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KALUDIYA POKUNA

Kaludiya Pokuna is a forest with archaeological remains in Kandalama, closer to Kumbukkandanwala, which is about 8 km away from Sigiriya. Situated in a jungle area, this site had been named as Dakkhinagiri Vihara in an inscription of the ninth century. According to Mahavamsa it has been built by King Saddhatissa (137-139 BC.). It was developed by King Aggabodhi and a Chapter House has been constructed by him.

It is a beautiful place which is ideal for a nature trek and to see ancient ruins which lie inside the forest. You can take your vehicle to the edge of the forest and then continue your journey on foot, following footpaths.

The forest is home to many endemic and non-endemic species of flora and fauna, and as you move deeper into the forest, you can feel a strange calmness. This site will immensely excite birdwatchers with about 120 species of birds. Out of 33 endemic species, 80% of endemic birds are found in Kaludiya Pokuna. Both types of monitor lizards - Bengal monitor and water monitor, can be seen in Kaludiya Pokuna. Butterflies and moths are also frequent in Kaludiya Pokuna. Those who love peace and tranquillity will be thrilled entering this calm place.

You will also see a 1200-year-old dagaba, along with a collection of strange, striking rocks extending out of the earth, and there is a cave nearby which carries an inscription of medieval text, thought to have been written to mark the presence of treasure.

Several inscriptions, some caves with inscriptions under the drip-ledges, a dagoba, pillars, a residence of monks, remains of a monastery can be seen in the site. This vihara is named after the Kaludiya Pokuna or the pond with blackish water found in the vicinity.

Although located near well-known Dambulla hotels, Kaludiya Pokuna is still not crowded with tourists hence a very charming place. If you are looking for an impact of the ancient Sinhalese civilization you should not miss Kaludiya Pokuna.