Mahiyangane-Dimbulagala-Dalukkane Hwy, Dimbulagala.
|Classification:||Cave Church Painted Cave|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Dimbulagala, Mahiyangane-Dimbulagala-Dalukkane Hwy, Dimbulagala, Tel: +94-272-222-270.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|4th century||Pandukabhaya of Anuradhapura lived here for a short period.|
|12th century||an inscription of Sundaramaha devi says that 500 monks resided here.|
|1950s||restored due to the efforts of Kithalagama Sri Seelalankara Thera, who was the chief incumbent of the Vihara.|
දිඹුලාගල රාජමහා විිහාරය (Dimbulagala Raja Maha Vihara) is a Buddhist hermitage which has been occupied almost continuously since the 3rd century BC. It is located at the foot of the Dimbulagala Mountains, an isolated range of granite hills 5 km long and 2.5 km wide. The hill is 545 m asl high with a dagoba on top, which is called Akasa Chaithya, the highest peak in Polonnaruwa District. The hermitage is the first of 15 cave temples which are located along the trail to the top of the hill. The caves are decorated with Brahmi inscriptions over their drip ledges and contain .
The place was used as a hermitage in the 4th century by Pandukabhaya of Anuradhapura, who lived here for a short period according to legend. During the entire Anuradhapura period it was inhabited by monks. But during the 12th and 13th century it was the most important monastery outside the capital. But after the end of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa this Buddhist monastery was abandoned. The hill right above the hermitage is called Gunners Quoin, a name given by the British during colonial times, when the monastery was abandoned for centuries and in a very poor state. It was restored to the present status in the 1950s due to the efforts of Kithalagama Sri Seelalankara Thera.