Distance from Arugam Bay – 23.9 km (38 minutes)
Neelagiriya Maha Seya is the largest Buddhist stupa in the Eastern Province. It is situated in the Lahugala Forest Reserve in the Ampara district. The stupa has been neglected for many years, and was inaccessible for 30 years since 1980, due to the civil war in Sri Lanka. The stupas is believed to have been built by either King Kavantissa (3rd century BC) or King Bhathikabhaya (20 BC – 9 AC). It is believed to have been renovated in th 7th century. The initial stupas is assumed to have had a circumference of 600 feet (182 m) and a height of 72 feet (22.6 m).
Getting to Neelagiriya Maha Seya
From Arugam Bay travel along the Colombo – Batticaloa Highway passing Pottuvil and Sengamuwa up to Lahugala to reach Neelagiriya Maha Seya which is situated in the Lahugala Forest Reserve.