Located deep within the Hambantota district of Sri Lanka’s southern coast, the 2200 year-old Sithulpawwa rock temple monastery is a significant site for Buddhists. The temple is renowned for its stunning setting; located on a hard volcanic rock outcrop, the two temple complexes of Sithulpawwa are surrounded by the thick, emerald wilderness of the Yala National Park. Within the rocky caves is an intricate temple complex and houses a few, small ancient stupas (mound-like structures bearing Buddhist relics) ponds and image houses adorned with vivid, ancient frescoes. The caves also hold meditation chambers as it had once accommodated close to 12,000 monks. Once the climb to the top of the rock is completed, the most magnificent panoramic sea views along the entire coastal stretch can be witnessed as well as an ancient temple located on a rocky outcrop standing tall in the plains below.