Caving in Sri Lanka

Uncover Sri Lanka

Caving is the art of safely moving through a natural cave to a destination and returning to the surface without hurting yourself or the cave. In order to explore safely, you will need the right equipment and the right skills. This is a relatively new activity in Sri Lanka and less tourist are known to undertake a predominantly a caving holiday. Sri Lanka offers many interesting caving experiences, some with historical relevance.

Some of the more popular caves that one could visit will include:


Batatotalena Cave

The Batatotalena Cave, also known as the Diva Guhava in Buddhist literature, is a cave system in Sudagala, 8 km (5 mi) away from the town of Kuruwita, in the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka.

The cave measures approximately 15 m (49 ft) high, 18 m (59 ft) wide, and 25 m (82 ft) in length, totalling the internal cave area to 6,800 m3(240,000 cu ft). Accessing the cave involves a 400 m (1,300 ft) hike from Sudagala, and an additional 50 m (160 ft) climb to reach the cave entrance. Approximately 30 m (98 ft) from the cave is another partially submerged cave, which is accessible after a 20 m (66 ft) swim.


Dambulla cave temple

Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 kilometres (92 mi) east of Colombo

It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses. The murals cover an area of 2,100 square metres (23,000 sq ft).

Prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as there are burial sites with human skeletons about 2700 years old in this area.


Pahiyangala Cave (Fa-Hien Cave)

Pahiyangala Cave is a cave in the district of Kalutara, Western Province, Sri Lanka, according to a village legend named after the Buddhist monk fa-hien. However, there is no archeological or historical evidence to support this legend. The cave is important for the Late Pleistocene human skeletal remains discovered there in the 1960s ,1980s & 2013.


Other important caves will include

  • Andirilena Cave
  • Belilena Cave
  • Bogoda Cave
  • Lahugala Cave
  • Nitro Cave
  • Pannila Cave
  • Rawana Ella Cave
  • Sithripura Cave
  • Wavulpone Cave