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Yapahuwa is a listed city in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka.


Yapahuwa was the capital of an ancient kingdom in Sri Lanka at 13th century. The Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha used to be kept here. There is some Chinese influence in the archeological relics found in this site.

Get in[edit]

Yapahuwa is near Maho village, 147 km from Colombo. The trip is about 2 hours and 15 minutes by car.

Maho Junction is the nearest train station, about 6 km from the site. You can get a tuk-tuk from there to go to Yapahuwa.

Get around[edit]


There are four important archeological relics at this location:

  • The wall: There is a well preserved wall around the site.
  • Staircaise: Beautiful and well preserved carved staircase. The most important figures are the Chinese-looking ‘Yapahuwa Lion’ stone sculptures.
  • Yapahuwa Rock: On the top of the 91 m (300 ft) rock there are the rests of two stupas. The way begins at the left side of the door at the top of the staircase. Parts of the climb can be difficult.
  • Cave temple: Temple with statues of the Buddha and frescos. The door is usually closed; ask a guard to open the door.

Opening hours: 07:00 to 17:00 all days except Full Moon Poya days and public holidays. Tickets cost US$4.


Eat and drink[edit]

There is a small shop at the entrance with drinks and snacks. For anything more substantial, go to the nearby village of Maho.


Go next[edit]

Anuradhapura: 98 km, 2 hours.

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