The small temple of Nalanda Gedige to the south of Dambulla is remarkable for many reasons. It’s Sri Lanka’s only ancient stone temple that survived and the only sacred place sculptures depicting erotic scenes. And it’s Sri Lanka’s Abu Simbel, as the temple had to be relocated due to a reservoir project.
Location of Nalanda Gedige
The relocated and restored temple and stupa of Nalanda are situated on an artificial island in the Bowatenna reservoir. The island can be reached via a causeway from a visitors car park, which is at a dead-end road in 1.5 km distance from the Kandy-Dambulla-Jaffna main road A9. Nalanda Gedige in Matale District is 50 km north of Kandy and 25 km south of Dambulla. Distance from Colombo is 155 km.
Nalanda Gedige is located in the very centre of the island of Sri Lanka, 95 km from the west coast and 105 of the east coast, as the crow flies. Due to the curved line of the east coast, Nalanda is actually in the centroid of the landmass, it would be the centre of its gravitation, if the island is cut out from a map. It is believed that this could be a reason why this site has been a place of worship for eons.