Sithulpawwa Rock Temple is situated in the Hambanthota district in Sri Lanka. In the historical records, it is also named Chinththala Pabbatha. It is situated in the dense forest in Yala National Park and has a height of about 400 feet.
Sithulpawwa Rock Temple has a history that dates back to 2000 BC. Its name is derived from the word “Chittalapabbata”. The meaning of this word is that it is “the hill of the quiet mind” in English. This is a place where thousands of Arhaths lived at that time. There is also a historical record which states that once there was a monk named Tissa who had reached the state of Arhath thus it is believed that Sithulpawwa Rock Temple was built encasing his remains such that it is also named as “Tissa Thera Chetiya”.
You have to climb a very steep stairway which is cut through a rock. When you go up you will be able to see a Dagoba which is said to have been built by King Kawantissa. In addition to this, there are more other small stupas. There is a specific cave temple that consists of beautiful ancient paintings that are believed to belong to the 3rd century BC. The drawings are done on a thin layer of plaster and have used red and yellow colors.
It is stated that the rock temple which is a very sophisticated cave consisted of 12000 monks who attained the highest level in mind according to Buddhism.
Get on Katunayake-Colombo Expressway from Maradana Road and drive from Southern Expressway. Take Kandasuridugama Raja Mawatha and Kataragama – Situlpawwa Road to Situlpawwa Road in Situlpawwa to reach your destination.
Drive along Colombo – Galle – Hambantota – Wellawaya Highway. Continue to Kirinda – Situlpawwa Road. Turn left onto Kirinda – Situlpawwa Road and continue straight onto Situlpawwa Road to reach your destination.
Featured Image Courtesy of Naveen Banuka
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