Pahiyangala Where the pre-historic man lived 37,000 years ago.Valuable fossils of the pre-historic man have been found in this pit.
A large rocky mountain loomed before us through the misty morning, when we were proceeding towards the village "Yatagampitiya" 5 km off Bulathsinhala in the Kalutara district, where an early human habitation existed thousands of years ago, today known as "Pahiyangala". 
Indeed, it is a wonderful creation of nature and we had to climb up a long flight of stone steps to reach the main cave, which formed like a cobra's head naturally. Certainly, you will hold back your breath for a few seconds seeing the hugeness of this cave, measuring, 200ft in length and 150ft in height, supposed to be the largest rock cave in Sri Lanka and 3000 people could be sheltered in it very easily.
The cave has been divided into four sections of which the left side cave is the largest and is the centre of it. There is a deep pit dug out by the Archaeological Department for an excavation. Buried in this pit, fire human skulls have been recovered by the archaeologists headed by Dr. Shiran Deraniyagala, Commissioner of Archaeology and his assistant W. Wijeyapala. 
As to the origin of these skulls have been confirmed by Professor Kenneth Kennedy of the USA and it has been revealed that these skulls belonged to the pre-historic men who lived at Pahiyangala exactly 37,000 years ago. 
Replicas of ancient people have been erected in some places of the cave with short details of the past which gives us some fragments of knowledge of the stone age man who roamed and hunted here for his mere existence. The Archaeological Department started some excavation here from 1983 up to 1986 and found many valuable implements and items such as varied sizes of stone weapons, grinding stones coloured marbles, dried food portions, sea shells, bones of wild animals and people e.t.c. 
The inner side of the cave has been set apart for these exhibits to be displayed in illuminated glass cases some fossils of pre-historic man also have been found in Batadombalena in Kuruvita, Kitulgala and Minihage Kanda in Yala national park, but Pahiyangala is believed to be the oldest human habitation in Sri Lanka probably in South East Asia as well. 
There is a shrine room in the centre of the cave with a sedate reclining Buddha statue over 200 years old and next to it is another little shrine room built in Kandyan era. A famous Chinese traveller monk Fa-Hsien who visited our country in the 5th A.D., once happened to be on his way to Sripada or Samanala and found this rock cave unexpectedly. He is said to have made this place his temporary abode hence it was named "Pahiyangala". 
We climbed up the mountain over 950ft high and were amidst the 600 acres of virgin forest which stretched far and wide in lush greenery. I was compelled to imagine how in the days of the stone age having fearsome looking savages roamed in this jungle holding their primitive weapons in search of food. 

I think the giant "Pahiyangala", still harbours so many mysteries of the past, yet to be discovered on further exploration. 


by Dharmasiri Ruwan Pathirana
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