Introducing Tree Tops
Little more than an overgrown crossroads, Buttala is ideal for viewing the lovely scenery and visiting the uncrowded temples and ruins in the vicinity. Historically this area was part of the ancient Ruhunu kingdom, and is believed to have been an important staging point before King Dutugemunu’s much hyped battle with the Tamil king Elara. The name means ‘Rice Mound’, in reference to the area’s agricultural bounty. Today the main industry is sugar cane.
Buttala’s attractions lie in the surrounding countryside, but it’s worth strolling up picturesque little Temple Rd to visit the idyllically peaceful Dolapeela Vihara (a vihara is a Buddhist complex), with its small whitewashed dagoba (stupa), 800-year-old bodhi tree and worn old moonstone.