Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple, Matale

4.3
Explore the 13 caves of Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple to find important relics of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist history. Tucked between hills, the temple was founded by third century BCE King Devanampiya Tissa after he introduced the religion to his people. The main building displays the original Pali Canon (sutras), which monks still copy using traditional methods on "ola" (palm) leaves and offer for purchase. Other caves exhibit relics, such as a reclining Buddha, paintings of the Himalayan mountains and the four great rivers, or depictions of sinners being punished in hell. You need a priest's permission to take photographs, but can store your shoes for free at the entrance. For Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple and beyond, use our Matale day trip planner to get the most from your Matale vacation.
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Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple Reviews
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  • September 8, 2017
    It is located near the city of Matale. The complex consists of a series of caves, already inhabited by monks in century I, and a building that houses the remains of the Pali Canon, Buddhist, collected texts on Palm by oral tradition and carefully preserved in glass cases. The old library was completely destroyed during a revolt of 1848. Steps do not lead to the entrance to the caves. Right a bas relief elephants decorate the wall and they really rock some niches for the candles and left the caves. The first cave houses an image of reclining Buddha, ten meters in length. Both the walls and ceilings are covered with colorful paintings and Buddha images. At the entrance of another cave with a statue of a reclining Buddha there are frightening descriptions of the hellish afterlife waiting for people who commit sins. Right you can see some contemporary representations of figures suffering from different types of torture, made in cardboard and painted amateurish form and all very cumbersome. Other stairs that take you to the top of a mountain where stands a dagoba along with its corresponding "tree of Buddha" colored with numerous flags of colors are defined below. From the here, you have wonderful views of the brimming with mountains of vegetation, which highlights a large Golden Buddha. Down it goes through a room of the monastery where a monk taught how were writing on palm leaves and the writings that were saved from the fire in the revolt are seen in showcases.
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  • August 21, 2017
    A must visit as part of SL ruins\historical sites. The hike to the caves is not too difficult. As with all places, early morning climb is recommended as it gets hotter after 10 AM. Carry your own food...  more »
  • August 18, 2017
    Aluvihara seems a bit off the beaten path: it seems hurried travellers do not, and that's good because that makes the charm of the place. A small secret shrine hidden in the rocks, far away from the hordes of tourists from Dambulla.
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  • June 13, 2017
    Beautiful place to visit in Matale. The place is very much historically important. The place where the 'Thripitaka'(book containg all the Buddhist teachings) was put onto ink and paper. Please visit the place with decent light coloured clothes. There is ample amount of parking slots. Flowers can be bought at the parking area.
  • June 6, 2017
    A beautiful archeological site that has been pretty badly maintained. The temple is built within sheer rock faces and provided wonderful views from the top of the surrounding countryside. Sadly it is in a state of disrepair as it has been very poorly maintained. Aluvihare is the historical site where the teachings of Lord Buddha were first written down by monks.
  • June 20, 2017
    Very clam and beautiful temple. You can see interesting surrounding
  • April 5, 2017
    It was a good experience to climb to top. I have visited Buddhist temples before but this felt very unique. As a photographer and a nature lover i did enjoy every bit of it.
  • May 9, 2017
    Nice temple. Beautiful views from the top. Painting are a must see.

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Where to stay in Matale

You'll find some fairly standard guesthouses and small hotels in Matale's main urban area, never straying very far from the station and the parks of the city center. Alternatively, explore out of town to the north, east, or south for a host of other more characterful accommodations that show off the fruits of the area, including campgrounds, ecolodges, and farmstays. For a much greater choice of places to stay, look in Kandy, one hour to the south.
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