Naigala Raja maha Viharaya, or Naigala Temple, is a Buddhist temple from the Anuradhapura Period and dates back all the way to the 3rd century BC. What makes the temple so unique is the fact that it is one of the few sites from the Ruhuna Kingdom that was built according to Panchayathana architecture practices with seven stupas; usually Panchayathana structures only have five shrines rather than seven. Legend has it that King Mahanaga built Naigala Temple when he found a pond during a drought and when famine was beginning to spread. Once he begun building the temple, heavy rains spread across the land and ended the drought.
Walking around Naigala Temple, you can still see the Bodhi tree believed to have been from one of the saplings of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree and planted by an arhat – an individual who has reached nirvana. Other archaeological monuments and ruins also dot the premises.
Naigala Raja maha Viharaya is just north of Tangalle and very close to Mulgirigala Rock Temple and Kasagala Temple. Opt to spend a day exploring these three religious sites.