Yala National Park - Cultural Importance

Cultural Importance

Yala had been a center of past civilisations. The great King Ravana established his kingdom here with Ravana Kotte, now submerged in the sea, as its boundary. Seafaring traders brought Indo-Aryan civilisation with them, as Yala is situated in their trading route. A large number of ancient although disrepaired tanks are the evidence of a rich hydraulic and agricultural civilisation dating back to 5th century BC. Situlpahuwa, which was the home for 12,000 arahants, is situated within the park area along with Magul Vihara, which built in 87 BC and Akasa Chaitiya, which constructed in 2nd century BC. Agriculture flourished in area during the period of Ruhuna Kingdom. According to Mahavamsa, the Kingdom of Ruhuna began to decline by the end of the 13th Century AD. During the colonial period Yala became a popular hunting ground. Yala is annually visited by 400,000 pilgrims.

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