Yala is surrounded by many historical temples including Tissamaharama, Sithulpawwa, Kirinda and Katharagama. Doing a tour to these temples will be very much worth to learn rituals, beliefs and cultural elements of southern Sri Lanka. You will be amazed by some of the architectures and paintings in these historical temples! This shore excursion will lead to you to explore the hidden cultural sites in southern Sri Lanka.
You will be picked up from the passenger pier in Hambantota harbor and then moved to visit Tissamaharama temple.
Arrive Tissamaharama Raja Maha Viharaya. This is one of the major monasteries in Sri Lanka which enshrined the largest stupa in Southern region of the country. It believes that this vihara has been made by Lord Buddha himself with 500 other individuals who reached enlightenment.
When finished exploring the Tissa Vihara, you will be moved to Kirinda.
Leave Kirinda and then you will be moved to Tissamaharama.
Arrive Kirinda and start to explore Kirinda Vihara Maha Devi Temple. Kirinda temple which was built by King Kavantissa is located in a rocky hill top in Southern Sri Lanka. This has been built as a tribute to princess Viharamaha Devi’s bravery. There’s a long story behind this temple and you will be able to listen it while you wandering around it. Concisely, princess Viharamaha Devi has sacrificed her life for her country and she is recognized as one of the heroines of our motherland. The temple provides magnificent views of the sand dunes, the Kirinda fishing harbour and the Indian Ocean.
Once arrived Tissamaharama, have your picnic lunch by a lake enjoying the picturesque views around you.
Following lunch leave to visit Sithulpawwa.
Arrive Sithulpawwa. Sithulpawwa is an ancient Buddhist monastery which dating back to the 2nd century B.C. is located deep within the heart of Yala national park. Frequent leopards; elephants and chatters of birds will give you a gently reminder that you are walking in the wild. The monastery complex holds a cave with paintings over 2000 years old and a temple atop a resident rock that rises above the surrounding wilderness. This temple is also known as “the hill of the quiet mind”, due to its calm spiritual vibe. You are also welcomed to meditate here for a while and sooth your mind.
Leave Sithulpawwa and head to your final stop – Kataragama.
Kataragama is a multi-religious temple complex which is dedicated to God Kataragama. The history of the Kataragama shrines dates back to 2nd century BC. It contains an Islamic Mosque within its Devala complex as well. It is one of the few religious sites in Sri Lanka that is venerated by the Sinhala Buddhists, Hindu Sri Lankan Tamils, Sri Lankan Moors and the Vedda people. God Kataragama furthermore is linked to the Ramayana Trail legend. You will be able to offer a fruit plater for the shrine of God Kataragama at main Devala and get the blessings!
You will be dropped off at the pier, Ship side concluding the tour.