Going back centuries, the remains of the forest monastery of Ritigala is absorbed in many legends. The Ritigala forest is home to a number of flora and fauna and the forest is overflowing with Verdant landscapes, and the dense forest is an ideal place for high mountain adventures.

Ritigala archaeological site is a hidden ancient Buddhist monastery.  Located about 27 miles to the northeast of Anuradhapura town. The Ritigala monastery is believed to have been destroyed by the Chola invasion in the first half of the 11th century. The highest point of Ritigala mountain is about 2513 ft above sea level and the highest point is called the Kodi gala Kanda. This range of mountains covers about 3700 acres. And Ritigala is known to be a Buddhist monastery complex in the earlier days, bhikkhus have dwelled in places such as mountains and forests. And there are several stages of cave monasteries and it’s quite visible that before the construction of developed buildings there may have been clay houses or such initial dwelling places in here, the chain of caves where bhikkhus used to live is still preserved but the buildings are in ruins. This area is covered in dense forest. This forest has unseen beauty that is quite untouched by mankind and this mysterious Ritigala monastery is waiting to be discovered.

Ponds

The “Benda Pond” is unique resourcefully designed to gather water flowing down from the mountain and the pond seems to have been used for several purposes such as bathing, drinking, beauty, and cooling. And to drain the excess water a small spill had been constructed. It can hold a total capacity of 2 million gallons of water.

Pathways

The entire length of the pathway that begins near the Benda pond is 635 meters. It is paved using stone slabs on both sides and the sides are built using somewhat high stone slabs.

Stone Bridges

Over the brooks crossing the pathways there are several stone bridges.

Stupas

There is rare evidence of few stupas in the monastery complex. Apparently, they are in the jungle area hidden from the tourist.

This mountain is subjected to 3 climatic zones due to its own distinctiveness, in fact Ritigala is declared as a strict reserve and it has its unique bio diversity. Forest contains endangered flora and fauna that needs to be protected.

This is an ideal location for lovers of nature and history to visit. This place is an example of our rich heritage where history met innovation and proof of our rich history and abundant culture. It is undoubtedly the responsibility of all people to safeguard this environment including its flora and fauna and its archaeological remains.

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