This captivating activity of speleology is relatively new to Sri Lanka and is rather an unusual experienced not to be missed. Sri Lanka is dotted with many caves from the Ritigala mountains in the north to the central hills and the southern hillocks of the South. The most famous being Batatotalena at sudugala, attributed to the “Balangoda man” a prehistoric man whose skeletal remains were uncovered inside this cave, Belilena in Kithulgala and aptly named “Wavulpone” because of the large community of bats living inside with some records indicating a figure as high as hundred thousand
The word speleology, describes the exploration, surveying, mapping and photographing of caves, used by the scientific community. These caves are home to a great variety of creatures that are nocturnal in their habits and most of the recently discovered species are from caves which have been around for at least 500 million years, and abound with stalactites and stalagmites, formations of conical calcium deposits sometimes as tall as a childAndirilena Cave
The Andirilena Cave is a cave located 4 km (2.5 mi) from Udugama, in the Galle District of Sri Lanka (25 km (16 mi) from Belihuloya towards Colombo on the Balangoda–Colombo road). The cave system begins from a 4 ft (1.2 m) opening, before splitting into two main channels (and more smaller caves), before joining back after approximately 500 m (1,600 ft) in.Aluvihare Rock Temple
The Aluvihare Rock Temple (also called Matale Alu Viharaya) is a sacred Buddhist temple located in Aluvihare, Matale District of Sri Lanka. Surrounded by hills, the Aluvihara cave temple is situated 30 km north of Kandy on the Matale-Dambulla road. The history of Aluvihare Rock Temple is traced back to the 3rd Century B.C to the reign of King Devanampiyatissa. It is believed that the King built the dagoba, planted the Bo sapling and founded the temple after the introduction of Buddhism to the country during his reign.
A hike from the nearest township of Sudugala, and then a climb of about 50m will bring you to the mouth of this fairly large cave, is a very important archaeological site since it contains evidence of human habitation from 32,000 BC and the 10 skeletal remains of the oldest human remains of Sri Lanka were also excavated from this cave, the “Homo sapiens balangodensis”, the Balangoda man may also have been responsible for the creation of Horton plains for agriculture.Belilena Cave
This famous cave is located close to the adventure tourist capital of Sri Lanka, Kitulgala, approximately two hour drive from Colombo, and holds evidence of 12,000 year old remains of a Sri Lankan civilization probably occupied by the Balangoda man. A rope ladder is used for entry and the lake inside the cave mouth is largely unexplored and may contain fauna yet undiscovered.Bogoda Cave
The Bogoda Cave is thought to have been used by the Sri Lankan King Walagamba as one of his many hide-outs from the invading South Indians.& nbsp; It is considered to be part of a complex ‘tunnel network’ of other hide-outs such as the Narangala mountain cave, Dowa rock temple at Bandarawela and Rawana Ella cave in Ella.& nbsp; However this story cannot be proved because at present, the cave only leads about 15m into the tunnel through a narrow passage.Dambulla cave temple
Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 kilometres (92 mi) east of Colombo , 72 kilometres (45 mi) north of Kandy and 43 km (27 mi) north of MataleNitro Cave
The nitro cave is a large cave well hidden in the Knuckles Mountain Range. A large number of bats live in this cave. This activity is just right for exploring the Range and combining it with an adventurous journey into a hidden world.Pannila Cave
The Pannila Calcarious Cave consists of two main caves situated about 400m from a 15m high waterfall.& nbsp; A stream flows through the first cave, and about 300m in, one can see a series of smaller caves leading to the second main cave (about 500m in length). In these caves are many stalactites and stalagmites estimated about 100 million years old, and visitors can also see a wide variety of amphibians, reptiles, fishes, butterflies, birds and bats.Ravana Cave
The Ravana Cave is located about 2 km from the Ella town and 11 km (7 mi) away from Bandarawela. It is quite a small cave, measuring about 50ft wide, 150ft long and 60ft high. History says that the cave is used by King Rawana to hide the Princess Sita.Pahiyangala
Fa Hien Cave, also Pahiyangala Cave, is situated in the district of Kalutara, Western Province, Sri Lanka and according to a rural legend, named after an alleged resident during historical times, namely Buddhist monk Faxian (also Fa-Hien, or Fa Hsien). However, there is no archaeological or historical evidence to support this legend. Nonetheless, the site is of archaeological significance as Late Pleistocene human fossilized skeletal remains were discovered in the cave's sediments during excavations in the 1960s, the 1980s and in 2013.Hunugalagala Limestone Cave
Hunugalagala is a Limestone cave, which is located in Haldummulla, Badulla District of Sri Lanka. It is assumed that this rock formation has been formed millions of years ago. The cave and the surrounding area has been used between 5,000 and 4,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations have been started in July 2013 and revealed grind-stones, painted potsherds, a stone statue of a man's upper body and bones of humans and animals.Kuragala
Kuragala is a pre-historic archaeological site with ruins of ancient Buddhist Cave temple complex, dating back to the 2nd century BC, in Balangoda, Sri Lanka. The temple complex is located on the Balangoda - Kaltota road (B38) approximately 24 km (15 mi) distance from the Balangoda town. The site has been formally recognised by the Government as an archaeological reserve in Sri Lanka. Kuragala is considered as the oldest archaeological site found in the Intermediate Zone.Wavulpone Cave
Situated on the Buluthota – Rakwana road roughly north of Embilipitiya is another famous cave in which approximately 250,000 bats inhabit the cave, the largest known congregation of bats in Sri Lanka, hence the name “Wavulpone” meaning dwelling of Bats.Mahalenama Cave
Located between Kumana & Lahugala-Kithulana National parks this ancient Buddhist monastery is also believed to be the place where according to preserved Vedda legend for us a recollection of a lost race known as the Nittevo. There has been much controversy as to the identity of this folk. Some hold that the Nittevo are a lost tribe of Negritoes while others believe them to have been some kind of ape-man. Yet others identify them with an extinct species of bear known as rahu valaha.