The Uva Province is a beautiful place in Sri Lanka with its luscious tea plantations, temples, waterfalls, and historical archaeological sites. The village Dhowa is one of the key tourist’s attractions in the area and is situated along the Badulla- Bandarawela route and is famous for its Dhowa Rock Temple. The temple dates back to 2000 years and was used as a sanctuary for King Walagamba, who turned the cave into a temple.
The king himself did all the paintings in the cave temple, as he had a passion for paintings. Although he could not complete the original paintings, the construction of the temple was completed during the Kandyan era.
Known for its famous paintings and sculptures embedded in the rocks, this temple is located at the bottom of a hill. A large ornamental gateway greets devotees and tourists. As you enter the gateway you will see a recently constructed Stupa alongside a bo-tree. Passing the bo-tree you will find the Gal Viharageya, which is 12 feet in height. Another feature of this Dhowa rock temple is the 38 feet Lord Buddha statue created in a rock cliff according to Mahayana iconography. The beautiful paintings depict the Kandyan Kingdom, which was the last kingdom before colonization during 1815.
Behind the stupa, is the Ravana Guhawa or Ravana Cave which is guarded by the figure of a Clay King Cobra. The 11 km of the tunnel is believed to be connected to the Ravana Maha Vijaraya at Ella and the Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya. The entrance no longer can be accessed due to the sealing of it due to vandalism, by treasure hunters. It is further believed that the King at that time left the area through the tunnels and hence the working on the Buddha statute culminated with his disappearance.
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Interested about Ella? Check out our ultimate guide to this touristy little town.