Seema Malaka Overview

Seema Malaka, a serene Buddhist temple floating on Beira Lake in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is a captivating spiritual haven. Renowned for its unique architecture and tranquil surroundings, Seema Malaka offers a peaceful escape for those on a Sri Lanka trip. This architectural marvel stands as a testament to the island's rich cultural heritage.

Standing tall along the banks of Beira Lake, Seema Malaka forms a part of the southern region of the Colombo City of Sri Lanka. It lies in conjunction with the Gangaramaya Temple, which is the main shrine there. Residing on three man-made podiums, Seema Malaka Temple stands unrivaled in both its location and architecture. The architectural allure of this temple is highly inspired from the ancient forest monasteries Ritigala and Anuradhapura. The building of the temple is built in the Kandyan style and is characterized by its hanging blue tiled roofs. There is a pontoon boardwalk that links the premises of the Seema Malaka temple with its mainland. The outer boundary wall of this shrine is adorned by numerous Buddha statues representing different sitting postures.

There are three raised platforms which divide the temple and are connected with the walkways. The four-sided blue roof on the central platform of this temple is quite evident. On the very next platform, you have a statue of the Treasury of Truth which has got its own significance. This platform at the Seema Malaka temple is actually a treasure of ancient Buddhist texts, which is usually stored in locked conditions and is accessible only to the monks.

There are beautiful wooden panels embracing the décor of the central building of this shrine - where people reach out for meditation. In case you have any queries, you may approach the caretakers there. The outer area surrounding this room features several Buddha statues. If you keenly observe them – some of them have their hands placed on their lap, while others are portrayed yogic postures.

At the next platform, you have a Bodhi tree in the central portion, which is all over flanked with several Buddha statues. On special occasions, you can mark the presence of numerous Locals here to venerate the Bodhi tree. Apart from all these, the four corners of the Seema Malaka temple, you also have shrines which are entirely dedicated to the Gods of Hindu religions – Ganesha and Shiva.

How To Reach

Seema Malaka is situated at a distance of 34.3 km from the Colombo Airport, and it takes around 27 minutes for you to reach there. Here are some of the travelling options available for you –

By Fly –  Board an airplane to Diyawanna Oya from the Colombo Airport. From there, you can hire a cab to drop you to your final destination.

Overall time – 23 minutes
Overall expense – 8000 to 16000 INR per head

By Taxi – You can take a direct taxi ride from Colombo Airport to Seema Malaka.

Overall time – 27 minutes
Overall expense – 1500 to 2000 INR per head

Apart from these two modes, you also have a public bus service option to plan your visit to the Seema Malaka temple from the Colombo Airport. As there is no website, you need to go to the bus station in person and get the reservation done for yourself.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to plan your visit to the Seema Malaka temple is anytime between November and February. The weather of Colombo, more or less, remains pleasant during this time. Avoid visiting the place during weekends and religious occasions as you might face a huge crowd here.

Other Essential Information

Location –
Seema Malaka is located at Sir James Pieris Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Entry fee – To get an entry to the Seema Malaka, you need to pay an entry fee of around 300 LKR per person.

Recommended Hours - The temple of Seema Malaka is open for visitors between 09:00 am to 04:30 pm. You can plan your visit anytime between 11:00 am to 03:00 pm. On average, you just need to invest an hour of your visit to complete the tour of Seema Malaka.

History of Seema Malaka

The temple of Seema Malaka was constructed back in the second half of the 19th century. Unfortunately, the original structure of this temple sank in the water around the 1970s. Later, the work of redesigning and reconstruction of the temple was attributed to Geoffrey Bawa. Bawa was an architect of Sri Lankan origin.

The present-day structure of the Seema Malaka, which you see today, is actually an architectural brilliance of this Sri Lankan architecture. The entire fund for the re-construction work of the Seema Malaka temple was sponsored by S. H. Moosajee, who was a well-known Muslim businessman or Sri Lankan origin and his wife. It is believed that the sponsors funded this work in the memory and recognition of their beloved son Ameer S. Moosajee.

Tips for Visiting Seema Malaka

Here are some best tips to take into consideration while planning a visit to the Seema Malaka -

1. Carry your DSLRs while visiting here as the tranquil waters of the Beira Lake offers you plenty of moments to capture.

2. There are facilities for washrooms and quick snacks; so, you do not need to rush here and there.

3. Do not accompany your pets as the place is strictly prohibited for pet entry.

4. If you do not like the food being served at the food stalls or kiosks, you may try the nearby restaurants for a whole meal. The Pizza Bakery (0 km), Bao House (0 km); Tokyo Shokudo (0 km); Edo Japanese Restaurant (0 km) are some of the best ones.

5. You need to remove your footwear outside before entering the central premises of the Seema Malaka temple. 

6. Once you are done with your visit to Seema Malaka, do make an effort to visit the Gangaramaya temple. It is situated close to Seema Malaka itself.
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Seema Malaka FAQs

How long does it typically take to cover the entire temple?

Usually, one to one and a half-hour of a visit is more than enough to entirely explore the Seema Malaka temple of Colombo.

Is camera allowed in the temple?

You won’t be allowed to carry your camera and click pictures inside the premises of the Seema Malaka temple. However, once you get out of the premises, you may click as many images as you want.

Are there any washrooms and locker facilities available?

Yes, there are washroom facilities available at the Seema Malaka. For lockers, you are requested to enquire with the supporting staff working there at the Seema Malaka temple.

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