The Rock Temple contains relics from Third Century BC. It was founded by Devanampiyatissa, (the first Buddhist king). Its 13 caves have been inhabited for 2,300 years by monks in quest for Nirvana . The main cave is decorated with images of divine and human features and a giant reclining Buddha.
The decision to start writing Buddha’s teachings commenced in these caves. In 1848 during the Matale rebellion many parts of the Temple were destroyed and the precious manuscripts lost.