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Cave Temples in Sri Lanka

Ravana Cave

  Province Uva
  District Badulla
  Nearest Town Bandarawela
  Period 20,000 BC.
  Ruler Ravana

The Rawana Ella Cave is located about 2 km from the picturesque town of Ella. It is quite a small cave, measuring about 50ft wide, 150ft long and 60ft high. However, once inside one can find several others that run 20 to 40 ft deep into its walls. Like the Sthripura Cave in Welimada, legend has it that it was used by King Rawana to hide the Princess Sita. It is also thought to be connected to the cave at the Dowa rock temple in Bandarawela (part of King Walagamba's famous 'tunnel network'). Archaeological findings include a human skull dating back to 20,000 BC. The famous Ravana Ella Cave lies 1,370 m (4,490 ft) above sea level on the foundation of a cliff. The cave is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, located 11 km (7 mi) away from Bandarawela.

History

These tunnels prove beyond doubt the architectural brilliance of King Ravana. These tunnels served as a quick means of transport through the hills and also as a secret passage and networked all the important cities, airports and dairy farms. A .close look at these tunnels indicates that they are man-made and not natural formations. This Buddhist shrine at Kalutara was where once King Ravana's palace and a tunnel existed. Existing tunnel mouths are situated - Isthripur at Welimada, Ravana cave at Bandarawela, Senapitiya at Halagala, Ramboda, Labookelle, Wariyapola/Matale, and Sitakotuwa/Hasalaka. In addition there are many more tunnels.