The Aluvihare Rock Temple is situated to the north of Matale (about 26km from Kandy) within Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle on the Kandy-Dambulla stretch of the A9 highway. It played an important part in Theravada Buddhist history, following the Fourth Buddhist Council, being the place where the Tipitika was committed to writing in Pali . Prior to this, the teachings of the Buddha and his key disciples were transmitted from generation to generation by oral tradition.
I have visited the Aluvihare Rock Temple a few times now. My first visit was quite a number of years ago and was included on my itinerary because my father had asked me whether I'd seen these special leaves on which the Buddha's teachings had been transcribed. At that time, I didn't know much about the significance of the place nor what had happened during the Dutch and British presence in Sri Lanka. More on that later.
On this most recent visit, I was touring the Cultural Triangle with some relatives visiting from abroad. I find that many people visiting Sri Lanka miss out on visiting Aluvihare unless they're on a cultural tour of Sri Lanka or have some knowledge or interest in Buddhist history. As a result, there are less crowds here making it a pleasant place to spend a few hours or more. This is in contrast to the Golden temple or Dambulla Cave Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and oftentimes busy and crowded.