Ritigala is a range of mountains which is near to Anuradhapura in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. It is about 42 km from Anuradhapura and can be reached passing Maradankadawala and turning off at Ganewelpola along Anuradhapura-Habarana highway. This one of the three strict nature reserves in Sri Lanka and is about 5 Sq. km in land extent.
This mountain range rises abruptly 2000 feet from the surrounding terrain which is about 500 feet above sea level .There are several peaks in the range and the highest peak is the Ritigala. Kodigala or the Flag Rock is the highest point (of Ritigala Peak) in this mountain range and is of a height of 2514 feet. It is also the highest elevation between the Central Hills of sri Lanka and the South Indian mountain ranges. This mountain range comprises three types of forests.The bottom part of the mountain range is Dry Mixed Evergreen Forest type,the middle part of the range is Tropical Montane Forest type and the highest terrain of Upper Montane Forest type. The mountain summits attract more rainfall than the surrounding areas and amidst dry weather at lower plains, the peaks get cladded with clouds and mist lowering the temperature at the summits.
To enter a Strict Nature Reserve, one needs prior permission obtained from the Forest Department but since the Archeological Department has allowed visitors to Ritigala to sight see around 60 acres of this prime Ecological wonder in the dry zone inside the forest land, strewn with archeological remains, one can have a glimpse of this wonderful and mystic Strict Nature Reserve , not found anywhere else in the island