Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya

Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya: A Hidden Gem in Sri Lanka

When it comes to exploring the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka, the Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya is a must-visit destination. Located in the Monaragala District, this ancient Buddhist temple complex is a hidden gem that offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience for tourists. With its magnificent rock carvings and serene surroundings, Buduruwagala is a testament to the artistic and architectural brilliance of ancient Sri Lanka.

The History and Significance of Buduruwagala

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Buduruwagala, which translates to “the rock with the statue of Buddha,” dates back to the 10th century during the reign of King Walagamba. The temple complex is believed to have been built by a regional ruler named King Walagamba, who sought refuge in the area during a period of political turmoil.

The main attraction of Buduruwagala is the colossal rock carving of Lord Buddha, which stands at an impressive height of 51 feet. The statue is flanked by two smaller figures, believed to be Bodhisattvas, standing at 37 feet each. The intricate details and the sheer size of these carvings are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the ancient Sri Lankan artisans.

Exploring the Temple Complex

As you enter the temple complex, you will be greeted by a serene and peaceful atmosphere. The lush greenery surrounding the area adds to the tranquility, making it an ideal place for meditation and reflection.

One of the highlights of Buduruwagala is the natural rock pool located nearby. Known as the “Buduruwagala Wewa,” this pool is believed to have been used by the monks for bathing and other rituals. The crystal-clear water and the picturesque surroundings make it a perfect spot for relaxation.

As you explore the complex further, you will come across several other rock carvings and ancient ruins. These include a stone inscription dating back to the 10th century, which provides valuable insights into the history and culture of the region.

Preservation Efforts and Visitor Facilities

Over the years, the Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya has undergone extensive restoration and preservation efforts to ensure its longevity. The Department of Archaeology in Sri Lanka has played a crucial role in maintaining and protecting this historical site.

For the convenience of visitors, the temple complex offers basic facilities such as restrooms and a small souvenir shop. Additionally, there are knowledgeable guides available who can provide detailed information about the history and significance of Buduruwagala.

How to Reach Buduruwagala

Buduruwagala is located approximately 160 kilometers east of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. The most convenient way to reach the temple complex is by hiring a private vehicle or taking a taxi from Colombo. The journey takes around 4-5 hours, depending on the traffic conditions.

Alternatively, you can also take a train or a bus to Wellawaya, which is the nearest town to Buduruwagala. From Wellawaya, you can hire a tuk-tuk or a taxi to reach the temple complex, which is about 15 kilometers away.

Near by Caffe

Sam’s Caffe

Escape to tranquility at Sam’s Caffe Buduruwagala, nestled by the serene waterside. Our charming cafe offers more than just a meal—it’s an invitation to unwind and savor the simple joys of life. Step into our cozy cottage and indulge in a delightful lunch while surrounded by the soothing sights and sounds of nature. From freshly brewed coffee to mouthwatering bites, every moment at Sam’s Caffe is a celebration of culinary delights and peaceful ambiance. Join us for a serene dining experience that rejuvenates the soul and leaves you longing to return.

For reservations, contact Sam’s Caffe at +94774196771.


Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya is a hidden gem that offers a unique and enriching experience for tourists. With its magnificent rock carvings, serene surroundings, and rich history, it is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.

As you immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of Buduruwagala, you will not only gain a deeper understanding of the ancient Buddhist traditions but also appreciate the artistic and architectural brilliance of the ancient Sri Lankan civilization.

So, if you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka, make sure to include Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya in your itinerary. It is a journey back in time that will leave you in awe of the country’s rich cultural heritage.

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