Samangala Ancient Forest Hermitage in Ampara – සමන්ගල පුරාණ ලෙන් විහාරය

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Guru Lena at Samangala

Guru Lena at Samangala
Photo by Dr. Ashan Geeganage

Samangala Cave Temple Complex believed to be built by the king Saddhatissa (137-119 BC) of Anuradhapura  lies about 23 kilometers away from the Ampara Town. This cave complex consists of ab0ut 50 dripledged caves in the eastern slopes of the Samangala rocky hill. These caves have been used by the ancient Buddhist monks for meditation but today only about 10 can be seen while others are still hidden in thick jungle.

Samangala lies in the eastern province of Sri Lanka close to Ampara  in the on western side of the Kohombana Juntion on the Ampara – Maha Oya road. This archeological jewel has been neglected during the last 30 years during the bloody separatist war  with the Tamil Terrorists with all  Sinhalese  Buddhists in the region either killed or chased away.

With the end of the war,  Samangala Hermitage is now occupied by few priest who is trying to re establish the hermitage.

Few of the caves now can be visited including the largest cave in the complex.  Pre Christian Brahmin scripts too can be still seen on some of the caves. A drawing in one cave illustrates an  stupa in the style of Sanchi Stupa in India indicating the relationship the temple of that time had with the Indian Buddhist community.

Drawing of the vaddha community which can be seen on another cave suggest that these caves had been used by the Veddhas  in a later period when the hermitage was abandoned.

Photos courtesy of : Dr Ashan Geeganage

Also See

Map of Ancient Samangala Forest Hermitage in Ampara

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites.

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.


Travel Directions to Ancient Samangala Forest Hermitage in Ampara

Traveling from Ampara, you need to turn left at Werenketagoda and travel around 3 1/2 km on this road. Map indicates a approximate location.

Route from Colombo to Samangla Cave Temple

Route from Ampara to Samangla Cave Temple

Through : Kandy – Mahiyanganaya – Padiyatalawa – Maha Oya
Distance : 290 km
Travel time : 6-7 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
Distance : 23 km
Travel time : 2 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map

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