The original floating temple started to sink. It needed replacing so in 1979 local Sri Lankan Architect Geoffrey Bawa submitted designs for its replacement. It did not follow traditional Buddhist temple layouts. There is no large bell shaped Dagoba. Even more unusual is that some of the finance raised to build the temple came from a local Muslim merchant. Many of the statues have been donated by Buddhists in Thailand. You will not find an overload of vivid colours inside the temple. Everything is toned down to provide a tranquil location in which to sit and meditate.
Sima Malakaya is part of the main Gangaramaya Temple and is built on an artificial man made island by the tree lined Beira lake edge. You can gain access to the religious complex by walking over a pontoon boardwalk. It is a centre for meditation. On the top of the enclosure boundary wall are numerous statues of Buddha sitting in different poses. There is a model of the foot of the Buddha sculptured in marble. Enjoy the calm of being on the water amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, although nearby, seems to lesson.