Nalanda Gedige is an ancient complete stone temple near Matale, Sri Lanka and its original site was considered as the centre of Sri Lanka. This building has been made in a Pallavi style. It is believed to have been constructed sometime between the 7th and 11th Centuries AD. But this site has mystified viewers with its strange mix of Hindu and Buddhist architecture.
This building made was 1000 years ago. This was a period of great turmoil on the island with South Indian kings establishing themselves in the wake of the decline of the Sinhalese monarchy. It is possible that Nalanda Gedige was a bold attempt at a fusion of Sinhalese cultures.
Nalanda Gedige is a curious hybrid of Buddhist and Hindu architecture. Some of the design elements are distinctly Hindu, such as the mandapam or hall of waiting. Yet there is no sign of Hindu gods. There are erotic but eroded Tantric Buddhist carvings, much like the famous ones at Khajuraho in India. The richly decorated façade sections are in the 7th century style which flourished at Madras, South India. However, the southern section has a semi-circular niche containing in high relief a squat figure of Kuvera, the god of wealth, seated on a lotus plinth - an image that is only found in Sri Lanka.
Nalanda Gedige is designed on the lines of a Hindu temple with a mandapa, an entrance hall (originally roofed), a short passage to a bare cello, and an ambulatory round the holy centre. A limited number of the original Hindu deity statuettes exist within the temple; however, a statue of the God Kubera appears on the south side of the tympanum over the sanctuary, a feature that can only be seen in Sri Lanka.
The location is away from touristy crowd; calm; quiet and you can soak in the peace atmosphere around. There is no entrance fee for tourists or locals.