Samangala forest hermitage – a monastery in ruins


Once a forest hermitage established by the King Sadatissa in the first century BC, Samangala forest hermitage lies in ruins today. The ruin scattered mountain top is a six hundred feet climb from the access road, amidst a thick jungle infested with elephants and leopards.

The climb is neither comfortable nor steady and falls through a rushing stream but falls through the ruins of ancient stupa, meditation halls, assembly halls and shrines. The drip ledged caves found on the eastern slope are believed to be the abodes of the meditating monks, who once graced the hermitage and the Brahmin inscriptions inside each cave details the donator, the period of construction and donation.

Drawings on the walls of a larger cave by a Vedda community at a later period suggest that the caves were later used as dwellings by these forest dwellers after the decline of the hermitage.

The attempts are been made to re-establish the hermitage as a forest monastery after the dawn of the peace, although archaeological investigation in to the site is yet to be initiated. 

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