Visit to Jungle Monastery – Sithulpawwa
Quiet, calming and spiritual vibe at the “hill of the quiet mind”
Sithulpawwa is an ancient Buddhist monastery, believed to date back to 2nd century BC. The monastery straddles a collection of rocky outcrops and caves deep in the heart of Yala National Park. There are said to be hundreds of caves and shelters within and around the complex, that have housed monks (for centuries) who came to the site to further their education as well as to meditate.
The solitude and serenity of the monastery carry a quiet, calming spiritual vibe and confirms its original name which was “hill of the quiet mind”. It is natural to find yourself mentally travelling back in time to imagine what life was like during the era of Sri Lankan kings 2,200 years ago. A visit late afternoon is best – the light is particularly magical on the forest below and the cool breeze brings with it the chatter of birds readying for the night, giving a gentle reminder of the wild location of this monastery.
Guests are accompanied by one of our rangers. The drive to and from the site also snakes through the National Park and animal sightings (elephant, deer, wild boar, and even leopard on rare occasion) are common.
Sithulpawwa is now becoming more popular with local pilgrims. We advise guests to avoid visit during Buddhist holidays or school holidays when the site is crowded.