The Buddhist Temple Buddhangala Monastery lies deep in the jungles about 7 kilometers off Ampara. The Monastery covers 1280 acres covering 5 rocks where the remains of the ancient monastery can be seen. This area belonged to the Digamadulla Kingdom which was started by Prince Dighayu in the 4th century BC. All though the beginning of this monastery is not documented, Ven Ellawala Medhananda Thero states that the history of is monastery is as old as the Digamadulla Kingdom. Lost in the history, covered by thick jungle infested with wild animals, exposed to the elements for over thousands of years, this monastery was brought back to life in 1964 by a young brave bikku called Kalutara Dhammananda, (incumbent high priest today) who traveled through the thick jungles and cleared the area with the assistance of Buddhists in the area.
The monastery faced another dark era when the Tamil Tiger Terrorists started ethnic cleansing in the areas under their control chasing away all Sinhalese and destroying and killing any who opposed them. Lying in the middle of the Jungle where terrorists roam, the bikkhus refused to leave this important buddhist shrine even under the threat of death. During these dark 30 years in the Sri Lankan history, the Sri Lankan army protected the site and its occupants and only after the defeat of the LTTE in 2009, that the general public could visit this site without a fear. The original name of Buddhangala is not known, one belief is that the name is derived due the shape of the rock formation, which looks like Buddha in a lying position. The tamils and the the muslims who now occupy the land surrounding the hermitage area calls this “Buddhankalei” and the current Sinhalese name Buddhangala could have been derived from this.