Hall which is beautifully decorated with splendid wood sculptures and carvings of dragons and fierce battles between lions and elephants.
Lankatilaka Vihara (monastery), the best example of architecture during the reign of King Buwanekabahu IV who made Gampola the capital of Sri Lanka during the mid-fourteenth century.
Built on natural rock, the temple mixes stone, plaster, and wood within its uniquely Sinhalese architectural style and is home to many ancient paintings that draw people from afar.
Gadaladeniya temple is made almost exclusively from stone and is considered one of the largest stone temples on the island.
It is another example of an imposing temple built during the reign of King Buwanekabahu IV during the mid-fourteenth century and following the Sinhalese architecture style from the Polonnaruwa era.
The main shrine in the temple has a seated Buddha statue underneath a dragon's arch (‘Makara Thorana’) which is richly decorated.
After your breakfast at your hotel, we will pick you up approximately at 07:00 am.
We will leave Kandy via Gampola to explore the three lesser-known temples in the area with a knowledgeable host.
Start off with Gadaladeniya Viharaya.
The temple built exclusively by stone by Gampola’s King Bhuvanekabahu IV. Settled on a rock cliff, the temple exhibits a combination of Dravidian and Sinhalese architecture styles and offers its visitors a panoramic view of the countryside.
Then enjoy a ride through paddy fields and reach the second temple. Lankathilaka, considered the most magnificent architectural monument to be built during the Gampola era.
During the experience, your host will talk you through the foundations of Buddhism and its significance in Sri Lanka.
Before making your way to Embekka, a Hindu shrine, stopover at a plantation that grows tea, coffee, and pepper to get a glimpse of the island’s numerous cultivations.
Proceed towards the Embekke Temple. Embekka Devalaya was built by the King Vikramabahu of the Gampola Era (AD 1357 - 1374) in Sri Lanka. The Devalaya is dedicated to Kataragama deviyo.
A local deity called Devatha Bandar is also worshiped at this site. The shrine consists of three sections, the "Sanctum of Garagha", the "Digger" or "Dancing Hall" and the "Hewisi Mandapaya" or the "Drummers' Hall". The Drummers' Hall has drawn the attention of visitors to the site, due to the splendid wood of its ornate pillars and its high pitched roof.
By the end of the day, we take you back to your hotel in Kandy.
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