Nalanda is situated one km to the east of the A9 route 20km north of Aluvihare. It is one of a number of remarkable archaeological sites in Sri Lanka . A visit to Nalanda Gedige - gedige exhibits a composite style of architecture unique in Sri Lanka, and an extraordinary fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism. To cap it all, this remarkable shrine occupies an extremely picturesque - if not original - location.Named after the great Buddhist University at Nalanda in India, it has been said that Nalanda Gedige is “one of those fortunate places that have no history.” The surprising lack of knowledge regarding this shrine, and why it was located at Nalanda thwarts those who wish to delve into its past. Even estimates of its date of construction vary from the 7th to 11th centuries AD. This was a period of great turmoil on the island, with South Indian kings establishing themselves in the wake of the decline of the Sinhalese monarchy. It is possible that Nalanda Gedige was a bold attempt at a fusion of Tamil and Sinhalese cultures. Nalanda Gedige is a curious hybrid of Buddhist and Hindu architecture. Some of the design elements are distinctly Hindu, such as the mandapam or hall of waiting. Yet there is no sign of Hindu gods. There are erotic but eroded Tantric Buddhist carvings, much like the famous ones at Khajuraho in India. The richly decorated façade sections are in the 7th century style which flourished at Madras, South India. However, the southern section has a semi-circular niche containing in high relief a squat figure of Kuvera, the god of wealth, seated on a lotus plinth - an image that is only found in Sri Lanka.