Pahiyangala (Fa-Hien Cave) – How to get there and essential tips

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pahiyangala lena is one of the places to visit in kalutara district
Freelk, Pahiyangala SriLanka, CC BY-SA 3.0

Pahiyangala Cave ( Pahiyan Lena) is one of the offbeat and significant prehistoric places in Sri Lanka. Archeologists have discovered by excavations that these caves had been inhabited by prehistoric cavemen who called this cave home 37,000 years ago. Making this cave the most ancient pre-historic settlement in Asia and the largest naturally formed rock in the entire Asian continent.

Situated just 2 hours away, the cave is one of the best places to visit near Colombo and you can comfortably arrange a day trip to it. If you feel adventurous you can hike to the top of the rock without much hassle.

Piqued your interest? Read more about it here.

Location

The caves are located in Yatagampitiya, Bulathsinhala. Close to the Eastern border of Kalutara District.

location of pahiyangala cave in sri lanka
Location in Pahiyangala in Kalutara District via Google Maps

Distance

  • From Colombo via Southern Expressway – 70.2 Km (2 Hrs )
  • From Colombo via Piliyandala – 68 Km ( 2 ½ Hrs )
  • From Kalutara via Neboda – 40.3 Km ( 1 hr )

Directions

From Colombo
If you use a vehicle, the fastest way is to get there from Colombo is to take the Highlevel road to Kottawa interchange and enter the southern expressway. Make an exit from Bandaragama and drive straight to Horana. From there take the Mathugama road and reach Bulathsinhala. After that turn left to Molkawa road which will take you to the caves at about half an hour. The turning point from Bulathsinhala is at the center of town and pretty is easy to find. There are signboards to the effect in the town.

turning point to pahiyangala , bulathsinhala town
The turning point at the center of Bulathsinhala town

Drive straight on this road until you reach Galketiya junction, whence you should take the narrow road to the left. Going straight through this road about 05 minutes will get you to the turning point to the caves.

Public Transport
If you’re taking the Bus, however, You should take the Horana – Colombo (route No 120 ) bus and get off at Horana. This will take around 2 hrs depending the traffic. Going early is recommended.

horana bus station
Main Bus stand – Horana

After reaching Horana take the bus to Matugama (route No 285) to Bulathsinhala. This journey will take about 01 hour. (Make sure to check the route number is exactly 285 because there is another bus to Matugama which won’t go past Bulathisinhala). From there should better off taking a tuk-tuk to the caves which would take about ½ hrs. The cost will be around 200-250 LKR.

Important: Arrange a tuk-tuk for a return trip upfront as well because there are no tuk-tuks at the cave premises. ( Nearest three-wheeler park is at Galketiya junction). It’s best to ask the tuk-tuk guy to stay until you return. You can also ask help from a monk in the temple, they might have phone numbers of taxis handy.

From Kalutara
Being one of the prominent places to visit in Kalutara district, Pahiyangala cave temple can be reached easily via Kalutara by following the riverside road (the same road which leads to Richmond Castle but instead of going straight you should turn right at Palathota junction) to Nagoda junction.

From there take the left (Katukurunda – Neboda Road) which will take you straight to Bulathsinhala. Thence you could follow Molkawa road to the temple.

Alternatively, you could go straight down the Galle road from Kalutara and turn left at Katukurunda junction into Katukurunda – Neboda road.It is recommended hiring a vehicle because Buses on this road are not very reliable.

Once you get there, You need to climb well-paved stone steps for about 20 minutes to reach the cave base.

stone steps to the pahiyangala caves
Stone steps to the cave, mind your steps on the way down as there are no railings.

For those who want to climb atop the rock, there is a small footpath at the corner of the cave mouth. You can ask a novice monk for directions. The path to the top is through the jungle and can be tricky at some points so make sure it’s not raining or about to rain for the rock can get slippery and leeches will surface.

the footpath to the top of the pahiyangala cave
The footpath to the top of the Pahiyangala cave

We’re going to write about getting to the top of the rock soon and will update this post then.

We shall update this post with latest travel tips to Pahiyangala. So make sure to follow our social media pages for latest updates. Your comments and queries are most welcome. Wish you happy Travels in Sri Lanka.

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Pahiyangala Caves – Abodes of prehistoric cave men

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