The Modern Temple of Seema Malaka

In the middle of Beira Lake, the sleek Buddhist Temple of Seema Malaka rises elegantly from the tepid water. In comparison to the garishly colorful Sri Subravanian Kovil, which we had just finished visiting, Seema Malaka is a marvel of restraint.

Seema Malaka temple Colombo Sri Lanka

After the original Seema Malaka temple had sunk into the lake, the government commissioned Geoffrey Bawa to design a replacement in the 1970s. Bawa, known as the founder of Tropical Modernism, is Sri Lanka’s most famous architect and was one of the most influential in Asia. His stylish creations can be found throughout Colombo, and Seema Malaka is one of the highlights.

The temple is spread across three raised platforms in the lake, connected to each other and to the mainland by bridges. Bawa intended his design to echo the jungle temples of Anuradhapura, also bound together by walkways. Seema Malaka is small and, with the cool breeze coming off the lake, a sense of serenity and simplicity dominates the scene — quite the accomplishment, in the middle of steamy, chaotic Colombo.

Location on our Sri Lanka Map

Modern temple in Colombo Sri Lanka
Seema Malaka modern temple
girls at the Seema Malaka temple in Colombo Sri Lanka
Seema Malaka tree
Seema Malaka buddhist statue
Seema Malaka religion photo
Seema Malaka buddhist devil
buddhist elephant person
Seema Malaka statues
Seema Malaka crow

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Angi

    Hello – we are going to Sri Lanka for vacation in a couple months. I wondered how easy it is to get around from city to city? We are just starting to research. Love the site, thanks for posting!

    1. Juergen

      Thank you for checking out our site… trains and buses are very cheap and you can get anywhere on the island. You can also hire a driver for a day… which will cost you about 36k rupees.

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