If you’re looking for things to do in Tangalle Sri Lanka, a trip to Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara should be on your list.
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara (also known as Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara) is an ancient Buddhist temple and archaeological site. This impressive temple has been built on a 205 m (673 ft) high natural rock, surrounded by another four rocks known as Benagala, Kondagala, Bisogala and Seelawathiegala.
According to the ancient chronicle, the Mulgirigala Vihara was constructed by King Saddhatissa in the third century.
To get to the temple you will climb approximately 400 stairs to the top. Half way up there is a rock cave filled with a large collection of paintings and sculptures belonging to the Kandyan Era. You will also find a number of other architecturally appealing structures along the way.
As you reach the top you will be greeted with a stunning outlook of the surrounding region. We visited at sunset, it was magical.
Don’t get to lost in the moment though, the monkeys at this temple are cheeky so hold onto your things.
Getting to Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
The temple site is located about 2 km (1.2 mi) from the Mulkirigala junction and can be reached from Dikwella, Tangelle or Kalametiya. We visited Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara from Turtle Bay in Kalametiya.
When looking for things to do in Kalemetiya, this was a perfect option. The bike ride took 40 minutes one way and led us past local farms and wildlife. The ride in itself was enjoyable.
The cost of visiting Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
Entry to Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara is 500 Rupees ($3 USD) per person. You will see several additional donation boxes as you enter the temple and can donate extra if you wish.
We parked at the entrance and were charged 30 Rupees for parking. If you get a driver or tuk-tuk you won’t have to pay a parking fee.
As you arrive you will see markets that you can purchase local goods from. Why not support the locals and buy something little.
Photos from Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
Others things to do in Tangalle
Visit the blowhole
A popular tourist attraction approximately 15 minutes South of Tangalle. On the day we visited the swell wasn’t big enough to make the blowhole work, but I can see that it would be impressive if the conditions were right.
Explore Kalametiya and Kahandamodara beach
Kahandamodara beach is a long stretch of essentially untouched coastline, located in the Kalametiya Region. We stayed at Turtle Bay is Kalametiya and spent the afternoon walking along the beach with not a person in site.
Kalametiya bird sanctuary
Spanning across 2,500 acres of lagoons and water clogged swamps, the Kalametiya bird sanctuary is home to a diversity of bird species and other wildlife such as crocodiles and monkeys.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Whales and dolphins migrate past the coast of Sri Lanka. From Tangalle you can arrange whale and dolphin watching tours.
Boating and fishing trips
Boating and fishing tours are a popular pass time in Tangalle. If you want to experience Sri Lankan fishing culture at it’s best, this is the place for it.
Day trip to Yala, Uduwalawe or Bundala National Park
All three national parks are unique. Yala is most popular and is well known for leopard sighting. Uduwalawe is best known for elephant sightings. Bundala is the least popular national park and is known for birds, monkeys and crocodiles. All are a day trip from Tangalle.
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Disclosure: This post on things to do in Tangalle – Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara contains affiliate links.