Mulkirigala Rock Cave Monastery sits on a rocky cliff just 16km north of Tangalle and just 1.5 hours from Galle. It’s a peaceful, remote and romantic monastery ensconced in a verdant forest of coconut trees. Mulkirigala has a historical significance that dates back to the 2nd century BC illustrated in its shrines, reclining Buddha statues, and fantastical wall paintings. The 533 steps to its summit can be strenuous to some, with the climb getting steeper towards its summit, but the views at the summit are more than worth it. Four terraces break up the climb, offering much needed rest stops so do tell your guide if you need to take breath. It’s on these terraces where devotes conduct their devotional rituals so they’re well worth exploring. On the first terrace you’ll find a Bodhi tree, said to be a shoot of the sacred Bodhi tree found in Anuradhapura.