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Gal Vihara

Polonnaruwa, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
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Ranked #2 of 19 attractions in Polonnaruwa
Type: Historic Sites
51 visitor photos
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67 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

The mamoth size of the carvings were just splendid. You should not miss this. It was really hot when I finally reached this place. I spend some time on Reclining Buddha; what an art. Just amazing that you have to appreciate the art work. Remember, we have to respect the tradition and cultures; no pictures with your back towards Buddha;... More

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Hereford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
24 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

These splendid rock-carved statues of the Buddha are a must see. There are four , but three of them show him sitting, standing and reclining. They are clearly labours of love by those ancient stone masons. Their setting is magnificent. I do suspect that they may lose something when the new road and carpark, already under construction nearby, is completed.

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Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
89 attraction reviews
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

For me this was the highlight of the Polonnawura ruins. The size and the details of the carvings is awesome. All carved out of one huge granite rock!

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Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
10 attraction reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

I honestly could of stood and just starred at these beautiful buddha's for hours,they seemed almost unreal.The reclining Buddha was my favourite and I don't feel any photos can really do it justice.Two tips do not have your picture taken with your back to the Buddha as this is forbidden,and wear sandals and socks as you keep having to take... More

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Hobart, Australia
Top Contributor
241 reviews 241 reviews
135 attraction reviews
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

It is rather overwhelming to see the four statues of Buddha carved out of the one cliff face. Each figure is intricately carved out of solid granite and the total length is about 180 ft with a height of over 30 ft. Stand in awe and appreciate the great craftsmanship as each figure captured the solemn expressions of Buddha.

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Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

If you see no other monument in the Cultural Triangle, see this! The reclining Buddha is wonderfully carved from the living rock - the cushion looks soft and the drapery delicate. The natural striations in the rock lend an appearance of being underwater as the Buddha drifts serenely into Nirvana. The face is one of the most beautiful works of... More

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Manila, Philippines
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

the 4 statues that constitute the Gal Vihara have been well-preserved. This is important as the statues have very beautiful details that were crafted into the stone and seems delicate in the face of the harshness of mother nature

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Coventry, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
360 reviews 360 reviews
239 attraction reviews
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

This is my second visit,the last time the statues were not covered but the covering have been done so well that it doesn't spoil them,and in fact helps keep the sun off the visitors .The statues are so impressive ,especially considering when they were built !!The skill of the workmen make you stand in wonder

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Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
14 attraction reviews
126 helpful votes 126 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

The three enormous Buddha statues carved out of a single granite rock are awesome! I thought they were made recently, they were that well preserved. Gal Vihara, meaning 'stone temple', was constructed in the 12th century! Details are very well defined, a testament to the great skill of the sculptors of that time. A visit to Polonnaruwa would be incomplete... More

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Adelaide, Australia
Top Contributor
257 reviews 257 reviews
148 attraction reviews
230 helpful votes 230 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

A short walk from the carpark, we were greeted by these 3 amazing and huge Buddha statues. My favourite was the lying down Buddha that was bigger than the other two and just seemed more spectacular and interesting, especially since we'd spent most of the day looking at sitting and standing Buddhas elsewhere. There were lots of tourists when we... More

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