Bambaragasthalawa, Ampara

Hidden amidst the Kudumbigala Wildlife Sanctuary and few miles away from the Kudumbigala Forest Hermitage are the remains of an ancient monastery lost to the time and the jungle. 

Ruins scattered over nearly 60 acres of jungle speaks volumes of its glory days but nothing moves a devotee other than the 36-foot reclining Buddha statue of Bambaragasthalawa. Built inside a cave, which had protected it from the hardships of nature the giant statue, made out of a mixture of clay and lime, has succumbed to the malice of humans, who have dug in its head, feet and mid sections in search of treasure.

The cave is situated on the edge of a rock precipice, affording a spectacular view around and is believed to be the first cave constructed in this monastery.

Worshipping halls, preaching halls, alms halls and toilet and bath facilities had been built in rock and bricks and decorated in subtle brick and masonry work and still remain in ruins amidst the monastery grounds, which now does not even have a direct road reachable by feet.  

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Latitude: 7.363717 Longitude: 81.636286 Elevation: 150 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Udana Wickramasinghe

Hours Open

Can be visited during daylight hours

Time Period Represented

Believed to have been built between fourth and eighth century

Seasons Open

Year round

Visitor Fees

Not applicable

Accessibility Notes

Colombo – (Colombo – Kandy road) Kandy – Digana – Mahiyanganaya – (Mahiyanganaya – Padiyathalawa road) – Ampara town (Ampara – Mahaoya road) – Uhana junction – Bakki-ela – Rajagala (5km from bakki-ela) (313 km – 5 hours 2 min)

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