Ritigala archaeological area is located in an exceptional environmental zone within the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Forty kilometres from Sigiri, Ritigala comprises a mountain range about 750 meters in height with biodiversity and various climatic conditions. The monastery complex built for meditating bhikkhus in the 9th century AC in keeping with the environmental condition is the main archaeological heritage here.

The ruins now seen at Ritigala are the full-fledged monastery complex built by Sena I (831-851 AC), which has been confirmed by written sources. Archaeological research done here has identified the padhanaghara where the meditating bhikkhus dwelled, janthaghara where they bathed hot water (sauna bath), promenades, toilets and ponds. At present these architectural constrictions have been well conserved. The most attractive constructions here are the promenades made of stone slabs through the thick jungle and the padhanaghara built using natural environmental features. In addition there are a few caves where the Bhikkhus lived in about the 3-2 centuries BC.

Heritage management in Ritigala was begun by the Central Cultural Fund under the Anuradhapura Mahavihara Project in 2016. Conservation of architectural monuments and the provision of facilities for the tourists to view the site are in progress.

ritigala