The beautiful Mulkirigala Temple is one of a series of Kandyan rock temples. It is located in the district of Hambantota. That is 21km from Tangalle.
The rock of Mulkirigala rises about 676 feet from the surrounding land. There are seven cave temples situated in five terraced areas of different altitudes. They are the “patha maluwa”, “bodhi maluwa”, “raja maha vihara maluwa”, “uda bodhi maluwa” and “chaithya maluwa”.These terraces can be accessed comfortabaly. These caves have a mixture of religious and non-religious paintings and sculptures with several reclining Buddhas, including 15meter along with sculptures of the dying Buddha. Mulkirigala viharaya contains many beautiful wall paintings based on Jathaka stories, such as Wessanthara.
The Bo tree at the upper terrace is considered to be a shoot from one of the 32 saplings of Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi planted at the said terrace during the rain of king Devanam Piyathissa. Mulkirigala temple is also considered to be one of the 64 temples constructed by king Kavanthissa. Is was call as “Muhudugira”.
The chaitya at the uppermost terrace is considered to house Lord Buddha relics offered by the king Saddhathissa. The king is also credited with building a golden Buddha statue 18 cubits in length, in a large cave under the rock. Mulkirigala temple is fast becoming one of the most important attractions of local visitors and also foreign tourists. This ancient rock temple gives the biggest value for our tourist industry.