Fodor's Expert Review Gangaramaya Temple
Some are put off by the feeling that this is more a commercial than spiritual enterprise, but this Buddhist temple beside Beira Lake in the heart of Colombo is undeniably the city's most colorful shrine. Founded in the late 19th century as an institute for training monks, it is full of Buddha statues—some of them massive—in various styles from Thai through Sri Lankan to Burmese. An adjoining museum houses an eclectic collection ranging from jade and ivory Buddhas, to an old Rolls-Royce, and the very first Mercedes to arrive in Sri Lanka. Be forewarned, however, that some visitors are distressed by the sight of the resident temple elephant—which spends most of its days chained up with little chance to move.