Ancient Marvels of Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya in Gampaha


Welcome to the mystical realm of Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya, a hidden gem nestled in the captivating district of Gampaha, Sri Lanka. With its rich historical significance, breathtaking natural beauty, and a plethora of authentic experiences, this monastic cave complex invites you on a journey of discovery and enlightenment.

In this article, we will delve into the attractions and landmarks, cultural and historical significance, authentic experiences, local cuisine, shopping, and nearby accommodations, ensuring you have all the information needed for an unforgettable visit to Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya.

Attractions and Landmarks

Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya boasts a fascinating array of attractions and landmarks. As you explore this ancient temple, you’ll encounter various caves that once provided a sanctuary for meditating monks. The Vihara Lena, or the cave shrine, and the Chaithya Lena, with its stupa, stand as testaments to the temple’s historical and religious importance. Notably, archaeologists believe that these caves were initially constructed to accommodate meditating monks and were later repurposed into sacred spaces.

Cultural and Historical Significance

This monastic cave complex holds immense cultural and historical significance for Sri Lanka. It is believed to date back to ancient times, serving as a refuge and sanctuary for Buddhist monks. The temple’s architectural elements showcase a fusion of different eras, with unique features such as Portuguese soldier drawings guarding the image house’s entrance. These artistic details offer insights into the shifting powers and periods of renovation that have shaped the temple’s history.

Authentic Experiences

Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya offers a wide range of authentic experiences for visitors. Engage in cave tourism, where you can explore the intricate chambers and learn about the monks’ way of life. Embark on a hiking and camping adventure amidst the lush surroundings, immersing yourself in the tranquility of nature. For nature enthusiasts and photographers, the temple’s serene ambiance and breathtaking vistas provide ample opportunities for capturing awe-inspiring moments. Additionally, you can partake in meditation sessions to find inner peace within this spiritual haven.

Natural Beauty

Surrounded by the picturesque landscapes of Gampaha, Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya showcases the natural beauty of Sri Lanka. The tranquil ambiance, verdant vegetation, and soothing sounds of nature create an enchanting atmosphere for visitors. Take a moment to admire the elaborate lotus flower decorations adorning the rock cave ceiling, which are typical of Kandyan art style. The blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage makes this destination a paradise for those seeking serenity and inspiration.

Adventure and Recreation

If you seek adventure and recreation, Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya won’t disappoint. The temple’s surrounding areas offer opportunities for hiking, where you can trek through scenic trails and soak in the splendor of the region’s natural wonders. Additionally, camping enthusiasts will find solace in the peaceful surroundings, as they spend the night under the starry sky, surrounded by the sounds of nature. These activities provide a chance to connect with the environment and create lasting memories.

Relaxation and Leisure

For those looking to unwind and embrace relaxation, Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya offers a serene setting for rejuvenation. The tranquility of the temple, combined with its natural surroundings, provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether you choose to meditate, practice yoga, or simply soak in the peaceful ambiance, this destination promises a truly revitalizing experience.

Local Cuisine and Dining

Exploring the local cuisine is an essential part of any travel experience, and Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya doesn’t disappoint. Gampaha and its surrounding areas are known for their delectable culinary offerings. Indulge in authentic Sri Lankan dishes bursting with flavors, such as rice and curry, hoppers, and string hoppers. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor traditional sweets like kokis and kavum, which will undoubtedly satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving more.

Shopping and Souvenirs

Complete your pilgrimage to Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya by exploring the local markets and shops. Gampaha is home to vibrant marketplaces where you can find a variety of souvenirs, including handcrafted items, traditional clothing, and intricately designed jewelry. Take a piece of Sri Lanka’s rich culture and heritage back home with you, allowing these mementos to serve as reminders of your extraordinary journey.

Hospitality and Service

While visiting Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya, you can expect warm hospitality and exceptional service from the locals. Sri Lankans are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, ensuring that you feel comfortable and well-cared for throughout your stay. The locals are always ready to share their stories, offer guidance, and make your visit an unforgettable experience.

Safety and Security

Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya and its surrounding areas prioritize the safety and security of visitors. The temple authorities and local authorities work together to ensure a safe environment for all. However, it’s always recommended to practice general safety precautions, such as keeping your belongings secure and staying aware of your surroundings.

Best Time to Visit and Weather

The best time to visit Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya is during the dry season, which typically spans from December to March. During this time, the weather is pleasant, with sunny days and lower chances of rainfall. It is advisable to check the weather forecast before planning your visit to ensure optimal conditions for exploring the temple and its surroundings.

Best Hotels in the Nearby Area

For your convenience, here are a few recommended hotels near Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya:

  • Ranathisara Hotel: Located at 51, Kandy Road, Nittambuwa, this hotel offers comfortable accommodations and convenient access to the temple. Contact: 033 – 2287309.
  • Apsara Resort: Situated on Kandy Road, Malwatta, Nittambuwa, this resort provides a tranquil retreat for weary travelers. Contact: 033-2292564.
  • Hotel Rosilu: Found at 60/5/A, Kandy Road, Thihariya, Kalagedihena, this hotel offers modern amenities and a relaxing atmosphere. Contact: 033-2295606.
  • Silver Ring Village Hotel: Located at 52/1, Kidagammulla, Gampaha, this hotel provides comfortable accommodations and easy access to the temple. Contact: 033-2224534 (website:
  • Oasis Green Garden: Situated in Udugampolawatta, Pahalagama, Gampaha, this hotel offers a peaceful environment surrounded by nature. Contact: 033-2224055.
  • Momento Guest House: Found at 24, Vijaya Road, Gampaha, this guest house provides cozy accommodations with a touch of local charm. Contact: 033-2222543.


Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya in Gampaha is a captivating destination that combines historical significance, natural beauty, and authentic experiences. As you explore the monastic cave complex, you’ll be immersed in the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a spiritual retreat, this hidden gem has something to offer every traveler.

Plan your visit to Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya and embark on a journey of discovery and enlightenment that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

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