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Great New Monastery (Maha Alut Vihara)

3 reviews of Great New Monastery (Maha Alut Vihara)

Chris Pearrow

The 3rd cave of the Golden Temple

The Great New Monastery (known locally as the Maha Alut Vihara) is the third cave temple of the spectacular Dambulla Cave Temple, or Golden Temple, complex. It's slightly less spectacular than the Cave of the Great Kings, but then again topping the incredible second cave would be an incredible feat.

The cave temple was built by King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe of Kandy in the 1700's and there's actually a statue of the king himself on left once you enterthe temple. The Great New Monastery, however, is most famous for its massive reclining Buddha with its hand tucked under its cheek, a symbol of the Buddha as he approached death.

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Very nice paintings

The third monastery cave of Dambulla is less impressive than the second, but it's paintings are very fine. They say it's the new great monastery because the paintings are more recent and came into use later than the first two caves. The wall and ceiling paintings are typical of the Kandy art and date back to the mid eighteenth century. They depict classical Buddhist scenes but in a new modern style. There are about 50 statues of Buddha, and King Sri Rajasinha, who ruled Kandy in 1750. The caves are an UNESCO World Heritage site. $10 to enter and isn't included in the $50 cultural pass.

Kris por el mundo

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