Ritigala is situated 27 kilometres north of Dambulla and 36 kilometres to the south of Anuradhapura. Ritigala can be reached by travelling 1 1 kilometres from Habarana up to Horivila and proceeding a further distance of 12 kilometres and taking the turn at Galapita junction to the right along a gravel road. It was popularly known as Aritapavu-Kanda during the Anuradhapura period. Its height is 766.16 meters
The monastery at this place was known as Arita-vihara. This monastery had been functioning during the period 2™ century B.C. to 9" century. King Suratissa had constructed a vihara at this spot which was named Makulaka or Magulaka. It was at the foot of the Ritigala mountain. King Lafijatissa had expanded or enlarged this vihara during the same century. Sena I had constructed a complete monastery in the 9" century and had offered it to the monks of the Pamsukulika fraternity. The site called Mahela-city was close to Ritigala.
Caves and Inscriptions
There are 32 caves with drip ledges in Ritigala. A large number of inscriptions have been discovered there. Ten of them are found in Andiyakanda, three in Karambahinna, four in Naulpata and two in Weweltenna.
Ritigala, an archaeological reserve, had been a forest hermitage (meditation monastery) of the Pamsukulika monks for a long time. Proceeding along the road to the West of the archaeological site on the footpath, the summit can be reached. On the way climbing up to the summit, a pond covering an area of about two hectares can be seen. It is called Banda-pokun a. There is another footpath passing this pond leading to another level. Proceeding a short distance after climbing the flight of steps, a large building conserved by the Department of archaeology can be seen. Only the foundation of the building remains. The tiles used to cover the roof of the building have been stacked at the site. This building has been identified as an ancient sauna bathhouse. Ruins of a medicinal trough, grinding stones and remnants of a sauna bath remains.
(Heritage of Rajarata by Prof. Chandra Wikramagamage, P35)
References & External Links
Wikipedia - Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA)
"Ritigala Ruins,Monastery,Forest,Nature Reserve- SriLankaView". www.srilankaview.com. Retrieved 2017-05-01.