Kasagala Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple built around 3rd century BC during the Anuradhapura era. The reason why it’s called Kasagala – The Yellow Rock – is because the monks would dry their saffron-coloured robes against the rocks of the temple. Onlookers saw these robe-covered rocks and called the temple Kasagala as a result.
The temple started with the planting of the sacred Bo tree, an important feature within Buddhist architecture. Walking around the astounding 1 hectare of land upon which this temple is situated upon, you can still see this tree, along with a gold Buddha statue, two stupas, and ancient paintings. The incredibly vibrant and intricate paintings that decorate the temple are of Kandyan tradition. These frescoes were painted with traditional Jakata stories as a way to teach people about the life of Buddha, even if they couldn’t read. You too can learn more about Buddha through these stories than come to life from the walls at Kasagala.
Kasagala is a quick trip from Tangalle. If you’re seeing Mulgirigala Rock Temple, opt to hop over to Kasagala while you’re there. It’s also right next to Naigala Temple, another historic site, so hop over if you’d like to make the most of your time in this area.