Mulkirigala rock monastery is located around 20km north of Tangalle in Southern Sri Lanka. According to ancient texts of this land, King Saddatissa is said to have enshrined sacred relics of Lord Buddha in a stupa here. These hallowed premises are well known for their elaborate cave paintings which depict numerous sins according to Buddhism.
To reach the top of this rock there are more than 500 steps and the climb is quite steep at certain sections along the path. But the breathtaking panoramic view from the top of the hill makes the climb up the Mulkirigala hill well worth it. At various points through the climb up, there are several terraces; the first terrace contains a bo tree, considered sacred by Buddhists and two cave temples with Buddha statues and statues of Hindu gods. On the second terrace are a courtyard and a temple. The third along the path to the hilltop is where the main temple is located and there is a massive recumbent Buddha statue. From the fourth terrace when one looks down the pathway seems like a great snake and there are legends that revolve around the view. After passing all these shrines dedicated to Lord Buddha and various deities one reaches the summit where there is a bo tree and an image house as well as a temple. However what is most awe inspiring when the trekker reaches the pinnacle is the view.
Another reason that makes Mulkirigala an important historic site is because it is also the place where the ‘Rosetta Stone’ was discovered, making it possible to translate age old local texts.
For tourists exploring the deep south of the island there are many Sri Lanka hotels in which to stay at. A perfect way to enjoy the beach atmosphere here is to find accommodation at a Sri Lanka beach resort from where the traveller can visit Mulkirigala rock temple. It is well worth a visit as it will not only provide the tourist a chance to experience Sri Lankan history and culture but also a bit of exercise in the form of trekking up to the top of the monastery! A novel beach resort such as Jetwing Tangalla Bay will ensure that guests are pampered when they get back after an exciting day exploring this monastery.