Ritigala is an ancient Buddhist monastery and mountain in Sri Lanka. The ruins and rock inscriptions of the monastery date back to 1st century BCE. It is located 43 km away from the ancient monastic city of Anuradhapura.Ritigala is a culture and eco tourist destination that never ceases to fascinate you. The archeological site of Ritigala monastery can be accessed only when we make inroads into Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve (SNR) of Ritigala mountain range.
Ritigala mountain range consists of four peaks of which the main and the highest peak at the south of the range is named Ritigala Kanda. Ritigala mountain range, a 3776-acre (1582 ha) Strict Nature Reserve, one of the well inventoried bio diversity hot spots in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka is managed by Department of Wildlife of Sri Lanka together with Forest Department of Sri Lanka.Ritigala Kanda rises to an elevation higher than the other main tourist attractions of north central plains, namely Sigiriya, Dambulla and Mihintale. Then again at an altitude of 2513 ft, Ritigala Kanda is comparatively a low mountain. The significance of this topographical feature lies in the cumulative effect of abrupt sheerness of the massif, its wooded slopes and wet microclimate at the summit. During the North East monsoon (December to February), Ritigala experiences the highest rainfall (125 cm) of entire dry zone. The combination of mist and cloud which encapsulate the crest during South-West monsoon (May to September) results in a high vapor condensation, and therefore, a moist earth at a time when the plain below is gripped in drought.