Sithulpawwa rock temple is situated deep in Yala National Park with a height of approximately 400 feet, it dates back to 2000BC and derives from the word ‘Chittalapabbata’ which means “the hill of the quiet mind”.
To climb the rock and visit its two temples at the summit, you will need to ascend a steep stairway cut into rock which may be viewed by some as a little arduous to climb. To go up is worth the effort as you will see a Dagoba that is believed to have been built by King Kawantissa who reigned from 205–161BC. Additionally, there are smaller Dagobas within the temple grounds.
The rock temple has a sophisticated cave structure. It is said that some 12,000 monks who attained the highest mind level in Buddhism lived at this Temple. A significant aspect is that in the main cave temple walls you will find paintings that go back to the Anuradhapura period, not many paintings of this era are known to exist.