Seema Malaka Buddhist temple in Colombo

Updated: 18 January, 2022 seen 60

Seema Malaka is a Buddhist temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The temple is mainly used for meditation and rest, rather than for worship. Situated in Beira Lake, the temple was originally constructed in the late 19th century. Seema Malaka is a part of the Gangaramaya Temple and is situated a few hundred meters to its east.

I had a chance to visit this temple at the start of January 2022, during our Sri Lanka trip. We found this awesome place thanks to the local tuk-tuk driver, who agreed to show us 10 sites in Colombo for just 1,000 Sri Lankan Rupees.

At Seema Malaka
At Seema Malaka

Really picturesque place. 

Seema Malaka was originally constructed in the late 19th century. The original structure slowly sank into the water in 1970s. In 1976, Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa was brought in to redesign and construct the temple, which stands today.

Seema Malaka Buddhist temple in Colombo
Seema Malaka Buddhist temple in Colombo

The temple is constructed on three platforms over water, which are connected to the mainland and with each other by pontoon bridges. The temple's main roof is covered with blue color tiles and the temple is made from collected spindles and handrails in wooden finishes. The architecture of the edifice resembles the Kandyan era.

Budha statues
Budha statues

All three platforms have numerous seated Buddha statues displaying different mudras. The main (central) platform houses wooden paneled shelter for meditation. On one of the side platforms is the Bodhi Tree which was grown from a branch of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura.

Statue
Statue

The four corners of the side platform have small shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Kataragama deviyo and Ganesha.

A shrine dedicated to Guanyin is found at the entrance to the temple and another statue of Guanyin is also found within the temple complex.