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The Ritigala Monastery and mountain is a location which is steemed in a great deal of mystique and ancient lore.The Ritigala mountain range lies 43 km away from the ancient city of ruins, Anuradhapura.
The Ritigala mountain range consists of four peaks and the tallest peak is known as the Ritigala Kanda. The Ritigala mountain is taller than the other tourist attractions in the Northcentral plains like Sigiriya and Mihintalle. The Ritigala mountain range spans over 1528 Acres. Ritigala is actually the modern name os the mountains it was known as “Arittha Pabbata” Which translates to the Dreadful Mountain in ancient times.The Climate of The mountain range varies as you ascend to the top, it is colder compared to the hot and dry climate of the region.
There are many Legends surrounding the “Dreadful Mountain”. One is about how all vegetation on the mountain range is protected by “Yakkas”. Another about how you can find powerful medicinal herbs which give long life and also cure all human sickness. There are some about a duel between two giants.
On the eastern side of the mountain, you can find the Ruins of the Ritigala Monastery. The ruins span over an area of 24 hectares. You can also find an ancient man-made ancient reservoir close to the Monastery. The purpose of the reservoir was for the visitors to wash from before entering the temple. It was created by King Pandukabhaya. Unfortunately, the ruins of Ritigala do not have any of the usual traditional Buddhist icons like a bo tree and a Stupa. But you can find a number of broken Granite Buddha Statues.
You cannot hike up the Ritigala Mountain Range without a Permit, but if u do manage to secure one the view and climb is guranteed to be an exciting experience.