Image by Henryk Sadura Getty Images

Run by one of Sri Lanka’s more politically adept monks, Galboda Gnanissara Thera, this bustling temple complex has a library, a museum and an extraordinarily eclectic array of bejewelled and gilded gifts presented by devotees and well-wishers over the years (plus one lonely and chained temple elephant named Ganga). Gangaramaya is the focus of the Navam Perahera on the February poya (full moon) day each year. This is the centre for the most extravagant Vesak celebrations in Colombo.