Ambuluwawa Temple is a unique and amazing place situated in Gampola, Sri Lanka. Both the place itself and the panoramic views seen from the place are breathtaking. The place is situated on a summit called Ambuluwawa with an elevation about 3500 feet from sea level.
Even though it is called Ambuluwawa Temple, it is not just a Buddhist temple. Devotees from all the four major religions in Sri Lanka have separate places to worship here. But, it is more like an amazing observation point rather than a religious place.
History of Ambuluwawa Temple
As I told you earlier, Ambuluwawa Temple is situated in Gampola, which is an old kingdom in Sri Lanka (1345–1408 AD). King Buwanekabahu IV created the Gampola Kingdom and it is said that Ambuluwawa Peak was the centre of the Kingdom. But there cannot be found anything with historical or archaeological values.
In 2006 Ambuluwawa Peak is developed as a bio-diversity complex and a multi-religious centre. This Hill is identified as a place with immense bio-diversity. Even the Ambuluwawa Hill and the adjacent forest is named as a forest reservation, Ambuluwawa ICC Forest Reservation. The hill is mostly made of a special kind of rock and it is said that rock is least subject to erosion.
Studies on bio-diversity and the stones are still ongoing. Local and foreign reserchers are facilitated at Ambuluwawa Temple to execute their reserches.
Further, as I mentioned ealier, a small temple, a church, a kovil and mosque can be found at the peak covering all four major religions in Sri Lanka.
One Hell of a Ride
Ambuluwawa Temple is situated a few kilometres away from the Gampola town. Reaching the place is not so easy due to the steep slope of the hill. The summit is about 2000 feet from Gampola town. From ticketing counter, about 2.5km has to be travelled to reach the place. There are several options you can take to climb up the hill according to your preference and physical condition.
If you like hiking and if you are fit, you can walk up to the top. It is a wonderful experience for sure. The sights along the way are really beautiful.
Also, it is obviously tough and takes time. Walking to the top is not recommended for elderly persons and people with medical conditions.
If you have a vehicle with a good condition, then no problem you can ride up to the very top of the hill. The road is well paved now (updated: 01/01/2021). Earlier only 4WD vehicles can go up to the very top since the bad road conditions. It is all good now. But make sure to check water level, brake conditions and other things of the vehicle, since it can be a tough ride for the vehicle.
Or, without going for any of these options, you can hire a tuk-tuk from the entrance and ride up to the peak. A car park is available at the entrance. You can park your vehicle there and take a tuk-tuk.
Once you reach Ambuluwawa Temple by any mean, the effort totally worth it.
The centre of attraction here is the beautiful tall white tower. If you are tough enough, you can climb up to the very top of it using the spiral staircase around it. The tower is 48m high and it is absolutely a thrilling experience to climb it. Just imagine facing the cold and strong wind while being on a 48m high slender tower. It is more exciting when mist hits in.
There are intermediate platforms on the way to the top, where you can stay and have a look around. No need to worry about safety there, the staircase and the platforms are properly guarded with handrails. The panoramic view of the surrounding mountain ranges and valleys are similarly breathtaking.
Since Ambuluwawa is an isolated mountain, the whole 360′ is clearly visible to the tower. A number of mountains can be seen from there. Some of them are Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak), Bathalegala (Bible Rock), Knuckles mountain range, Pidurutalagala, Hanthana mountain range, Hunnasgiri etc. The view is more clear when it is sunny and no mist around. But most of the time the mist is there.
Check out the below video also to have an better idea about the view from there.
Other than the tower, there are many more things to see in Ambuluwawa Temple, including the religious places.
Click here to see the complete set of (larger) images.
How to Reach…?
The condition of the route and travelling options are already explained above. If you are convinced to visit the place, here is the exact location.
Ambuluwawa Temple is must visit place in hill country. It take some time and effort but they totally worth it.
If you want more information or if you got any questions, feel free to leave a message below. See you in the next article.