Tantirimale is one of Sri Lanka’s destinations which can be highly recommended for those who are interested in visiting some less crowded places of interest. Tantirimale is a pilgrimage site for Budddhist people in the first place. Some independent travellers also know this place, but busloads of foreigners are rare. Due to ist location about 40 km away from Anuradhapura and far away from major tourist routes, Tantirimale is usually not included in standard itineraries of international companies, although it’s an important historical site. The rock-hewn reclining Buddha of Tantirimale is second in size and quality only to the well-known Gal Vihara Buddha in Polonnaruwa. A small seated Buddha carved from the rock surface in Tantirimale is also from the Polonnaruwa period. One amazing feature of Tantirimale is the surviving ancient Bo-tree situated atop a rock. There is a a rare attraction that can be seen only half a kilometre further east, namely prehistoric cave paintings from aboriginal people. All in all, the archaeological site of Tantirimale is a typical ancient monastery of Sri Lanka placed in an enchanting landscape near Wilpattu National Park. The Buddhist temple also known as Thanthirimale Raja Maha Viharaya has a new white stupa and colourful image house and a small museum, too. The site had been inhabited by reclusive monks since the 3rd century BC and was reestablished in the second decade after then Ceylon‘s independence.
Tantirimale is believed to have been the setting of Sri Lanka’s most famous love story, the forbidden romance of Prince Saliya and Ashokamala. Read more about it on our Tantirimale main page...
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka