Nalanda Gedige (ancient stone temple)- Matale, Sri Lanka

Nalanda Gedige is Associate in Nursing ancient and mysterious building close to Matale that has confused researchers with its strange mixture of Hindu and Buddhist design. Believed to be a minimum of cardinal years recent the structure; the structure was rediscovered in 1893 by the anthropology Commissioner of state at the time, H. C. P. Bell.


According to what historians and archaeologists have discovered concerning Nalanda Gedige; the structure was created between the eighth and tenth century AD. This was a turbulent amount for past day Ceylon, with South Indian kings establishing themselves within the wake of the declining Sinhalese autarchy. Some historians conjecture that Nalanda Gedige was a daring try at a fusion of Tamil and Sinhalese cultures. In contrast, others say the structure kicked off as a Hindu Temple made within the Pallava vogue, that was later employed by Buddhists. Either way, at Associate in Nursing unknown purpose in time, Nalanda Gedige was abandoned and forgotten; its mystery unresolved. The forest took over the region, swallowing the sanctum into its deep, dark embrace.

Many centuries later in 1893, whereas British people were making an attempt to find the mysteries of tropical Ceylon; H. C. P. Bell, World Health Organization was the anthropology Commissioner at the time, found the building in an exceeding patch of deep jungle on the point of a village. Realising its historical importance; he then created a targeted effort to analysis it and bought the encompassing land for that sole purpose. one among his journals expressed the following:

“land was nonheritable spherical this little-known and solitary shrine of granite construction, popularly titled gedige. it’s set on raised ground in paddy fields, picturesquely enclosed by low hills and braky hamlets. In 1911 a little gang was detached from the labour at Sigiriya to completely deracinate all the jungle growth upon and round the ruin besides cutting still additional back the planet silt activity the daring stylites upon that the fane stands. terribly special importance attaches to the present distinctive temple because it is that the sole example however discovered in Ceylon of composite sorts of design judiciously blending to create a delightfully solid building.”

Bell conjointly had plans to dismantle and relocate the whole structure to an additional viable location. He felt that the temple was {in a|during a|in Associate in Nursing exceedingly|in a very} precarious location; an elevated space that may become unstable at any moment, inflicting Nalanda Gedige irrecoverable harm. but his plans failed to deliver the fruition of the good till a few years later, once he had lang syne stirred on from the position of anthropology Commissioner.

In the Eighties, the waters of the fresh created Bowatenne Tank vulnerable to flood the shrine. Therefore, researchers took the chance to dismantle the ruin and construct it on the wall of the tank, high on top of the waters. it had been reconstructed beside the tank, and may currently be approached by a flower-edged causeway with a powerful background of tree-clad hills.


Nalanda Gedige was designed within the commonplace framework of a Hindu temple; with a mandapams or halls used for events, Associate in Nursing entrance passage that was originally roofed, a main central shrine, Associate in Nursingd a mobile spherical this holy centre. The image is kind of contradictory although as there has been no sign of Hindu Gods found at intervals the temple, and there have been uncommon parts not found in an exceedingly commonplace South Indian vogue Hindu temple. as an example, the richly embellished facade sections is believed to be of South Indian style from the time of the Cholas and Pandyas; however, the looks of the god of wealth, Kubera, seated on a lotus footstall within the semi-circular niche on the southern section, could be a feature solely to be found in the state. There are worn Tantric Buddhist carvings of Associate in Nursing titillating tone, very like the famed ones at Khajuraho in India. Associate in Nursing honoured investigator, Roland Raven-Hart, represented this union whereas writing in Ceylon: History in Stone (1964) as follows:

“Elsewhere there square measure many Hindu buildings, and many of Buddhist ones, and a few addled mongrels; however here the designs square measure interlacing. The ground-plan is Buddhist, the vestibule pure Hindu so is that the very little windowless shrine: the plain feldspar and crocodilian bannister and rivers of dwarfs and architrave of the room access square measure Sinhalese, and jambs Tamilian; even the sculptures square measure fairly shared. the entire impact is charming and on behalf of me unexpectedly classical, nor did I notice the outside “over-richly decorated” as did Bell, although it’s jam-packed with pilasters and horseshoe false windows and additional jolly dwarfs. and therefore the dome should are a worthy climax once all its four faces were a gift, every with horseshoe niche and sculpture, rather than the one solely that was found.”

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