Mulkirigala Rock Temple

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Sri Lankan Expeditions -

Mulkirigala also known as Mulgirigala or Muvathitigala is one of the oldest temples in the southern parts of Sri Lanka. Built by King Saddha Tissa in the 3rd-century BC on top of a 205m high rock known as “Punchi Sigirya” (Little Sigirya) by locals. The rock is surrounded by four other rocks named Benagala, Kondagala, Bisogala and Seelawathiegala.

Surrounded by green forests and coconut trees the temple is built in a very peaceful area. There is a climb of 560 odd steep steps to reach to the top, there are seven caves at different elevations housing a number of large reclining Buddha statues with smaller sitting and standing Buddha statues. A stone inscription of the pond mentions that during the Polonnaruwa kingdom this temple was named as “Samuddagiri Viharaya” which means “Temple of the cliff by the ocean”. 

The temple received royal patronage by various kings, in 461-479 king Dhatusena from Anuradhapura era added a Stupa to the temple. 

Temple also has amazing paintings on the walls and ceilings from the ancient times. Views from the top are amazing. 

Note that you’d be expected to wear something appropriate when visiting the temple.