Ritigala Kanda (mountain) beauty and folklore? - Beautiful places in sri lanka by Dasun Lanka website


08 September 2021

Ritigala Kanda (mountain) beauty and folklore?

Ritigala Kanda (Mount Ritigala)

Ritigala Kanda (Mount Ritigala) is located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, close to Anuradhapura. Ritigala is located on the border of Palugaswewa Divisional Secretariat and Kekirawa Divisional Secretariat. On the Habarana-Anuradhapura road, right between Galapitigala and Ganewalpola, Ritigala is a beautiful area of ​​about 7200 acres covered with beautiful forests.


Ritigala path

This mountain has attracted the attention of even foreigners. The Ritigala range consists of seven peaks. Those are the mountains.

  1. Drug Mountain
  2. Kodigala mountain
  3. Fever mountain
  4. Adiya Kanda
  5. Fruit Mountain
  6. Amarapathi Kanda
  7. Ulpathkanda etc.

At 600 m (2000 ft), Ritigala is the highest point in the dry zone. This forest park is located around 14 villages such as Kiriya Gaswewa, Kalu Ebe, Moragoda, Mooriya, Kadawala, Bamunugama, Ulpatha, Heenukkiriyawa and Galapitigala.

Ritigala still has 74 dripstone caves, 152 inscriptions in Brahmin script, a large pond with ruins of various buildings of archaeological value and a stone path. Located in the shade of large trees, these ruins take us back in time.

Ritigala, a monastery complex of unique value for about 1500 years, gradually fell into disrepair with the Chola invasion in the 11th century. Mount Ritigala, which became a habitat for wildlife due to deforestation, is now covered with forest. Historians are of the opinion that Ritigala is referred to as "Aritta Pabbata" in the Mahavamsa. The importance of Ritigala as a quiet forest area suitable for meditative monks can be seen in its ruins.

Ritigala still has 74 drip stone caves, 152 inscriptions in Brahman script, a large pond with the ruins of 140 buildings of archeological value and a stone path. Located in the shade of large trees, these ruins take us back in time.


Introduced as Ritigala

    It is clear from the history that there are a number of reasons why this is called Ritigala. There are also folk tales for this.

It is generally believed that 'Aritta Pabbata' in Pali is derived from 'Arishta Parvatha' in Sanskrit. 'Riti' is a Pali word derived from 'Aritta' meaning 'protection'. Accordingly, Ritigala is a defensive rock. This place is mentioned as 'Aritta Pabbata' in the Mahavamsa.

    There is another opinion that this rock is called Ritigala due to the type of tree called 'Riti' found in Ritigala.

    It is also believed that the Ritigala plain got its name from a rock that rises like an isolated ridge.

    Whatever the true meaning of the name 'Riti' in Ritigala, it is clear from linguistic and historical evidence that the word is an ancient word in the Sinhala language. 

There are three protected reserves in Sri Lanka and the Ritigala Reserve is one of them. This is a very special place among the dry mixed evergreen forests found in the dry zone. It is a unique feature to see all the species of flora and fauna in the dry zone. Due to the special climate change, the wet zone plants found in the lowland wet zone can also be seen growing here. 

A resting place in Ritigala


Considered a pioneer of archeological excavations in Sri Lanka, HCP Bell was the first archaeologist to focus on Ritigala. His tasks were to explore the entire Ritigala mountain and identify the caves and inscriptions found there and the ruins. When Bell wrote in 1893, including all the archaeological information and plans and drawings.

    "Ritigala kanda", sessional paper xxx viii Annual report -1893

    Archaeological survey of ceylon & plans and platesfor Annual Report-1893,

    The Ancient Ruins of Ritigala reports are very useful sources in the study of Ritigala.

According to an inscription found by Mr. HCP Bell, 119-109 It is mentioned that Lajjitissa Ritigala, the eldest son of King Saddhatissa built a temple. It is also mentioned in another inscription that King Walagamba made a paddy field near Ritigala and offered it to the Bhikku Sasana.

Ritigala, which dates back to about 2434 years (437 BC), was a battle center of Prince Pandukabhaya even before Anuradhapura, the first kingdom in the history of the country. This camp was the center of his struggle with his uncles. It is also said that on the previous journey of Prince Vijaya from Thammennawa, the road had fallen near Ritigala.

According to the Mahavamsa, King Sena I in 833-835 BC built a monastery here for the earthen monks.



Ritigala Biodiversity

In 1935, P. who conducted a study of plants here. D. R. Mr. Jayuriya discovered 27 species of orchids. At present there are 418 plant species found in this mountain range. The number of flowering plant species is 338. Of these, 113 are endemic to the wetlands. A 2008 study found that 97 species of birds live here. Many mammal species including elephants, bears, deer and leopards live here.

In the lower part of the mountain (ground site) there are dry mixed evergreen forest features. Plants found in this area can be found in the dry zone such as Mora, Halmilla, Kaluwara, Weera, Palu and Na. 

In the central region of the mountain range are the features of wet zone forests. Plants such as Atamba, Kududawula, Omara, Kenda and Na are common in this area.

The nature of the subtropical forests can be seen at the top of the hill. Plants such as Nelu, Binara, Kekuna and Dum are grown here.

Several species of plants endemic to Ritigala have also been found. Among them are Ritigala Thambajiya, Gal Kappara Valliya and Ritigala Mee.

In addition, rare medicinal plants such as Iraja, Sandaraja, Vanaraja, Nagamaru Ala, Vellangiriya, Bim Kohomba and Jata Makuta are common here.



Legend has it that part of the medicine rock that Hanuman had brought from India to treat Rama who was wounded in the Rama-Ravana war had fallen on Ritigala. It is said that rare medicinal plants such as Iraja, Sandaraja, Bing Kohomba are found in this forest all over Ritigala today.

Being a protected forest

Ritigala was designated a Strict Reserve in 1942, with a special focus on the conservation of its flora and fauna. Archaeological conservation of Ritigala resumed around 1960 under the leadership of Dr. Raja de Silva.


    It has a climate close to the wet zone climate pattern. There are delicate springs that flow continuously throughout the year.

    Historic ruins are important as a city.

    Botany is scientifically important.

There are many species of plants in this forest. This forest is made up of various fruits such as Palu, Weera, Mora, Pineapple, Lime, Orange and very rare flowers such as Asoka. It is home to a variety of butterflies as well as four-limbed animals such as elephants, tigers, bears, deer, deer, pythons, snakes, snakes and reptiles.

The importance of Ritigala in modern times is due to its Brahmi inscriptions. The Ritigala inscriptions are of second importance to the cave inscriptions found at Mihintale and Vessagiriya. The value of this place became even more important as the attention of scholars such as Senarath Paranavithana, a pioneer in the study of inscriptions in the country, was drawn to Ritigala. 

With the commencement of the Cultural Triangle in 1980, the importance of Ritigala as an ancient site resurfaced and excavations and conservation work is being carried out under the Archaeological Department.

Ritigala path


Image Source 



No comments:

Post a Comment