Distance from Ampara – 24 km (31 minutes)
Introduction to Rajagala
Rajagala is a heavily forested mountain situated 316 m (1038 ft.) above sea level in Ampara district. It is also known as Rassagala and Rajagalathena. The Rajagala archaeological site consists of over 500 ruins and artifacts of a Buddhist monastery, and is only second to the Mihintale monastery in Anuradhapura. This historically significant UNESCO-protected site spreads over a sprawling area of 300 acres.
History behind Rajagala
There is no definite history of the place. However, it is believed that monks have inhabited the region between 10th and 3rd centuries BC. Extensive ruins and stone inscriptions have been uncovered from the thick forests of the area. Most of the entrances of the site exhibit a korawak gala (a stone balustrade), a muragala (guard stone) and a sandakadapahana (moonstone). The site is also referred to as Rassagala as the ancient Raksha tribe must have lived there. Over time, the term ‘raksha’ might have become ‘rassa’.
Getting to Rajagala
From Ampara travel along the Ampara – Uhana – Maha Oya Highway passing Weranketagoda and Gonagolla to reach Rajagala.