Mulkirigala Rock Temple
(Raja Maha Viharaya
) — Great royal temple in the eponymous town of Mulkirigala
. It is located in the district of Hambantota
, 21 km. from the city of Tangalle, 35 km. from the hotel The Islander Beach Villa
and 38 km away. from Turtle Bay Boutique Hotel
. The distance from Colombo
is 217 km.
The British called the rock "Small Sigiriya
." By beauty, luxury of painting and buildings, antiquity and historical and architectural value, the Mulkirigala
temple is in no way inferior to the famous cave temple in Dambulla
, and in some senses, and in the opinion of many experts and guests, even surpasses the Dambulla temple in filling and scenic location.
temple is not so inundated with tourists, which makes his visit tiring and not heapy. And this is only one of the merits of Mulkirigala.
At the end of the III century. BC. the temple was founded by King Kavantissa
. There is a version that this same king installed a golden statue of <b Buddha in a large cave under a rock. In the II century BC. King Saddatissa
, the youngest son of the King Kavantissa
, continued the construction of the temple. Historical records indicate that during the reindeer hunting Saddattissa encountered wild Veddas, the indigenous ancient inhabitants of Sri Lanka, who told him that this mountain is an ideal place for a Buddhist monastery. After that, Sadattissa
built a large temple complex.
To the top of the temple are 533 steps, and its height is about 270 meters. The complex consists of 5 terraces and 7 caves.
First terrace — Padamaluve
— the lowest. Here are two caves. Inside each is a statue of a reclining Buddha carved into a solid rock. On the walls and ceiling — frescoes of the Candian period (restored in the 18th century). Here, on the first terrace, the sacred Buddhist tree Bo (Ficus Religiosa) grows. This tree is a descendant of that same Bo tree, under which the meditated Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment, becoming a Buddha.
Second terrace — Bodi Maluwe
. From the word «Bo» — the Bo tree grows here. In addition, on the second level there is a cave and stupa.
Third terrace — Raja Maha Vihara Maluwe
(Royal Great Temple Terrace). Here are 4 caves, the walls of which are decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from the past lives of the Buddha. In the annals write that the Buddha had 550 lives.
In the fourth, a cave (Cobra Cave)
a tunnel was dug to the Temple of Hakmen behind the door. According to folk legends, whoever climbs there, he will not return, because many cobras live there. In fact, this tunnel was once a secret royal path, and people were so frightened to protect this cave from prying eyes.
. Here the Bo tree also grows.
On the fifth, topmost terrace
there is a stupa and it offers a stunning panorama of the surrounding area. In clear weather, you can even see the ocean from here. During his lifetime, King Kavantissa provided all possible assistance and assistance to the «mountain temple for monks». During the wars in Mulkirigala, the sacred relics of the Buddha were kept. Subsequently, the temple was a settlement of monks, but eventually came to desolation.
King Kirti Sri Rajasinha
(1747-1782) ordered the restoration of the ancient temple, which is confirmed by the decoding of the comments of the chief priest Sappragama
, made in 1872 by George Turner, the British employee.
Excursion to Mulkirigala
— an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the ancient history, architecture, religion and culture of the south of Sri Lanka when your stay in the Tangalle
area in Lankarus hotels — Turtle Bay
and The Islander Villa
. The journey from the hotel to the temple in Mulkirigala is 45 minutes on average. Departure for the excursion early in the morning in the coolest hours, as climbing the mountain in the halls of the cave and descending the mountain in the afternoon hours is tiring. The trip and inspection take almost half a day. Return from Mulkirigala to the hotel in the afternoon.
The trip to Mulkirigala is also included in some routes of our package tours and excursion routes around the country.
Excursion from Turtle Bay
or The Islander Villa
for 2 guests — 4000 rupees
(including tuk-tuk and entrance tickets)
SRI LANKA INTERACTIVE MAP OF ATTRACTIONS
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