Karambagala Karandulena Aranya (කරඹගල ආරණ්ය සේනාසනය)
Karambagala Hermitage also known as Karandulena Hermitage is an ancient forest hemitage with large number of caves in the Ambalantota area. The ruins in this area are spread over 2 hillocks. One is Madunagala and the other is Karambagala. Madunagala hill is 327 feet high and Karambagala hilltop which lies 600 meters away is 392 feet high.
It is believed that this was the Biliva Temple noted in a rock inscription belonging to the King Kithsiri Mevan (303-311 AD). Since this hill resemble a relic casket this hill is also called Karandulena.
This complex shows ruins of 3 stupas. One stupa which has existed at the top of the Madunagala hill has been completely destroyed by treasure hunters and only the bricks spread around the site remains.
Another stupa lies at the top of the Karambagala rock and has been extensively renovated so much that the size or the shape of the original stupa cannot be guessed. The only clues to its antiquity is a simple moonstone with Lotus design and a large number of broken rock pillar of what must have been an ancient building.
On another rocky surface below this stupa lies remains of another ancient stupa which is not yet restored.
This rocky hill is covered in ancient caves with drip ledges but most of them has been recently renovated losing all the antiquity. There is one large cave which could house about 400 people. One of the caves which has been converted in to a image house is believed to be the Kurundaka Cave which the Chitta Gupta Maha Thero (who is mentioned in Visuddhi Margaya) lived for 60 years.
There are 4 rock pillars and 10 pillar bases in front of the cave which indicate that this cave has had a roof in front at one time.
The Karambagala Hermitage (Karandulena) can be accessed by travelling 18 kms from Ambalantota on the Ridiyagama Road.
Map of Karambagala Hermitage (Karandulena)
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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Travel Directions to Karambagala Hermitage (Karandulena)
|Route from Ambalantota to Karambagala Hermitage (Karandulena)|
|Distance : 18 km|
Travel time : 30 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map
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