With an elevation of 766 m above sea level, Ritigala is the highest mountain in the plains of the northern half of Sri Lanka. Parts of the forest, particularly the summit area, are declared a strict nature reserve due to the fact that the vegetation at the higher altitudes is very rare. Ritigala is located to the west of Habarana in the centre of the region now known as Cultural Triangle, which was the heartland of the ancient Sinhalese cibilisation. Ritigala is one of the many heritage destinations in the Cultural Triangle. Excavations of an ancient monastery are found at the eastern food of the mountain. Now a picturebook group of „ruins in the jungle“, Ritigala was once the largest monastic complex of a specific type named after ist characteristic and unique architectural feature, Padhanagara. Padhanagara’s are double-platforms used for meditation by the monks and maybe also for audiences. Padhanagara monasteries are typical of a reform movement within the Buddhist order. This specific group preferring a more austere lifestyle are known as Pansukulikas. Ritigala, in ancient times known as Arittha Pabbata, the dreadful mountain, was the the largest monastery of this Pansukulika brotherhood. Besides lots of Padhanagaras, an Ayurvedic hospital, a large bathing pond and meditation pathes are typical features of this type of monastery, which can be seen in Ritigala. Learn more about Ritigala and its history and the famous Hanuman legend surrounding it here...
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka