Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya

Sithulpawwa ancient temple, which is a frequently visited place by the public, is a temple situated about 280km away from Colombo and just 20 miles from the sacred city of Katharagama. There are two accesses to this temple One is through Galle, Hambantota Lunugamvehera, Tissamaharama Yodhakandiya and the other is Katharagam to Sithulpawwa through Yala park. Normally it takes four and half hours. Some epigraphic reports and inscription evidence reveal that this temple is said to have been built by King Kavanthissa who ruled the country from Magama in the 2nd century.

The name used for this temple in early stages was Chittala Pabbatha which means the “lightness of mind”.This temple, amidst a sheer jungle, is said to have been used as a center of Buddhist education and it is said that thousands of Buddhist monks have used this place for meditation. There is a network of stupas and cave temples that can be seen all around the main stupa which is situated at the top of a hillock. There are Buddhist statues too in various places in the jungle. In some of the caves, cave paintings painted only with yellow and red colours which belong to the Anuradhapura era can be seen.

There is two access to the main stupa. The frequently used one is the one built by inscribing steps up to the stupa. The pond situated at the lowest position of the temple adds extra beauty to the whole temple. The visitors must be very careful of the wild beast especially elephants who frequently haunt around the temple and along the roads that lead to Sithulpawwa. At present, most of the basic requirements such as water, electricity and canteen facilities have been established that make the public comfortable.