Cave tours in Sri Lanka are a relatively new option in island tours and expeditions, yet several of the island’s caves and subsequent networks have been there for millions of years. Sri Lanka boasts nine predominant caves and cave systems around the southern region beginning in the southwest and forming a “U” shape which ends in the southeast. Anyone truly into caving, or spelunking as it’s technically called, could have a grand time touring the south and visiting almost a half-dozen caves along with beautiful Sri Lanka beaches, beautiful hill country and bustling Sri Lankan towns and villages.
Choosing cave tours in Sri Lanka means you’ll hire a guide, whether with a group or privately, and enjoy the ease at which the guides will put you. Everything necessary for a successful adventure is provided; head lamps, flashlights (torches), ropes, raincoats, and more.
Sabaragamuva Province features six caves to choose between for a tour. This is where visitors will find several of the most ancient caves in Sri Lanka. Belilena Caves is on the most southwesterly fringe of the ring of caves in the south. It is the most important of all the ancient and is an archaeological wonder. Exploreres found prehistoric remain of what is now called “Balangoda Man” inside the Belilena caves along with many significant fossils.
There are several ancient caves in this area of which the Belilena Caves, about 8 kms from Kitulgala, is of greatest archaeological significance. This is where the skeletal remains of the pre-historic 'Balangoda Man' and several other fossils were discovered.
Students of Buddhism would enjoy Batatotalena Cave, a place where Lord Buddha was thought to rest on route back to the city of Sri Pada. A Buddhist shrine, ancient paintings, and even skeletal remains have been found inside. Other caves in the province include Batadombalena Cave, Waulpane Cave, and Pannila Calcarious Caves.
There are three excellent cave tours in Sri Lanka in the Southern Highlands; Rawana Ella Cave, Bogoda Cave, and Sthripura Cave. The last is actually three separate caves in one large cavern. It has distinct associations with the epic and ancient Ramayana; some say Sri Lanka’s King Rawana held Princess Sita captive here after overtaking India’s Prince Rama. Rawana Ella Cave is also believed to e one of the caves where the king hid Sita and is part of a large network of tunnels used over centuries. It is tied into Banarawaela’s Dowa rock temple, and sometimes tours will include both the cave and temple.