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Dhowa Rock Temple, Ella Overview

The Dhowa temple is located in the beautiful Uva province and is a popular tourist attraction. The Dhova rock temple is almost 2000 years old and was used as a sanctuary for King Walagamba. The king later converted the cave into a temple.

The Dhowa rock temple is famous for its rock paintings and sculptures which are on the walls of the cave. It is said that King Walagamba himself had a great passion for art and has done most of the rock paintings himself. The Dhowa rock temple opens with a beautiful gateway which greets the devotees and the tourists. Another striking feature of the temple is the stunning 38 feet tall Buddha sculpture on the rock, which is an excellent example of the Mahayana style of Buddhist statues.

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Things to See at Dhowa Rock Temple

As one enters the premises of the Dhowa rock temple, expect to be greeted by a beautiful ornamental gateway which is one of the distinguishing features of the attraction. On entering the gate, one will find an impressive stupa which is constructed near the sacred Bo tree. After crossing the sacred Bo tree one will find Gal Viharageya, which is an image house with an average height of almost twelve feet. A pond nearby is sure to provide a soothing effect to every visitor.

Behind the beautiful stupa is the Ravana cave which is said to have been guarded by a Clay King Cobra. The exciting part of this cave is the eleven km long tunnel which is supposed to connect to the Ravana Maha Vijaraya at Ella and the Bogoda Raja Maha Viharaya. However, today this tunnel has been sealed, and it is no longer accessible due to vandalism by the treasure hunters. Legend also says that King Walagamba escaped from the Dhowa rock temple with the help of these tunnels.

History of Dhowa Rock Temple

The archaeological remains are testimonies to the fact that the history of the Dhowa rock temple is almost 2000 years old, which makes it the era before the birth of Jesus Christ. The original name of the temple was Kumbaltissa Ariyagala Vehera which was named after the priest who provided shelter and refuge to the King Walagamba.

King Walagamba turned the cave into a temple, and he stayed there for many years to protect himself from the foreign invasion. During his stay, King Walagamba made paintings in the caves which are visible even today. These paintings depict the Kandyan Kingdom, which was the last kingdom in Sri Lanka before the colonization procedure took place in 1815. There is also a sculpture of Gautama Buddha in the cave which is incomplete since it is believed that the King left the caves of the Dhowa rock temple before he could complete his work.

How To Reach Dhowa Rock Temple

The Dhowa rock temple is in Ella in the Uva province, and you can easily access it through the Bandarawela-Ella road. You will also find parking inside the temple premises.

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