Ritigala Sanctuary

Look eastward from Ulagalla and you will see a distant saddle-backed mountain rising above a range of smaller hills. This is Ritigala, another location on top of the list of places to visit Anuradhapura – Ritigala Sanctuary an ancient retreat of Buddhist hermits, where the ruins of a first-century BC monastery lie hidden in the forest. Its height and the local weather patterns create a microclimate difference from that of the surrounding plains, and Ritigala is home to a variety of rare species of plant and animal. Its biodiversity is now strictly protected.

On our half-day Ritigala excursion, you will climb through the orchid-festooned forest to take tea among the remains of ancient stone bathing-pools, bridges and courtyards while monkeys chatter at you from the treetops and forest birds flash their brilliant plumage. Return to Ulagalla after sunset for cocktails and dinner.

  • Time of departure – Best time to go 3pm.
  • Duration – 3 Hours includes 30 minutes by vehicle to and from Ritigala and 2 Hours hiking time.
  • Distance – 30km from Ulagalla and most of the paths at Ritigala are uphill but gently sloping.
  • What is included – Vehicle transport to Ritigala if you do not have your own transport, water bottles, entrance fees to Ritigala, a picnic drink and snack at The Library, fresh juice and cool towel on your return Home.

What to bring/wear – comfortable, cool clothes which are suitable for hiking and a temple visit, a sunhat, gym shoes, your camera.

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