30 June 2009
This cave known as Fa Hien (Pahiyan Lena) is possibly the largest cave in Sri Lanka. It is situated in the village called Yatagampititya in Kaluthara District. You can reach here via Piliyandala – Horana road and it lies about 5 kilometres from Bulathsinhala.
This cave can easily shelter 1000 men and the cave entrance is at least 50m in height and 60m in length.
Fa Hien's cave is famous for two reasons. Firstly, Sri Lankan archaeologists found evidence of human existence date back to thousands of years in this area. Usually we do not get any written records related to this era so archaeologist have named this period as pre-historical period. Dr. Shiran Deraniyagala the former Director General of the Department of Archaeology was instrumental in discovering this very important evidence from this cave as well as many other locations in Sri Lanka. In this cave, they have found a few human skulls and bones dating back to 35000 years and lots of man-made tools used for hunting animals and various other purposes.
The second reason is that Fa Hien, the famous Chinese Monk of the 5th century AD, who came to Sri Lanka in search of Buddhist scriptures and sacred places used to stay in this cave for some time on the way to Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak). Hence the cave got his name - Pahiyan Lena (Cave)
There is a road leads very close to the cave so you do not need to do much walking. There are similar caves mostly in Sabaragamuwa District which are quite famous for pre-historic evidence of human existence. Batadomba Lena in Kuruwita and Beli Lena in Kitulgala are some of them. The trails to these caves are even more interesting.