Situated on a beautiful rock in the middle of a very quiet natural reserve about 22KM from Yala Kumana Sanctuaries in the Eastern Province and about 22 km from Pottuvil, Ampara, this is a place of worship where the monks meditate. It is a once in a lifetime must visit place and if you go there do not forget to take alms or dry food and other necessities to the monks who live there.
Located in the Lahugala Divisional Secretariat in the Ampara District. Kudumbigala belongs to the highlands between 100-500 feet above sea level in the plains between the Moneragala Range in the North West and the coast in the South East.
This sacred place is a very valuable place in Sri Lanka and was sacred to the touch of about 12000 great Arahants. The Chethiya Pabbata Viharaya which is believed to have been made and offered to the Maha Sangha during the reign of King Kavantissa is considered to be the Kudumbigala Thapowana Sanctuary. It is said that it was later renovated by General Nandimithra who contributed to the unification of the country with King Dutugemunu.
This area is made up of large boulders and rocky outcrops and is located in the middle of a dense forest. The Chethiyagiri Stupa, which is cylindrical in shape, is similar to the Dharmarajika Stupa in India. Here is a cave inscription of King Dutugemunu which is believed to be that of Nandimithra who was one of the ten great giants.
There are large dripstone caves here and in some places they date back to BC. Brahminical inscriptions from the period 2-5 can be seen. Remains of buildings and remains of ancient paintings can be identified on some of the rocks.
Remains of a dagoba on Kudumbigala, a large rock that can be seen here, and the natural stone chem used to retain water since ancient times can be seen here. It is also clear that Kudumbigala is another unique archeological site in the Eastern Province with archeological ruins spread over 700-800 acres. This is because the shrine is located far away from the cities in the dry zone. We as Buddhists are reminded that it is our duty and responsibility to protect our temples !!!
Legend has it that this sacred place which was later defaced was renovated and protected by Thambugala Anandasiri Thero in 1954.
How to reach:
The closest city to this place is Arugam Bay
The journey by tuk tuk takes about 45 minutes
Things to Do in Kudumbigala Monastery :
- Observe the Brahmi inscriptions
- Take a look at the only cylindrical dagoba in Sri Lanka
- It is obscure and has more than 200 caves
- It's walls are covered with plaster and the wall has a series of murals and paintings
- A visit to Kudumbigala Monastery allows you to see the beauty of spirituality and see part of the religious culture of the country
- This place is special because of the pagoda, the only cylindrical dagoba in Sri Lanka.
- Avoid arriving at the hottest time of the day as there is minimal shade
- Admission to the monastery complex is free
- Panama Road, with its occasional pits and ditches, offers a great opportunity to see elephants, crocodiles, monkeys and large birds.
- There are many paths, caves and rocks to explore
- Climb to the top of the hill and enjoy a scenic view of the surrounding coastline and lush green countryside.