Sithulpauwa monastery, (near) Kataragama, Uva Province, SL

Raw data

"Situlpawwa rock temple with a history of over 2200 years is one of the significant Buddhist sites built in the 2nd Century BC. [… It is] located deep within the Yala National Park within the Hambantota district in the deep south of Sri Lanka. […]
Sithulpawwa rock temple houses an intrincate temple complex. The caves inside have been built to make it suitable for the monks to live. In addition to the main dagoba, a number of small dagobas are found inside Situlpawwa rock temple. The main cave temple walls consists of paintings belonging to Anuradhapura period and this is a significant feature as not many paintings belonging to this period have been found."-
Input by: GitaG, Feb 09, 2013

“Sithulpawwa rock temple is […] identified as one of the greatest 2nd century [BC] sites of Buddhist scholarship. With a history of over 2200 years, this is an ancient place of worship in the Hambantota district. The modern name Sithulpawwa is derived from the ancient ‘Cittalpabbata’, ‘The hill of the quiet mind’. It is said that in the 1st century AD as many as 12,000 Arahants lived here (monks that have achieved the highest mind level in Buddhism). Unlike the great monasteries in Anuradhapura and other towns, life at Sithulpawwa was hard and a monk or nun lived there only if they were interested in silence and solitude. Located opposite the Maha Sithulpawwa rock which is 400 feet (122M) in height is a cave temple. This cave temple, which is 67 feet high and 30 feet long, is part of the intricate cave-complex at Sithulpawwa.
The Dagoba of Sithulpawwa can be seen on the top of the rock. It is believed to have been built by King Kawantissa (100-140AD). A number of caves contain inscriptions in the early Brahmi script and from these inscriptions it was learned that a number of villages donated money to this temple for its upkeep. Ancient literary works give interesting information relating to this shrine.” -
Input by: tmciolek, Feb 08, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 12 Feb 2013

Page under construction

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 Sithulpauwa monastery, SL.

General location of the Sithulpauwa monastery, SL.
Lat 6.38650 Long 81.45084
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2013.

Google Map link:,%20SL)&ll=6.38650,81.45084&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Sri Lanka:Province of Uva

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 6.38650 Long 81.45084 - based on visual identification of the site in maps/satellite imagery, - tmciolek, 08 Feb 2013.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

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

  • MBM chrono-tag: <=0200 - tmciolek 12 Feb 2013
  • <=0200 0200-32p 0233-66p 0267-99p dated-ex

12. Date-intermediate

  • “The main cave temple walls consists of paintings belonging to Anuradhapura period"- [Note: Anuradhapura period has ended soon after 1070 A.D. when the capital (together with its civilian population and monks) has shifted from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruva for strategic reasons - Kulatunga (1999:3-4); The Anuradhapura period - 3d century BCE-10th century CE. - Walpola (1966)]
  • MBM chrono-tag: <=0200 0200-32p 0233-66p 0267-99p - tmciolek 12 Feb 2013

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Archaeological, architectural, epigraphical, references in ancient literature

16. Additional notes

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

  • [missing data]

18. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

end of page

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License