Dimbulagala - Sri Lanka's great heritage destination off the beaten path
You are looking for a major heritage sites in a scenic natural setting with plenty of diverse cultural attraction, undisturbed by crowds of tourists, in short: for a genuine Sri Lankan dream destination? Then Dimbulugala is the place to visit. Actually, Dimbulagala played an important role in the history of Theravada Buddhism, for Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia alike. Dimbulagala is the highest mountain in the plains of Anuradhapura, it can be seen from many places and is close to the main road (A11) from Polonnaruwa to the East Coast beach resort of Passikudah. Nonetheless, most tourists don’t known, that this mountain is crowded with interesting places and inviting with hiking trails to vantage points. Actually, there are at least four places of interest, not far from each other. Nalum Pokuna at the northern slope is an archaeological site with remnants a typical ancient monastery, a picturebook “ruins in the jungles”. A large monastery inhabited by monks is at the southwestern base of the mountain, including a small museum and footpath to a stupa with perfect panorama’s. Further east is a lonesome cave temple high above the plains and at the southern base of the mountains are remnants of ancient paintings. Actually, you can spend an entire day in Dimbulagala to explore all the places of interest. But a half-day detour from Polonnaruwa or Passikudah is rewarding, too.