Perched on a 400-meter high rock, the Situlpawwa temple offers stunning, panoramic views of its lush green surroundings. Built by an ancient Sri Lankan King, the stupa of this sacred temple is built on top of a rock and is accessed by steep stone steps.
Built nearly 2000 years ago, this temple is situated in the deep south of Sri Lanka, in the Yala National Park. The name Situlpawwa is believed to have been derived from the word, Chittalapabbata. The word’s meaning is ‘Hill of the quiet mind’. It was an ancient Buddhist monastery and a significant place of worship for devotees that came to visit it from all across Sri Lanka. This fascinating religious site is best explored from a conveniently located Yala hotel. For instance, Saraii Village Sri Lanka is a comfortable accommodation option situated minutes away from the Situlpawwa Temple.
It is also believed that this sacred temple once sheltered and groomed 12,000 monks. These monks allegedly lived a difficult life in solitude and consequently reached the highest mind level in Buddhism. The temple’s key attractions are the relics of the preaching house, the Brahmi Script and fragments of paintings. Recent excavations that unearthed the Brahmi inscriptions have revealed that villagers donated large sums of money to establish the Situlpawwa monastery during the 2nd century. Within the temple premises visitors can explore the rock caves, pagodas, chapter houses as well as ponds. The caves were built in such way that the monks could live in complete silence and isolation. Apart from the main stupa, the Situlpawwa temple houses a number of other small stupas. The temple wall features an array of exceptional paintings that belong to the Anuradhapura period.
Located within the Yala National Park, Situlpawwa is a unique religious landmark to be included in an adventurous hiking tour in the south of Sri Lanka. Surrounded by the dense forest, you will undoubtedly spot some of the world’s rarest fauna and flora as you hike and explore one of Sri Lanka’s most revered religious attractions.
Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+