In the bustling heart of Colombo, amidst the urban chaos and the cacophony of city life, lies a tranquil oasis that offers solace and spirituality to all who visit. Seema Malaka, a stunning Buddhist temple, stands as a testament to both architectural brilliance and spiritual devotion. In this article, we will embark on a journey to explore the rich history, unique architecture, and the serene ambiance of Seema Malaka.

Architectural Masterpiece by Sir Geoffrey Bawa

In 1976, the eminent architect Sir Geoffrey Bawa embarked on a remarkable journey, tasked with an ambitious and challenging construction project. His mission was to design and create an architectural marvel that would not only stand the test of time but also pay homage to the ancient monasteries of Anuradhapura, seamlessly blending tradition with modernity. The result? Three floating platforms interconnected by pontoon walkways, all elegantly anchored to the base of a tranquil lake through the robust support of stone pillars.

Bawa’s design seamlessly blended the serenity of ancient monasteries with his signature modern flair. The main temple, adorned with deep blue clay roof tiles, paid homage to the heritage of Anuradhapura. Simultaneously, it boasted a simplistic yet delicate structure, constructed using an array of wooden spindles and banisters. This design not only allowed for ample natural light and ventilation but also harmonized effortlessly with the surrounding natural environment.

The Main Platform

The main platform is home to several Asian seated stone Buddhas that line the structure’s perimeter. They have beautiful sculptures that look great in photos. In the center is a room with wooden slat walls. In this welcoming space, visitors and devotees practice yoga and meditation. It provides a tranquil view of the surroundings and the lake. There is also a magnificent large Buddha statue and two enormous elephant tusks. Before entering this room, you can see the perfectly shaped dwarf guardian statues in the Anuradhapura style that are located at the entrance.

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Left Wing - The Courtyard

The core of Seema Malaka is located here. A relatively small branch of the sacred Bo tree from Anuradhapura grows out of a raised platform to one side of the courtyard, which is covered in prayer flags. It is surrounded on either side by Buddha statues of various sizes, the largest of which towers majestically over a tiny stupa. At each of the four corners of the courtyard are small rooms with wooden doors. These contain regionalized iterations of Hindu deities that Buddhists revere as Devas. Thailand-made Buddha statues are arranged in a tier directly behind the central courtyard. The temple’s most unexpected feature is located nearby; it is a collection of vintage cars that well-wishers have donated over the years.

Right Wing - The Museum

When you enter the Seema Malaka, the Museum is on the right side of the main structure. The Museum houses collections of ancient Sanskrit Ola leaf manuscripts, large sapphires and other precious stones, sandalwood and ivory carvings, brass god statuettes, jade & crystal monstrosities, elephant tusks, coins, and numerous Buddha images and statues. Overall, they form what appears to be a treasure cave that is well worth exploring. If you want to buy souvenirs, there is a small souvenir shop next to the museum.

Seema Malaka

Spiritual Tranquility

Seema Malaka serves as a meditation retreat, welcoming both locals and tourists to find inner peace. The serene surroundings, combined with the rhythmic chants of Buddhist monks, create an atmosphere of tranquility and mindfulness.

The temple is a hub for religious activities, including daily rituals and ceremonies. Visitors can witness these sacred traditions and gain insights into Buddhism’s role in Sri Lankan culture.


Seema Malaka, with its rich history, unique architecture, and spiritual ambiance, stands as a testament to Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. It offers a rare opportunity to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and immerse oneself in a tranquil oasis of serenity. Visiting Seema Malaka is not just a journey; it’s an experience that leaves a lasting impression on the soul.


01. Is there an entrance fee to visit Seema Malaka?

400LKR will be charged from Foreign Travelers 

02. Is photography allowed within the temple premises?

Yes, photography is allowed, but it’s essential to be respectful and not disturb worshippers or monks.

03. Are there any dress code requirements for visiting the temple?

It is recommended to dress modestly when visiting Seema Malaka out of respect for its religious significance.

We hope you enjoyed this blog on Seema Malaka, Sri Lanka! If you have any questions, please send us a message on our website or leave a comment below so that we can respond!