Secrets of the Yatagala Temple
The Yatagala Temple (or Yatagala Rock Cave Temple) is a sacred site wrapped in tranquillity and offers a rewarding insight into the island’s Buddhist heritage. It is believed that this ancient rock temple dates back over 2,000 years and was built during the time King Devanampiya Tissa ruled the Kingdom of Anuradhapura. Built around and within giant boulder-like rock formations – many of which conceal ancient caves that were used by monks for more than 1,500 years, the climb up to this hallowed temple is part of the experience. At the top, you will be treated to scenic views of thriving paddy fields, soaring palm trees and small villages. Inside the Image House of the temple, is a statue of a reclining Buddha, which is 9 meters in length. The vibrant murals within the Image House depict various scenes from the Buddha’s life and the ceiling is adorned with floral motifs from the Kandyan era. The quaint temple lies 4 kilometres inland from the beautiful beach town of Unawatuna and is within easy reach of Fort Bazaar. You are required to cover your knees and shoulders, and access the inner chambers barefoot or with socks. The temple visit can also be combined with a bicycle ride along a scenic paddy field.