Ritigala Ancient Buddhist Monastery
Duration from Hotel : ~33 min
Distance from Hotel : 21 kms
Difficulty Level : 3
Nestled amidst the lush greenery of the Ritigala mountain range lies an ancient Buddhist monastery dating back to the 1st century BC. The Ritigala mountain range is located approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Elephas Resort, making it the perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful and spiritual retreat.
The Ritigala monastery was built during the time of King Pandukabhaya, who ruled Sri Lanka from 437 BC to 367 BC. It was once a thriving monastic complex that housed hundreds of Buddhist monks who lived and meditated within the peaceful surroundings of the mountain range. Today, the ruins of the ancient monastery provide a fascinating glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich cultural and religious history.
As you embark on your journey to Ritigala, you will be mesmerized by the stunning views of the lush greenery and the mountain range. The hike to the top of the mountain is an adventure in itself, with several scenic paths to choose from. The main path is approximately 5 km long and takes around 2-3 hours to complete. Along the way, you will encounter ancient ruins, sprawling gardens, and breathtaking natural beauty.
At the top of the mountain, you will be greeted by the ruins of the Ritigala monastery. The complex is spread out over a large area and includes several meditation platforms, cave dwellings, and water tanks. The most prominent feature of the complex is the stupa, which was built during the 9th century AD. It is one of the few ancient stupas in Sri Lanka that is made entirely of stone.
The monastery was also known for its medicinal gardens, which contained over 200 varieties of medicinal plants. Many of these plants are still found growing in the area, and their healing properties are still widely recognized today.
A visit to the Ritigala monastery is not just a journey into the past; it is also an opportunity to connect with nature and find inner peace. The tranquil surroundings and the serene atmosphere make it the perfect place to meditate and reflect. As you explore the ruins and hike through the mountain range, you will be enveloped in a sense of peace and serenity that is hard to find in the hustle and bustle of modern life.
In conclusion, a trip to Ritigala is an experience like no other. It offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that is sure to leave a lasting impression on your mind and soul. Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or a spiritual seeker, Ritigala is a must-visit destination that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired.