Ambuluwawa Temple is an amazing place situated in Gampola, Sri Lanka. Both the place itself and the beautiful views seen from the place are spectacular. The place is situated on a summit called Ambuluwawa with an elevation of about 3500 feet from sea level.
Even though it is called Ambuluwawa Temple, it is not just a common Buddhist temple where only Buddhist devotees come. This is a place where devotees from all the four major religions in Sri Lanka have separate places to worship. It is more like a very unique tourist point rather than a religious place.
Ambuluwawa Temple is situated in Gampola, which is one of the oldest kingdoms in Sri Lanka (1345–1408 AD). King Buwanekabahu IV constructed the Gampola Kingdom and it is said that Ambuluwawa Peak was the center of the Kingdom.
In 2006 Ambuluwawa Peak was developed as a bio-diversity complex and a multi-religious center. This Hill is identified as a place with immense bio-diversity. The hill is made out of a special kind of rock and it is said that rock is at a minimum rate of erosion.
Studies on bio-diversity and the stones are still ongoing and more and more researches are held out. Local and foreign researchers are facilitated at Ambuluwawa Temple to execute their research.
Further a small temple, a church, a kovil, and a mosque can be found at the peak covering all four major religions in Sri Lanka.
Ambuluwawa Temple is situated a few kilometers away from the Gampola town. Reaching the place is not so easy because of the steep slope of the hill. The hill is about 2000 feet from Gampola town. From the ticketing counter, about 2.5km has to be traveled to reach the place. There are several ways you can take to climb up the hill according to your preference, your health condition, and the condition of your vehicle.
If you like hiking and if you think you are fit enough, you can walk up to the top. It is a wonderful experience for sure. The sights along the way are really beautiful.
Also, it is tough and takes time. But walking to the top is not recommended for elderly persons and small children.
You can travel by your vehicle but only if it is 4 WD. But be careful the vehicle may overheat due to the slope.
Or else you can hire a tuk-tuk from the entrance and ride up to the peak. A car park is available at the entrance. You can park your vehicle there and take a tuk-tuk.
Once you reach Ambuluwawa Temple you will realize that the effort is worth it.
The center of attraction here is the beautiful tall white tower. If you are strong enough, you can climb up to the very top of it by climbing the spiral staircase that’s wrapped around it. The tower is 48m high and it is absolutely a thrilling experience to climb it but it is more exciting when mist hits in.
There are intermediate platforms on the way to the top, where you can stay and have a look around or take a short break when you are tired. You don’t have to worry about your safety there, the staircase and the platforms are properly guarded with handrails. The panoramic view of the surrounding mountain ranges and valleys is similarly breathtaking.
Ambuluwawa Temple is a must-visit no matter the religion or belief you follow and adhere to.
Photo courtesy : Onal Karunaratne
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