Dhowa Rock Temple

Dhowa Rock Temple


Dhowa Rock Temple is located a few kilometers away from Bandarawela town. This temple dates back to BC. It is believed to have been built by King Walagamba in the first century. This is one of the many temples built by King Walagamba who was under the protection of Uva Province after the Indian invasion. The main reason for the popularity of this temple is the 38 feet tall Buddha statue carved in granite. But this temple hides some secrets that time has forgotten.

The incomplete Buddha statue is carved from a well-hidden rock in the main section. Not much attention has been paid to this statue and it seems to be slowly breaking down. There is a small stupa at the top of the rock. The stupa is level with the road and is the only sign of a temple to a passerby on the road.

There is a small stupa in a cave at the back of the statue house. The cave acts as a stupa for the stupa. These are commonly known as Chethiya Caves. In the cave behind this stupa there is a tunnel called Ravana Cave with an image of a clay king cobra. It is said that this 11 km long tunnel connects the Ravana Maha Viharaya and the Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya. Unfortunately, due to various destructive activities of the treasure hunters, the entrance of this tunnel was closed by the temple with cement. It states that the king disappeared from the area overnight through the tunnels, thereby abruptly halting work on the Buddha statue.

The statue house built in the cave is full of colorful murals and Buddha statues and consists of 3 rooms. There are two guardians on either side of the main entrance to the temple, one with an elephant in its mouth and the other with a bull in its mouth. It is said that there were two Raksha tribal leaders, Vatuka and Kuvera, who were guarding the entrance to the temple room. The door frame of the temple is made of solid stone and there is an inscription saying that it was built in 1880. The outer chamber is filled with Kandyan frescoes.

The entrance to the second chamber is decorated with an ornate dragon pandal. The second room has a row of Buddha statues with paintings. Rock canopies are decorated in various designs. Hidden in these decorations is a rare painting of an "elephant-bull fight" (elephant-bullfight).

The entrance to the third chamber is a simple wooden door and inside are two Buddha statues lying along the contours of the cave. The bodhi tree is at a higher altitude than the image house. There is a small pond around a rock on this platform. The rock forms a natural water plant and water flow continuously through small holes in the top of the rock.

Make this Dhowa Rock Temple one of the most visited historical sites of all time.

Located in: Badulla - Bandarawela main road
Traveling Time: 13 min (7.2 km) - Ella to Dhowa Rock Temple
Cost : Free
Special remark: :
  • As it is a place of worship, enter in proper attire


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