Ranked among the most impressive rock temple compounds in the hills, Dhowa Rock Temple is a 2000-year-old attraction in Ella. Here’s what you need to know about visiting the temple.
Dating back more than 2000 years, Dhowa Rock Temple is situated 7km from the heart of Ella Town.
Listed as one of the places to visit in Ella by travel resources including Travel to Ella and other websites, Dhow Rock Temple was formerly called the Kumbaltissa Ariyagala Vihara. According to historical records, Dhow Rock Temple dates back to the 1st century BC and is believed to have been a place of worship for Buddhist monks during ancient times.
What to Expect
Upon arrival at the Dhowa Rock Temple, you will enter the premises through a decorated gateway, which will lead the way to a pure white stupa. Although both of these structures are new constructions, they do not take away from the ancient charm of the place. The walls of the temple’s caves are adorned with carved Jathaka Stories while paintings of flowers and lotuses decorate the roof of the cave. Belonging to the Kandyan era, these paintings are a reminder of how the temple was completed during the height of the Kandyan Kingdom.
One of the main highlights of a visit to the temple is its image house or Gal Vihara Geya. This 12-foot cave also contains countless relics and artefacts. Other points of interest include the 38-foot-high Buddha sculpture that was commissioned to be built by King Walagamba. Although it is incomplete, the statue, which has been carved on the face of a cliff, is an imposing figure.