Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist monastery located in Hambantota District, Southern Province of Sri Lanka, which was built by King Kavantissa. Temple of Sithulpawuwa is not known by many foreigners as well as it is a forgotten gem for the locals. Sithulpauwwa, which was once home for 12000 Arahaththeros has a proud history of 2200 years as the temple was built during the 2nd century BC.
Though this is a Buddhist temple, It is an open opportunity for many people with different believes for an adventurous ride as the temple is situated inside the Yala National Park. It’s due to the difficulty in visiting the temple many people have stopped or reluctant to visit the temple. It is a mindful experience to see the glimpse of the temple from above the rock, and the journey towards the temple in the rock is breathtaking.
It is recommended to use an SUV for the ride towards the Temple and also to go during the evening hours. The Yala National Park closes at 5.30 pm, so its best that if you could start the journey to visit the temple by about 3 pm every evening.
The temple of Sithulpauwwa is located on top of a cluster of mountains; you would be able to go towards the entrance of the temple using a vehicle, to enter the temple you would have to climb the hill. It was recommended to come during the hours of the sunrise or the sunset because as it is a temple, you will have to climb the rick barefooted. Also, though the rise of the sun and the evening is not as clear to this point, the ambiance it creates in the environment around the temple is breathtaking.
Thus, visiting the Sithulpawwuwa rock temple is not only limited for the people of the Buddhist faith, but also to those who are nature lovers and for those who have a universal love for the cultural heritage all around the world.