This monastery situated just 200 m south of Beira Lake is the most famous Buddhist temple within the City of Colombo, being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence. A large part of the temple is a museum showcasing Buddha statues from various parts of Asia, including the island's smallest Buddha sculpture which is carefully encased in a glass box, which visitors can view with a magnifying class., along with statues of Hindu deities. It also displays the culture of Sinhalese life in Colombo during the modern period, including traditional furniture, Dutch period coins, old watches, bejewelles trinkets, and even vintage cars such as Mercedes and Rolls-Royce. The most distinguished architectural feature in the courtyards of the temple complex is a stepped pyramid with many Budddha statues and mini stupas on each level, resembling the famous Borobudur temple mound in central Java, Indonesia. Annual Navam Perahera on the full-moon day in February (Navam Poya) is hosted by this historical temple.
Two medium-height golden Buddha statues stand like sentinels at the door leading to the main sanctuary of the temple. The door itself is an impressive work of craftsmanship, with intricate wood carvings of elephants and swans reminiscent of the island’s ancient artisanship. (The door to the exit is similarly engraved.) The temple’s main sanctuary is a soothing room decorated in soft yellowish hues, housing a massive Buddha statue in meditation pose flanked by statuettes of heavenly creatures. The ceilings are enchantingly decorated with vibrant pastel paintings depicting Buddhist stories. The columns of the sanctuary are breathtakingly festooned with traditional Sri Lankan art. Many white-clad devotees go through the main sanctuary to offer colorful lotuses to the Buddha and exit out into the courtyard to light oil lamps and burn incense. There is a distinguishable stepped wall out here with many stone statues of the Buddha and stupas. The Bodhi tree and the courtyard of the coral-white stupa are excellent places to bask in serenity.
The temple's architecture demonstrates an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture. This Buddhist temple includes several imposing buildings and is situated not far from the placid waters of Beira Lake on a plot of land that was originally a small hermitage on a piece of marshy land. It has the main features of a Vihara (temple), the Cetiya (Pagada) the Bodhitree, the Vihara Mandiraya, the Seema malaka (assembly hall for monks) and the Relic Chamber. In addition, a museum, a library, a residential hall, a three storeyed Pirivena, educational halls and an alms hall are also on the premises.