Kudumbigala Monastery Complex


Kudumbigala Monastery Complex is located on a magnificent rock in the middle of a natural reserve about 22KM from Yala Kumana National park in the Eastern Province and around 22 km from Pottuvil Ampara; this is a site of worship where the monks meditate. It is a once in a lifetime must-visit place, and if you go there, do not forget to take alms or dry food and other necessities to the monks who live there.
This sacred place is vital in Sri Lanka and was blessed to touch about 12000 great Arahants. The Chethiya Pabbata Temple, which is considered to have been made and offered to the Maha Sangha during King Kavantissa, is held the Kudumbigala Thapowana Sanctuary. It was later restored by General Nandimithra, who contributed to the country's alliance with King Dutugemunu.

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The Establishment of Kudumbigala Monastery

The Kudumbigala Monastery complex is a forgotten monastery with over 200 rock caves. The inscriptions in Brahmi script and other evidence in the recently discovered cave, Maha Sudharshana Lena, show that Kudumbigala was established as an Aranya Senansanaya in the pre-Christian era. A stone inscription states that the Maha Sudharshana Lena was built and gifted to the Arahats by the Giant Warrior Nandimitra, one of King Dutugemunu's "Dasa Maha Yodayas", the ten giant warriors.

The Importance of Kudumbigala Monastery

The importance of the Kudumbigala Monastery cannot be expressed in words. The only cylindrical Dagaba to survive in Sri Lanka today is in this monastery. The Dagaba is a dome-shaped structure used to house Buddhist relics or as a place of meditation. It is also known as a stupa.

The Sad Tale of the Sinhalese Civilization

Kudumbigala had to be abandoned immediately in 1994 when terrorists from the LTTE hacked 17 innocent civilians in Panama to death. The government failed to protect the place. Ethnic cleansing, under cover of the most effective propaganda machine in the world today, has swallowed one-third of the Sri Lankan land, and 74% of the Sinhalese Buddhists do not even seem to know that. Likewise, 5% of the Christian Sinhalese do not seem to care.

Humans have advanced from the barbarian era to a civilized era. But, while communities like the Sinhalese Buddhists searched for the truth, fairness, and justice for all, many others, led by those after political and business objectives, searched for their own ethnic, religious and social interests. They covered their selfishness, fraud, and hypocrisy with hair-splitting arguments, lies, and propaganda.

The Story of Maithree Upasaka: Hero of Kudumbigala

Maithree Upasaka was a Catholic from Negombo. While working on the Ceylon Railway, he discovered the hidden history of the Sinhalese, which changed his life forever. In 1954, he came to Kudumbigala Monastery and cleaned up the place. There he lived, meditated and safeguarded the place for the future generations of Sri Lankans until he died on the 10th of September 1971. Today, he is regarded as the hero who protected this historical place alone while most of the country's politicians and officials were sleeping with the enemy.

Until 1994, the remains of Maithree Upasaka were displayed in a rock cave as he wished. Then the LTTE terrorists smashed the glass display and threw his remains into the jungle. We thank the researcher who recovered them from the wilderness again.

How to Reach Kudumbigala Monastery

To reach Kudumbigala Monastery, the closest city is Arugam Bay, and it takes approximately 45 minutes by tuk-tuk. Once you arrive, there are many things to do in this beautiful and historic location. You can observe the Brahmi inscriptions, look at the only cylindrical dagoba in Sri Lanka, and explore the more than 200 caves that make up the monastery complex.

The walls of the caves are covered with plaster and have a series of murals and paintings, providing an opportunity to see the beauty of spirituality and part of the country's religious culture. Admission to the monastery complex is free, but it's important to note that the area lacks shade, so it's best to avoid arriving at the hottest time of the day.

If you're interested in wildlife, Panama Road offers an excellent opportunity to see elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, and large birds. There are many paths, caves, and rocks to explore, and climbing to the top of the hill will reward you with a scenic view of the surrounding coastline and lush green countryside.

Kudumbigala Monastery is a special place due to its unique cylindrical dagoba, and it's a must-visit location for anyone interested in exploring the religious and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.


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