Named after the famous Buddhist university in northern India, Nalanda Gedige is a unique structure built in the south Indian architectural style. Despite looking like a Hindu temple, complete with a mandapa(pillared porch), the gedige (image house) bears no signs of any Hindu gods and it is thought to have only ever been used by Buddhists.
Constructed entirely of stone, the gedige is believed to have been built between the 7th and 11th centuries. However, it has only stood on its present location since the 1980’s when the building was meticulously moved from its low-lying home amid paddy fields to make way for a man-made lake.
Much of the original structure has been reduced to ruins. The carvings on the exterior walls are aged and weather- beaten, but it is still possible to make out details such as faces, a carving of a god on the south side and row of miniature buildings carved on the entrance archway. Careful inspection will also reveal a tantriccarving on the southern side of the base plinth.
There is a newer brick dagoba next to the gedige, as well as a museum that displays photographs of some of the details from the building and also an inscription pillar recovered from the area. more