Hatthikucchi monastery, (near) Galgamuwa, North Western Province, SL

Raw data

" Buddhaghosa mentions Hatthikucchi as one of the most famous monasteries in Sri Lanka along with Mihintale, Situlpava and Dakkhinagiri. […] Up here is also the famous Cave of the Overhanging Rock. According to Buddhaghosa this cave is one of the best meditation caves in Sri Lanka. […] If you walk into the forests around Hatthikucchi you will find more ruins and numerous caves used by monks in ancient times".

"The ruins and the stone inscriptions at the site dates from the 3rd century BC and to about 10 th century indicating that this complex was born at the same time Buddhism was brought to the country by Mahinda Maha Thero. The main buildings which has been identified are a Vatadage (a stupa house), an image house, a pohoya house, some stupas, an alms hall, a semicircular building, an image house restored during the Kandy period, ponds, meditation chambers used at the very early stages of Buddhism, many of stone inscriptions and many cave dwellings used by meditating bikkus. The whole complex covers a area of over 300 acres. Although the stupa in the vatadage is in a dilapidated state the remains of the vatadage can still be seen including two impressive stone doorways. Between the vatadage and the steps to the rock there is a pathway to the right in to the jungle. By walking about 150 metres through the path you will come to a area where are remains of mediation chambers made out of 3 slabs of rock. These are said have been used at the early stages of the Buddhism.

Until recently the location where Sirisangabo [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatthikuchchi‎] gave his own head was thought to be Attanaglla Temple in Gampaha District but now most accept that this place is the Hatthikucchi. This area was called the Rajangana Ruins until 1979 until the Department of Archaeology put up a board identifying this place as Hattikucchi. The reason for this name is supposed to be a inscription of the word “Atti-Kucch” on a rock. It is believed this area was called Attanagalla at some time in the history as some inscriptions in this area refer to a place called “Athara Galla”. Considering all the evidence and the location, now it is believed that the Attanagalla referred to in historical documents is actually the Hattikucchi as it is called now".
Input by: GitaG, May 26, 2013

“How To Get there
Hatthikucchi is just off the main Kurunagala – Anuradhapura road, some 26 km north of Galgamuva” - http://www.buddhanet.net/sacred-island/hatthikucchi.html

“Hatthikuchchi Viharaya is situated on the northern border of the North Western Province (Wayamba), Sri Lanka 3.5 km away from the Mahagalkadawala junction on the Padeniya – Anuradhapura (A28) road.” - http://www.localyte.com/info/52944--Sri%2BLanka--where-is-Hatthicuchchi-vihara-situated
Input by: tmciolek, Jun 01, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 01 Jun 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Hatthikucchi monastery, SL.

General location of the Hatthikucchi monastery, SL.
Lat 8.06165 Long 80.24545
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2013.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Hatthikucchi monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Sri Lanka: North Western Province

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 8.06165 Long 80.24545 - based on visual identification of the Hatthikucchi site in satellite imagery & Panoramio photographs, maps.google.com . The identification was guided by a photograph "View of Hatthikucchi" in http://www.buddhanet.net/sacred-island/hatthikucchi.html . Note that the Wikipedia reference Lat 8.034167, long 80.268333, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatthikuchchi‎ is INCORRECT. - tmciolek, 01 Jun 2013.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Theravada

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • The ruins and the stone inscriptions at the site dates from the 3 rd century BC and to about 10 th century […]."


  • MBM chrono-tag: <=0200 - GitaG 26 May 2013
  • <=0200 0200-32c 0233-66c 0267-99c 0300-32c 0333-66c 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99c 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32p 0933-66p 0967-99p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • The ruins and the stone inscriptions at the site date […] to about 10 th century"


  • MBM chrono-tag: 0900-32p 0933-66p 0967-99p - GitaG 26 May 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Known monks and nuns associated with this monastery

19. Available Printed Literature

  • Dhammika, Ven S. 2008. Sacred Island: A Buddhist pilgrim's guide to Sri Lanka. Kandy: Buddhist Publications Society.
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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