Remnants of many Buddhist temples can be seen in this area. In early days this area was known as Digamadulla. Ampara district is the largest rice producing area in Sri Lanka, cascading paddy fields extending up to the horizon can be seen there. A massive irrigation system starting from a huge water reservoir called Senanayake Samudraya supplies sufficient water throughout the year.
DEEGAWAPI CHETHIYA (STUPA)
According to the chronicles Buddha had visited this place during 3rd visit to Sri Lanka, hence one of the most venerated place for Buddhist pilgrims. This stupa has built on the place where Buddha has meditated. This ancient site has suffered much destruction, yet the excavations made here revealed many ancient ruins and artifacts.
RAJAGALA BUDDHIST MONASTRY
This ancient Buddhist Monastery complex was built on a top of the Rajagala Mountain 15 miles away from Ampara town. It is believed that the history of this place goes back to 1st century BC, where Buddhists monks were living here. There are extensive ruins still remaining everywhere inside the thick jungle spreaded whole over the mountain.
The monastery complex spreaded over 1600 areas and archeological excavations up to now have found 585 statues and 48 inscriptions. Among the artifacts found here, a large stone bowl and halfway covered large stone, Buddha Images are the most valuable things.
Another beautiful Buddhist hermitage situated in the close proximity of Ampara town is spreading over 1280acres of lush green forest. The five Rock Springs add more natural beauty of the hermitage. Many animals are living in this area including leopards, bears and elephants. Visitors can have wonderful view from the top of the highest rock; there they can see Galoya Valley, Inginiyagala water reservoir, Wadinagala rock and Govidha Pabatta (rock),
Archeologists have found a golden statue of Buddha and some other relics during their excavations made here. The ancient ruins that can be seen here are stone pillars, door frames ,stone seats, Moon Stones, Guard Stones, Balustrades, Ponds ,Stone foot prints symbols of Dog and Crow ,ancient bricks, stone slabs ,clay figures and the Golden Casket. There are ancient inscriptions below the drip ledges of two rock caves.
SENANAYAKE SAMUDRAYA (WATER RESERVIOIR)
It is a large water reservoir created in 1951 by building a dam across the perennial river called Galoya. The reservoir and its catchment area have been declared a Sanctuary. A visitor can go on a fantastic boat safari here at a reasonable fee.
MADURUOYA NATIONAL PARK
A forest park is a kind of a very special forest reserve since it makes an interlink among three other forest reserves, hence elephants can freely move among all these forests to find their foods. Since Maduruoya Water Reservoir is in the middle of this forest it is rich with lush vegetation.
This park is also rich with many animals. It is a fantastic place for the unique birds to live freely.
GAL OYA NATIONAL PARK
This park is mostly renowned for its elephant population. It is served as the main catchment area for Senanayake Samudraya a huge water reservoir. The special of this park is a great place for bird watching, nature expeditions and elephant sightings; it is a home for many other animals such as leopards, bear, spotted deer, sambur, wild bear monkeys, porcupine, reptiles and a number of fish species.
This believed to be the best surfing area in Sri Lanka; hence it has developed into a major tourist attraction. The surfing season is April to September, but tourists visit here throughout the year because of the finest beach. All the facilities for tourists are available in this area. You can also rent a boat to go on boat trips.
MUHUDU MAHA VIHARAYA (BUDDHIST TEMPLE)
It is in the close proximity to Arugam Bay. The ruins of an ancient Buddhist Temple is still visible here. There are statues of huge Buddha, king and queen.
MAGUL MAHA VIHARAYA
The temple is said to be built by King Kawanthissa in the second century BC. It is the place where the king married the Princess Viharamadevi. The foundation of the” Magul Maduwa “where the wedding ceremony took place can still be seen here. The huge temple complex scattered over 6000 acres consist with ruins of a palace, monastery, guard stones, moonstones, vatadage a circular Relic Chamber, stups and ponds.
KUDUMBIGALA ARANNYA (FOREST HERMITAGE)
This has been declared as sanctuary in 1973 and consists of five huge rocks scattered over 1000 acres land extent. This is believed to have been established in the 1st century located on a range of rocks. Two stupas can be seen top of the Kudumbigala Rock. There are about 200 caves around here. Visitors can freely climb the rock here, but remembering that, should not disturb the Buddhist Monks meditating there.
Okanda Devalaya is believed to be located on the place where the God Skanda first sailed to Sri Lanka in a Golden Boat. The most significant event of the year is “Pada Yathra “ foot pilgrimage of Hindu devotees via Okanda Devalaya through Yala National park to Katharagama Esala Festival and it is more than a week long walk through thick Jungles with many wild animals.
KUMANA BIRD SANTUARY
Kumana is a fine eco – tourism attraction well known as a bird sanctuary, yet you can see elephant, leopard, bear, wild boar, spotted dear and many more animals there. It consists of many lagoons, marshy lands & tanks, hence never facing scarcity of water. Kumana is best place to view the flocks of wetland birds, both resident & migrant birds. This is the best bird sanctuary where you can go closer to birds and study their behavior. Remnants of some Buddhist Monasteries also can be visible here. The mangrow swamp called as “villu” natural lake is a significant feature where many water birds nest during the period of May & June.