Mulkirigala Rock Temple
5 October 2022
Purched up on a rocky pinnacle, 16km northwest of Tangalla and nestled away among a green forest of coconut trees are the peaceful rock temples of Mulkirigala. Climbing up 500 or so steps and you’ll encounter a series of seven cleft-like caves on five different terraced levels. Mulkikirigala can be called the Dambulla of the south, with its monadnock and vertical cliffs resembling Sigiriya. Like Dambulla, Mulkirigala looks back to a long history.
Monks lived in the rock shelters already in pre-Christian centuries. According to a local legend, it was King Saddhatissa, the brother of the even more famous king Dutthagamani, who founded this monastery in the second century BC. He had hunted in this area when a local Vedda showed him a rock he proposed for a temple. The temple rises about 676 feet from the surrounding land mass and provides vistas of views of the surrounding area upon reaching the peak. There are seven cave temples situated in five Terraced areas of different altitudes. Similar to Dambulla, it is recommended that the visitors attire themselves appropriately.