Ritigala is an ancient Buddhist monastery and mountain in Sri Lanka. Ruins and rock inscriptions of the monastery Dates back to the 1st century. Km from Anuradhapura It is located at a distance of 43 miles (27 miles) .The Ritigala Range consists of four peaks, to the south of it the main and highest mountain is known as Rithigala. The Ritigala Range, a 1,528 hectare (3,780 acre) reserve in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka, is managed by the Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka and the Forest Department. Ritigala is 766 meters (2,513 feet) above sea level and 600 meters (2,000 feet) above the surrounding plains. Its elevation is higher than the other major tourist attractions of the North Central Plain, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Mihintale. During the northeast monsoon season (December to February), Ritigala experiences the highest rainfall (125 cm) in the entire dry zone.
Legends about Rithigala abound.The belief in the powerful flora surrounding the logo is an intriguing feature. It is believed that herbs called “sansavi” can prolong life and cure all human suffering. According to legend, all the vegetation in Ritigala is protected by Yakkas, the protective spirits of the mountains.
The ruins of the Rithigala monastery are located at the foot of the park on the eastern side of the hill, which separates the main hill from the northern peak. The ruins cover an area of 24 hectares (59 acres). The site of the monastery begins at the office of the Department of Archeology, Sri Lanka’s Archaeological Department, near the foot of the Banda Pokuna reservoir. The ancient man-made reservoir is a multidisciplinary engineering structure with a circumference of 366 meters. The construction of the reservoir has been attributed to King Pandukabhaya (437-367 BC). Prior to entering the monastery, the bathing of the reservoir served as a ritual bath, with guests bathing in it.There are stone double platforms in Rithigala, Saadagara and other forests, in Arankale in Anuradhapura, Veherabandigala and in Western monasteries. There are about fifty such double platforms spread over 49 hectares (120 acres). There are a pair of platforms that hold the walls of massive stones. The main axis of the combined platforms is set exactly to the east and west. Structures are then often roofed and divided into rooms. These are believed to be used for solitary practice such as meditation, as well as for teaching and ceremonies. Above the stone bridge lies the ruins of an ash and a church hospital, and her aromatic foliage and original mills and large stone-cut Ayurvedic oil baths are still visible. The pavement goes straight ahead to reach one of the roundabouts. 20 meters (66 feet) before turning round, turn right, look at the roots of a giant tree, and climb a rock over an erupting stream. Going further is another look. An artificial waterfall can be found by placing a stone slab between two stones. Another 500 meters (1,600 feet) and two submerged courtyards can be seen. The first courtyard contains a large double platform structure and is one of the largest monuments in the entire monastery. One platform protects the ruins of towers supporting a building. Just a few meters away there is a second courtyard and another large double platform. Ritigala has no traditional icons of Buddhist temples, except for a few stone Buddha statues, which are broken in several caves: there is no Bo tree, no stupas.
One needs prior permission from the Forest Department to enter a strict nature reserve. , One can take a look at this wonderful and mysterious intense nature reserve that cannot be found elsewhere on the island.
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