Salgala is monastery and nature reserve near Warakapola in the Kegalla District.The name Salgala is derived from “shilagula” meaning “rock caves”.
Today, Salgala is again an Aranya Senasanaya, a hermitage and meditation monastery inhabited by forest monks, who have renounced worldly pleasures in order to lead a life of austerity. In 1930, Sri Nissanka restored the ancient forest monastery, which had been neglected for centuries. The monks live in 18 caves, all taking their names from ancient Sanskrit, such as Pothgala and Gijjakuta. Sri Lanka’s first Premier, D.S. Senanayake, was lay advisor to the temple until his death and declared 300 hectares of the forest a natural reserve.
Paved walks for meditation wind through a forest crowded with rock boulders. Similar to Ritigala, the Salgala forest is well-known for its abundance in medicinal herbs. And some of the trees are well over hundred feet tall. The forest is said to be also home to rare species of reptiles, birds and butterflies. The zenith of the hill called Balumgala is an excellent panorama viewpoint, from here you can see the Adam’s Peak to the south, good weather conditions provided. Guests are allowed to visit the monastery in the morning. The gates close at 1 p.m.
Salgala is believed to have served as a forest dwelling of Arhants, enlightened men in ancient times. Salgala’s cave called Bathadama Guthalena is said to have been the hiding place of Anuradhapura’s famous King Walagambhu (Vatthagamani Abhaya) in the years of his exile.
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