Habessa Ruins (Hebessa)
Ruins of an ancient temple complex lies in deep in the jungle bordering the Yala National Park. Known as Habessa Ruins. Among these ruins are an ancient inscription and a cave with a large reclining Buddha statue with murals painted on the walls. So far, the department of archaeology has taken no interest on preserving this site making it a prime target for treasure hunters.
The most prominent of the ruins is the cave with the 32 feet reclining Buddha statue made with brick and mortar. The stupa too has been destroyed by treasure hunters and both are in almost destroyed state (see photos). The cave in which the Buddha statue is placed has probably been a image house and remains of the stone pillars can be still seen. This is a usual cave with drip ledges and indications that the whole rock surface has been covered by murals and some of these still can be seen. The stupa is covered in jungle and can be hardly seen.
Access to this site is through rough terrain through chena cultivations, jungles across Kumbukkan Oya river.
Map of Habessa Ruins
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
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Traveling Directions to Habessa Ruins
Travel on the Buttala – Okaamptiya Road passing Dematamal Viharaya to Okkampitiya. From Okkampitiya, take the Bogas Handiya Road. You need travel about 7 km on this road passing Karaththamanhandiya and Pahalapola to reach the site. The last stretch of the road will require a 4 wheel drive. Total distance to site from Buttala is approximately 15 km. Google maps does not have a route to this site.
See for detailed directions to the site see