Pahiyangala Caves – Abodes of prehistoric cave men

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pahiyangala cave entrance
A well-suited entrance to the Pahiuangala caves

Located in Yatagampitiya, 40 Km away from Kalutara, the Pahiyangala caves come under the district of Kalutara. Famed for being the largest natural rock formation in Asia, this cave is also one of the oldest prehistoric human settlements in this part of the world.

pahiyangala lena is one of the places to visit in kalutara district
The mouth of the Cave is 175 feet high and 160 feet wide | Photo : Freelk, Pahiyangala SriLanka, CC BY-SA 3.0

In the beginning, the cave is about 175ft tall and 200ft long and the deeper you go, the bigger it gets. Most of the natural tunnels are blocked now and are being used by archaeological researchers.

Human skulls that were found in this part of the caves date back to almost 37,000 years ago. Among the finds, weapons made from animal bones and stones were also unearthed.

pahiyangala rock cave
Archaeological excavation areas withing the cave
inside of the fa hien caves
Behold the enormity of the cave

Researcher says that these weapons were used to kill deer, monkeys, porcupines and other animals. The objects also suggest that the humans back then ate a few types of edible snails and wild breadfruit.

prehistoric caves in sri lanka
The view of the cave from the outside

This cave was converted into a Buddhist temple by a monk and priest named Porogoma who used an iron crowbar to clean the soil and dirt from the cave entrance and levelled the ground for use. A 40ft long reclining Buddha statue can also be found in the temple now.

Reclining buddha statue at the cave
The reclining buddha statue at the fa-hien cave
The view from the Fa hien cave
The view from the Fa hien cave


Video by Chasing the bliss


Since you’re here you can read our other articles about attractions around Kalutara

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

Uncovering the Mysteries Behind Richmond Castle – Stepping Back in Time

Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple, Kalutara – The original Dharma Salava

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