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  • Caving Sri Lanka

Exploring the unknown depths of Sri Lanka
Come and discover the most fascinating caves of Sri Lanka  

The impressive range of caves makes Sri Lanka an excellent location for caving. This fascinating activity is relatively new to Sri Lanka, but it really is an experience not to be missed. With some of Sri Lanka's caves dating back approximately 500 million years, this is an adventure into the prehistoric!

Known to the experts as ‘speleology', caving involves the exploration, surveying, mapping and photographing. Eco Team provides local experienced guides and all the necessary gear for caving (such as raincoats, head torches, helmets, ropes etc.) making the activity accessible to amateurs and experts alike.

Andirilena Caves, Udagama

Situated about 4km from Udagama (25km from Belihuloya towards Colombo on the Balangoda – Colombo road), the entrance to the Andirilena Caves is only about 4ft high, but inside the space is huge. The main cave divides into two, giving rise to several smaller caves on the way and joining together after about 500 meters.

Batatotalena Cave, Sudagala

Batatotalena Cave is situated at Sudagala, about 5 km away from Kuruwita (85km from Colombo on the Colombo – Badulla road). In order to reach it, you will need to walk about 400m from Sudagala to the base and then climb a further 50m to enter. It measures about 50ft in height, 60ft in width and 80ft in length. As an extra point of interest, about 30m from Batatotalena itself, there is an underground cave, partly submerged in a stream. To reach this, you will need to swim about 20m!

In the Buddhist literature, it is suggested that this cave is the sacred ‘Diva Guhawa’ where the Lord Buddha rested on his way back from Sri Pada. The archaeological findings have proved that Batatotalena dates back over 25,000 years and has been used as a dwelling place during many historical eras. For example, various skeletal remains, ancient paintings, a Buddhist shrine room and a ‘Devalaya’ belonging to the Kandyan era have been excavated, whilst findings of ceramic tile and glass particles prove that it was also used as a dwelling during the Dutch era. Even at present, a Buddhist priest resides here.

Batadombalena Cave, Kuruwita

Batadombalena Cave is roughly the same size as the nearby Batatotalena Cave and it is of great historic importance due to archaeological findings such as the skeletal remains of the prehistoric ‘Balangoda Man’ and various land and freshwater shells, dating back to over 28,000 BC.

To reach the cave you will need to travel to ‘Eknelingoda Walauwa’, situated 3km from Eratna along the Kuruwita – Eratna road. From there, you will continue 2km to the end of the road and walk about 1km up the hill.

Belilena Cave, Kitulgala

Belilena is a very large cave, in which the 12,000-year-old skeletal remains of the prehistoric ‘Balangoda man’ (Homesepiens Balangodensis) have been found. In order to reach the cave, you have to walk through the jungle, close to the Inoya estate (approx. 8 km from Kitulgala itself).

Pannila Calcarious Cave, Rakwana

The Pannila Calcarious Cave consists of two main caves situated about 400m from a 15m high waterfall. A stream flows through the first cave and, after about 300m, you will enter in series of smaller caves leading to the second main cave (500m in length). In these caves are stalactites and stalagmites estimated about 100 million years old. Visitors will see also a wide variety of amphibians, reptiles, fishes, butterflies, birds, and bats.

Waulpane Cave, Pallebeda

The Waulpane Cave (aka 'Cave of Bats') is renowned for its many beautiful stalactites and stalagmites (approx. 500 million years old) as well as the hundreds of thousands of bats that live there! It is an isolated cavern set against the eastern slopes of the Rakwana mountain range, located about a 1 ½ hr drive from Pallebedda. Once entering the cave, you descend approx. 300 meters underground to discover this prehistoric world of ancient fossils in the cavern walls, a stream that runs through the cave and a beautiful waterfall located in the center. As well as the many bats, watch out for the water monitors, various amphibians, and fascinating luminous fish!

Sthripura Cave, Welimada

The Sthripura Cave consists of a series of three caves, located at Kiriwanagama about 16 km from Welimada (55 Km from Belihuloya). According to the legend, King Rawana of Sri Lanka used these caves to hide the beautiful princess Sita, whom he abducted after defeating her husband, Prince Rama of India.

Bogoda Cave, Jangulla

The legend has it that the Sri Lankan King Walagamba used the Bogoda Cave as one of his many hide-outs from the invading South Indians. It is considered to be part of a complex ‘tunnel network’ of other hide-outs such as the Narangala Mountain Cave, Dowa Rock Temple in Bandarawela and Rawana Ella Cave in Ella. However, at present, the cave only leads about 15m into the tunnel through a narrow passage.

Rawana Ella Cave, Ella

The Rawana Ella Cave is located about 2 km from the picturesque town of Ella. It is quite a small cave, measuring about 50ft wide, 150ft long and 60ft high. However, once inside one can find several others that run 20 to 40 ft deep into its walls. Like the Sthripura Cave in Welimada, legend has it that it was used by King Rawana to hide the Princess Sita. It is also thought to be connected to the cave at the Dowa rock temple in Bandarawela (part of King Walagamba's famous 'tunnel network'). Archaeological findings include a human skull dating back to 20,000 BC.



 

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