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Cave Temples in Sri Lanka

Kitulgala Beli lena

  Province Sabaragamuwa
  District Kegalle
  Nearest Town Kitulgala
  Period 32,000 years ago
  Ruler Unknown

Belilena Cave, which is about 8 km from Kitulgala high up in the Inoya Estate, is one of the larger prehistoric caves on the island, where the 12,000-year-old skeletal remains of ’Balangoda Man’ (Homo Sapiens Balangodensis) were found. The prehistoric settlements of the area date back to a very early period, as shown by recent cave excavations as well as those carried out at other sites. The earliest settlement dates back to around 32,000 years ago. Skeletal remains, microliths, bone implements, cherts and food remnants have been found in local caves. Evidence of prehistoric animals has established that hippopotamus, rhinoceros, lion and three species of elephant lived in the area. Kitulgala Kitulgala is a small town in the west of Sri Lanka. It is in the wet zone rain forest, which gets two monsoons each year, and is one of the wettest places in the country. Nevertheless, it comes alive in the first three months of the year, especially in February, the driest month. The Academy Award-winning The Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed on the Kelani River near Kitulgala, although nothing remains now except the concrete foundations for the bridge (and, supposedly, the submerged train cars that plunged into the river in the climactic scene). Kitulgala is also a base for white-water rafting, which starts a few kilometres upstream.