Costs

Half day : $50

Full day : $100

Sithulpawa

This temple has one of the most atmospheric settings in Sri Lanka, deep in the jungle and within the boundaries of Yala National Park.

When you take the 45-minute drive from Tissa to the temple, it is common to see nearly all the animals that roam within the park including elephants, leopards, monkeys and wild boar.

The temple itself is over 2,000 years old. It was once a great centre of Buddhist learning and its caves inhabited by 12,000 monks (or arahants), who had achieved enlightenment. There are a number of stupas including one at the top of a small hill, which has views for miles out over Yala and the sea beyond.

This temple was also built by King Kawantissa to celebrate the birth of his son Dutugamunu. For many years he and his wife had been unable to conceive.

One day the queen tended to a sick monk who died as she returned home. However, it is said that he lived on in her womb and today Sri Lankan couples will often visit the temple in the hope that they too will conceive.

We advise you take this tour in the afternoon leaving your hotel, or guesthouse around 3pm. You will return around 6.30pm.