How did I get to this place? Oh well, that is a coincidence. On my way from Haputale down to the South, I stopped to see Diyaluma Falls. But as the evening was approaching, I knew I couldn’t make it, and I should find a place to sleep.
On the way from the waterfalls, a car with one lovely family stopped to ask me if I wanted to take a ride. I was glad for the opportunity because I just missed a bus. Actually, it was for the first time I turned to take a ride in a car at Sri Lanka. Nice and slow we appeared in the nearest town — Wellaway, so I was dropped there. According to Booking, I quickly found some accommodation.
Interesting places around Wellawaya
The next morning I wanted to continue on my way to the South. Based on my curiosity was searching on the internet, what is happening to be around. I found some notes about Buduruwagala an ancient place.
TukTuk to get there
The original plan was to take a bus that would drop me closer, and the rest a few km will be walking. I had quite a punch on people at the Wellawaya bus station. A flock of TukTuk drivers tried to convinced that I must take a TukTuk. “It is far away. It is dangerous there, and no one is walking through the reservoir”. I was honestly a little bit pissed by the way how they talked to me. I stubbornly went away, however, decided to take a TukTuk instead of walking.
I paid 1000 Rps from the Bus station to Buduruwagala and back. The guys wanted much more; moreover, I still believe could pay less.
Rough and narrow road
Buduruwagala can be reached from Wellawaya. The last 4 km are located on the dirt track, a set of lakes, home to peacocks and herons. It is likely to reach any kind of vehicles. Be aware, the road is narrow and tricky to avoid other a bit bigger car. It is on the main highway Colombo-Galle-Hambantota-Wellawaya.
Here is the Map.
At the end of the ride, I saw on my left side a large gate which can be misunderstood as the entrance; however, it is not. Continue, straight ahead to reach the small area for parking where the original entry is.
I was there completely alone. No one was there at all. Can you imagine such a spiritual, more than a thousand years old ancient place has for my own private moments? Splendid.
… Just one living soul was welcoming me. As I stepped into the area, I was greeted by a local guard dog, such a happy dog full of energy I have not seen anywhere on the island. He jumped around me and wanted to play. The whole quiet and private atmosphere was hacked by a dog 😀
Rock with Buddha statues. Do not expect any golding, paintings or other decorations. This place breathes history and simplicity. I felt tiny with massive respect for the work which was done. The hidden and quiet place was making me goosebumps.
The quality of the carvings is imposing.
In the middle, the largest of the standing Buddha statues is 16 m from the head to toe; is the most giant standing Buddha statue of the island. Close up of the right foot of the Buddha is in the shape of an oil lamp flame; mustard smelling oil is said to flow through periodically.
On the left-hand side of rock stand a group of three figures. The central one, which preserves it is white paint, is one of the most essential Mahayana gods, Avalokaitesvara. To the left stands the servant, while the female figure to the right posture is Tara, his companion.
On the right is the Tibetan Bodhisattva Vajrapani. The central figure is Maitreya or Natha, the future Buddha, while the third figure is the god Vishnu.
- Individual entrance 353 Rps.
- To hire a guide + 500 Rps.
- There are not many shops around, so I suggest you bring snacks and water with you.
- Before entering the area where there are rock sculptures, there is a parking place for which you do not pay.
- Be careful how much to pay for a tuk-tuk to get there.
- To walk up the few steps, you must remove your shoes.