Dorawaka Cave

Dorawaka Cave
Some evidence of the neolithic period along with a few prehistoric petroglyphs has been discovered in a rock cave named Dorawaka Kanda (or Ethgale Galge) located in Dorawaka village in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka.

Evidence of the Neolithic period
Microliths, pottery and some grains have been discovered from excavations done at Dorawaka Kanda cave and scholars have dated them to a period of 6,000 BP (Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014).

Petroglyphs are considered a primitive art form made by prehistoric people (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). These include various rock engravings executed on the face of a rock or a cave wall using some form of sharp instruments such as stone, bone or metal implements (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). Petroglyphs have been recorded from a few places in Sri Lanka such as Dorawaka, Urakanda, Danigala, Hakbelikanda, Navagala, Molagoda, Budugala, and Dimbulagala (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010).

Petroglyphs at Dorawaka
Dorawaka petroglyphs are found in a natural cave situated within a rubber cultivation land. The cave is formed by two large slabs of rock, supported one by the other. It is 55 ft. in height with a floor space of 82 ft. by 14 ft. (Browning, 1919).

The drawings have been executed on the inner side of the taller slab, about 6.5 ft. above the ground (Browning, 1919). They are rough and obscure, but the figures of an elephant and its calf can be identified (Browning, 1919). It is suggested that the drawings are of Veddah origin (Browning, 1919).
A protected site
The prehistoric cave in Dorawaka village in the Warakapola Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.


1) Browning, G. F. R., 1919. Some Rock Drawing at Dorawaka in Kegalla District. Ceylon Antiquary and literary Register, Vol.IV. Part IV. pp.226-227
2) Kelum, M.A., Wickremasinghe, H., 2014. Action Plan for Conservation & Sustainable Use of Palaeobiodiversity in Sri Lanka. Biodiversity Secretariat, Ministry of Environment & Renewable Energy. ISBN: 978-955-0033-57-7. pp.21,30.
3) Senanayaka, J., Rammungoda, U.R., 2010. Petroglyphs of Urakanda - Sri Lanka : A preliminary account. Sirinimal Lakdusinghe Felicitation Volume. pp.247-253.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.

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This page was last updated on 21 May 2023

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