Buddhism and Sri Lanka

According to Sri Lankan chronicles, Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. by Arhant Mahinda, during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa.

Sri Lankan Inscriptions

The earliest trace of epigraphy in South Asia is said to be found in Sri Lanka. A piece of pottery, dated to circa the 4th century B.C. has been discovered from the Anuradhapura citadel.

Architecture of Sri Lanka

The architecture of Sri lanka has a long history and shows diversed forms and styles, mainly infuenced by their religions and traditional beliefs.

Sri Lankan Antiquities

Inherited from the past, Sri Lanka has a large number of antiques with cultural and historical significance which reflects the glory of past era.

Visit Sri Lanka

Located in the northern waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an island blessed with a large number of attractons which has made the country an ideal destination for the tourism.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Dorawaka Cave

Some evidence of neolithic period along with a few prehistoric petroglyphs have been discovered in a rock cave named Dorawaka kanda (or Ethgale Galge) located in Dorawaka village in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka. 
 
Evidence of a 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 6000 BP (Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014).
 
Petroglyphs
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).

References
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. pp.21,30.
Ministry of Environment & Renewable Energy. ISBN: 978-955-0033-57-7.
3) Senanayaka, J., Rammungoda, U.R., 2010. Petroglyphs of Urakanda - Sri Lanka : A preliminary account. Sirinimal Lakdusinghe Felicitation Volume. pp.247-253.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 20 June 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Rock Paintings and Engraving Sites in Sri Lanka

Rajagala Rock Paintings
Sri Lanka has a number of rock painting and a few engraving sites scattered over four specific ecozones, viz; (i) semi-arid lowlands; (ii) dry lowlands; (iii) wet lowlands; and (iv) intermediate dry lowlands (Somadeva et al., 2019). Although these sites were not much explored or studied, several scholars such as H.C.P. Bell, C.G. Seligmann, B.Z. Seligmann, G.F.R. Browning, J. Still, F. Lewis, G.F.R. Browning, P.E.P. Deraniyagala, S. Karunaratna, L.A. Aditya, A.T. Rambukwella, B.D. Nandadeva, and R. Somadeva have made valuable efforts to find out and document their historical and archaeological values (Browning, 1919; Seligman et al., 1911; Somadeva et al., 2019; Still, 1910).

The list of rock paintings and engraving sites in Sri Lanka
This is an incomplete list prepared by "Lanka Pradeepa".
 
No. Site Remarks References
1 Alugalge
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal (leopard, peacock), lines, and other symbols (wheel)
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019

2 Andiyagala
(Anuradhapura District)
Rock paintings. Includes figures of human and other symbols (sun)
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Still, 1910
3 Arangodagala
(Polonnaruwa District)
Rock paintings. Includes figures of human (man, woman), animal (monkey, deer, centipede or leaf), and other symbols (lotus of sun, bow & arrow, flowers) Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
4 Bambaragastalawa
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes unidentified animal figures
Somadeva et al., 2019
5 Billewa
(Anuradhapura District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal (sambur, peacock), and other symbols Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Still, 1910
6 Bogoda
(Anuradhapura District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
7 Budugala
(Ratnapura District)
Includes the figures of human faces, animal (lion), and other symbols (Swastika, trident)
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
8 Budunnehela
(Monaragala District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal (deer, tusker, elephant), and other symbols (beehives, hungotu, hoop, arrow)
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
9 Danigala
(Polonnaruwa District)
Rock engravings Sumanarathna et al., 2020
10 Dimbulagala
(Polonnaruwa District)
Includes the figures of human, and other symbols (square) Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
11 Dikgalge
(Ampara District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
12 Dorawakakanda
(Kegalle District)
Rock engravings. Includes the figures of human, animal (elephant and calf), lines, and other symbols
Browning, 1919
13 Gamakandagalge
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Figure of a hangout or maludema (a vessel for collecting honey)
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Seligman et al., 1911
14 Ganegama
(Monaragala District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of animal (elephant, crocodile, crawling animal), and Brahmi scripts
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
15 Gonagolla
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of hunter, deer, stag and deer juveniles
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
16 Hakbelikanda
(Kurunegala District)
Rock engravings. Includes fihures of human, animals (pangolin, deer), various lines
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
17 Havala Eliya
(Hambantota District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
18 Henanigala
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal, and other shapes Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
19 Hingurana
(Ampara District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
20 Hulannuge
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal, and other symbols Somadeva et al., 2019
21 Kadurupokuna
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of animal (elephant, and unidentified) Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
22 Kandegala
(Polonnaruwa District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
23 Kongarayankulam
(Vavunia District)
Includes the figures of human and animal
Somadeva et al., 2019
24 Kiripokunahela
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of animal (elephant) Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
25 Komarikalena
(Anuradhapura District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, and animal (elephant, either a sambur doe, jackal or dog) Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
26 Konategodagalge
(Batticaloa District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
27 Kondagalagalge
(Ratnapura District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
28 Kotiyagala
(Ampara District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
29 Kudumbigala
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human Somadeva et al., 2019
30 Kurullangala
(Badulla District)
Rock paintings. Includes drawings of animals (mainly birds), hand prints (only left hand), and abstract signs Thantilage et al, 2016
31 Lenama
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, and animal (elephants, pigs, bears, birds) Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
32 Lihiniyagala
(Nuwara Eliya District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, and animals Somadeva et al., 2019
33 Lunuathugalge
(Monaragala District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
34 Mahalenama Eliya
(Ampara District)
Various drawings
Somadeva et al., 2019
35 Malayadikanda
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal, and other symbols Somadeva et al., 2019
36 Mandagalage
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal (elephant), and other symbols Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
S
omadeva et al., 2019
37 Magulmaha Viharaya
(Hambantota District)
Rock paintings. Hand impressions
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
38 Minademugalge
(Ampara District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
39 Molagoda
(Kegalle District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
40 Mudunalavagalge
(Monaragala District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
41
Neelagirikanda
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes figures of animal (deer, tortoise), and other symbols Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
42 Nella
(Monaragala District)
Rock paintings. Includes figures of human, animal (deer), and other symbols (hangotu, beehives)
Somadeva et al., 2019
43 Nevgala
(Monaragala District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures animal (lion/tiger) Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
44 Panama Galge
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes lines and other symbols Somadeva et al., 2019
45
Pihillegodagalge
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes figures of human (men, women), animal (leopard, monitor lizard), and other symbols (bow & arrow)
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Seligman et al., 1911
46 Piyangala
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human (a group), animal (deer), and other geometric shapes
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
47 Pulukunawa
(Batticaloa District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human (two), animal (deer, elephant, dog), and other shapes (hangotu, beehive)
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
48
Punchikiriammagalge
(Badulla District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal (elephant), Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Seligman et al., 1911
49 Rajagala
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal, and other symbols Somadeva et al., 2019
50 Samangala
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures animal (pangolin, a deer, either a jackal or a dog), and other objects (hangotu)
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Medhananda, 2003
51
Sangamankanda
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal, lines, and other symbols Somadeva et al., 2019
52 Tantirimale
(Anuradhapura District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal (birds, bear, child, leopard, iguana), and other symbols (sun, moon)
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Still, 1910
53
Thelambukemagalge
(Monaragala District)

Somadeva et al., 2019
54 Umagekanda
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, and other symbols Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
55 Urakanda
(Kegalle District)
Rock engravings. Includes triangular shapes, Siripatula
Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010
56
Ussagala
(Monaragala District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal, and other geometric shapes
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
57 Valagampura
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal (deer, elephant), and other symbols (hangotu, beehive)
Kelum & Wickremasinghe, 2014
Somadeva et al., 2019
58
Vettambugala
(Ampara District)
Rock paintings. Includes the figures of human, animal (elephant, deer), lines, and other symbols Somadeva et al., 2019

References
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. pp.68-70.
3) Medhananda, Ven. Ellawala, 2003. Pacheena passa - Uttara passa: Negenahira palata ha uturu palate Sinhala bauddha urumaya (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-686-112-9. pp.212-215.
4) Seligman, C.G., Seligman, B.Z., Myers, C.S. and Gunasekara, A.M., 1911. The veddas (Vol. 1). The University Press. pp.318-
5) Senanayaka, J., Rammungoda, U.R., 2010. Petroglyphs of Urakanda - Sri Lanka : A preliminary account. Sirinimal Lakdusinghe Felicitation Volume. pp.247-253.
6) Somadeva, R., Wanninayake, A., Devage, D., Fernando, R., 2019. A review of rock art studies in Sri Lanka. Expression N° 25. ISSN:2499-1341. pp.70-85. 
7) Still, J., 1910. Tantrimalai: Some archæological observations and deductions. The Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland 22, no. 63. pp.73-10.
8) Sumanarathna, A.R., Aouititen, M., Taylor, B., Sameera, G. and Bandara, A., 2020. Fundamental inspection report- relevant to astrotourism, geotourism, and archaeological potentials: Vistas and unique opportunities of Dhanigala circular rock Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. pp.2-50.
9) Thantilage, A.; Dissanayaka, R.A.; Bogahawatta, C.; Vithanage, I.; Senanayaka, J.; Wijesinghe, T.K.; Ekanayaka, E.M.L.S.S., 2016. An account of the recently discovered rock art site at Kurullangala in Ella, Sri Lanka. Laboratory of Cultural Material Analysis Publication Series-4. Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology, University of Kelaniya. pp.1-12.
 
This page was last updated on 20 June 2021
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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Matara Fort

The Matara Fort is an ancient fort situated in Matara District, Sri Lanka. It has been erected on the land between the sea and the estuary of the Nilwala Ganga river.
History
Although the fort at Matara is believed to have been built by the Portuguese during the period of Dharmapala of Kotte (1550-1597 A.D.), the actual fort was built by the Dutch sometime after they took Matara, after the capture of Galle from the Portuguese in 1640 (Abeyawardana, 2004; De Silva, 1988; Mandawala, 2012).
 
The fort was the sole Dutch defense at Matara when a rebellion took place there in 1760 mainly due to the Dutch endeavor to register peasants' holding of lands and either to dispossess or tax them if they couldn't prove title (De Silva, 1988). Sinhalese forces backed by the Kandyan Kingdom captured the Matara Fort in March 1761 and held it for a period of nearly one year (Abeyawardana, 2004; De Silva, 1988; Wikramaratne, 2015). The Dutch retaken the fort in February 1762, and decided to erect the Star Fort on the western bank of the Nilwala Ganga river in order to strength their defenses (De Silva, 1988; Wikramaratne, 2015).
 
The date 1789 A.D. is found recorded over the entrance of the fort and that is believed to be the date of a later restoration and strengthening of the fort and not the date it was built (Abeyawardana, 2004). On 24 February 1796, the fort was ceremoniously handed over to the British by the Dutch (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015).

The fort
The fort has been built with coral and stones (Abeyawardana, 2004). The rampart and the entrance of the fort still remain. The rampart is about 240 m long, 13 m thick and 5 m tall with two side lengths of 80 m each (De Silva, 1988). The central projection is 70 m along each side and 70 m from point to base (De Silva, 1988). The gate has been set somewhat south of the center of the northern section of the rampart (De Silva, 1988). During the Dutch period, the fort is said to have been used as the commanding base for the inland forts at Katuwana, Akuressa and Hakmana. Also, there was an elephant stable at the site where the present District Secretariat building is located (Abeyawardana, 2004).
 
A few monuments that are dating from the Dutch and the British periods is found inside the fort. The Dutch Reformed Church is considered one of the earliest surviving monuments dating from the Dutch period [(1656-1796 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004]. The courthouse, the rest house, the police station, an the clock tower (1883) are a few buildings belonging the British period [(1796-1948 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015].

The rampart and the gate of the fort were restored in 1985-86 by a Dutch firm named Ballast Nedam (De Silva, 1988).

A protected site
The fort rampart (in the land plot no. 6 of the Mulika Pimbura no. 12876), in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Matara is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 18 January 1974. 

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. pp.65-67.
2) De Silva, R.R.K., 1988. Illustrations and Views of Dutch Ceylon 1602-1796: A Comprehensive Work of Pictorial Reference with Selected Eye-Witness Accounts. Brill Archive. pp.173-179,180-181.
3) Mandawala, P.B., 2012. Sri Lanka: Defending the military heritage; legal, administrative and financial challenges. Defending the military heritage; legal, financial, and administrative issues. Reports from the Seminar 16 – 17 May, 2011, in Karlskrona, Sweden, organised by ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Legal, Financial and Administrative Issues (ICLAFI) and the Swedish Fortifications Agency of Sweden. p.101. 
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 95. 18 January 1974. 
5) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. pp.55-57,59-60.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 19 June 2021
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Matara Star Fort

The Star Fort (Redoubt van Eck) is a Dutch fort situated in Matara District, Sri Lanka. Built on the western bank of the Nilwala Ganga river, the fort is located about 400 m from the entrance of the Matara Fort. It is the last major defensive work built by the Dutch in Sri Lanka (Abeyawardana, 2004; De Silva, 1988).
History
The Dutch who occupied several coastal parts of the Sri Lanka after expelling the Portuguese, had gained the control of the the Matara Fort by the 17th century. In 1760 a rebellion took place at Matara mainly due to the Dutch endeavor to register peasants' holding of lands and either to dispossess or tax them if they couldn't prove title (De Silva, 1988). Sinhalese forces backed by the Kandyan Kingdom captured the Matara Fort in March 1761 and held it for a period of nearly one year (De Silva, 1988; Wikramaratne, 2015). The Dutch retaken the fort in February 1762, and decided to erect the Star Fort on the western bank of the Nilwala Ganga river in order to strength their defenses (De Silva, 1988; Wikramaratne, 2015).

The construction work of the Star Fort was begun in 1763 and completed in 1765 (Abeyawardana, 2004; Mandawala, 2012; Wikramaratne, 2015). A person named Orukema Muhandiram  was in charge of this construction under the Dutch Governor Baron Van Eck (Mandawala, 2012; Wikramaratne, 2015). After the fort was built, it was used as barracks with the residential accommodation for the Commanding Officer.
 
In 1796, the fort was fallen under the rule of the British (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015). During their time, the fort was used as a residence for government officials and maintained under the Public Works Department (Abeyawardana, 2004; De Silva, 1988). 
 
By 1965, the fort was the public library of Matara Urban Council (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015). In 1980, it was taken over by the Department of Archaeology (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015).

The fort
The fort has been built in the shape of a unique six-pointed star (Abeyawardana, 2004; De Silva, 1988; Wikramaratne, 2015). It is surrounded by a moat and a drawbridge with arches have been built at the main gate. Although the drawbridge no longer exists, the attractive gateway with the Dutch coat of arms is still well preserved (De Silva, 1988; Mandawala, 2012). The moat had been filled with earth but was later excavated and preserved by the Department of Archaeology (Abeyawardana, 2004). After the main gate there are two similar gates and two inner rooms (Wikramaratne, 2015). A deep well is found in the middle of the fort (Wikramaratne, 2015).

The gate
The attractive arch-shaped entrance gate of Matara Star Fort is considered a splendid example of Dutch colonial architecture (De Silva, 1988). The semi-circular upper portion of it is ornamented with the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie: United East Indian Company) initials (De Silva, 1988; Wikramaratne, 2015). Below it is the name of the fort, Redoute van Eck (De Silva, 1988). A plaque with van Eck's coat of arms, flanked by two lions is found immediately below the fort name (De Silva, 1988). Also, the initials of van Eck (L.I.V.E.) and the year "1763" are denoted on the bottom of it (Wikramaratne, 2015).

Two long narrow slots into which the beams of the drawbridge (now vanished) retracted are found on either side of the upper half of the gate (De Silva, 1988).
 
Inscription
An inscription is found immediately above the arch-gate of the fort.
As De Ly, opperkoopman en secunde van het Gaals commant mitsd'. Dessave deser landen, AO MDCCLXV
A protected site
The Star Fort at Matara town (in Uyanwatta land located in the southern section of land plot no. 1 of the Mulika Pimbura no. 12875), in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Matara is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 26 March 1959. 

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. pp.67-68.
2) De Silva, R.R.K., 1988. Illustrations and Views of Dutch Ceylon 1602-1796: A Comprehensive Work of Pictorial Reference with Selected Eye-Witness Accounts. Brill Archive. pp.180-183.
3) Mandawala, P.B., 2012. Sri Lanka: Defending the military heritage; legal, administrative and financial challenges. Defending the military heritage; legal, financial, and administrative issues. Reports from the Seminar 16 – 17 May, 2011, in Karlskrona, Sweden, organised by ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Legal, Financial and Administrative Issues (ICLAFI) and the Swedish Fortifications Agency of Sweden. p.101. 
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 11709. 26 March 1959. 
5) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. pp.59-60.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 19 June 2021
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Welihena Forest Reserve

Welihena Forest Reserve is a small forest in Matara District, Sri Lanka. 
Extending in an area of about 329 hectares, the forest is an ideal place for bird watching (Abeyawardana, 2004). The groves of pine trees have given the forest a distinctive European outlook (Abeyawardana, 2004). The Welihena reservoir is situated within this forest reserve.

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. pp.84-85.

Location Map

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Tangalle Beach

Tangalle Beach is a popular shoreline in Tangalle in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka.

The beach is popular among the locals as well as foreigners as a place of safe bathing. Common bathing facilities are available in the vicinity area. .

Attribution

Location Map
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Friday, June 18, 2021

Danigala Mountain

Danigala is a circular-shaped rock situated near Kandegama in Polonnaruwa District, Sri Lanka. It is an inselberg called isolated rocky outcrops generally consisting of Precambrian formation (Sumanarathna et al., 2020). Although there is no reliable evidence of any UFO sightings or alien activities, this mountain is popularly known among the locals as the "Alien Mountain". This name probably has come into parlance because of the mountain's unique semi-circular shape and its peculiar pattern of vegetation. 

The trail to the peak of Danigala mountain is fallen through Kandegama Dhananjaya Viharaya, a Buddhist temple and an archaeological protected site (Sumanarathna et al., 2020).

Petroglyphs
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 Danigala, Hakbelikanda, Dorawaka Kanda, Urakanda, Navagala, Molagoda, Budugala, and Dimbulagala (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010; Sumanarathna et al., 2020).

Petroglyphs in Danigala
Some petroglyphs have been discovered in a rock shelter called Chitra-lena located in the northwest slope direction of Danigala inselberg (Sumanarathna et al., 2020). According to Sumanarathna et al., some engraving figures found here are recessively close to linear compounds in Dorawak Kanda cave and Hakbelikanda cave but systematically not similar to any of the rock arts found in Sri Lanka (Sumanarathna et al., 2020). It is said that these petroglyphs probably represent a date around 4,500 BP -5,500 BP (Sumanarathna et al., 2020).

References
1) Senanayaka, J., Rammungoda, U.R., 2010. Petroglyphs of Urakanda - Sri Lanka: A preliminary account. Sirinimal Lakdusinghe Felicitation Volume. pp.247-253.
2) Sumanarathna, A.R., Aouititen, M., Taylor, B., Sameera, G. and Bandara, A., 2020. Fundamental inspection report- relevant to astrotourism, geotourism, and archaeological potentials: Vistas and unique opportunities of Dhanigala circular rock Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. pp.2-50.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 20 June 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Urakanda Petroglyphs

A site with some petroglyphs has been discovered on the western face of the Urakanda mountain in Asmadalagala village in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka. 

Petroglyphs
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 Urakanda, Danigala, Hakbelikanda, Dorawaka Kanda, Navagala, Molagoda, Budugala, and Dimbulagala (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010; Sumanarathna et al., 2020).

Petroglyphs at Urakanda
Urakanda petroglyphs were discovered in 1983 by W.H. Wijayapala, the Director-General of Archaeology from 2001 to 2004 (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). They have been engraved on a rock surface close to the ground level. A later engraving of a Siripathula (a sacred footprint) is also found above these petroglyphs (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010).

All the petroglyphs of Urakanda have been executed using simple lines (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). Two figures similar to the human shape are found among these engravings (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). According to Senanayaka & Rammungoda, some of these engravings are significant as they have been found in the megalithic context as well (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). Symbols similar to Urakanda petroglyphs have been found from Dorawaka-lena and the megalithic cist burial at Pinwewa Galsohonkanatta [(near Yapahuwa) Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010]. Also, some pottery sherds retrieved from excavations at Yatigalpotta, Anuradhapura Citadel and Akurugoda (Tissamaharama) have indicated similar engravings (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010).

Scholars have tentatively assigned Urakanda petroglyphs to the Proto-historic period [(ca. 2600- 2300 BP) Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010].

References
1) Senanayaka, J., Rammungoda, U.R., 2010. Petroglyphs of Urakanda - Sri Lanka : A preliminary account. Sirinimal Lakdusinghe Felicitation Volume. pp.247-253.
2) Sumanarathna, A.R., Aouititen, M., Taylor, B., Sameera, G. and Bandara, A., 2020. Fundamental inspection report- relevant to astrotourism, geotourism, and archaeological potentials: Vistas and unique opportunities of Dhanigala circular rock Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. pp.2-50.

Location Map (approximate !)
This page was last updated on 20 June 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Bolthumbe Saman Devalaya

Bolthumbe Saman Devalaya is a Devalaya shrine situated in Boltumbe in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka. It has been dedicated to God Sumana Saman, a Buddhist deity who is the patron of Sri Pada mountain. 

History
The history of this shrine runs back to the reign of King Rajasinghe I [(1593-1618 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2002; Gnanawimala Thera, 1967]. It is said in the tradition that the king had dedicated four shrines located at Alutnuwara (Mahiyanganaya), Boltumbe, Ratnapura, and Deraniyagala to God Saman as sub-Devalas of the main Devalaya shrine at Sri Pada (Abeyawardana, 2002).

The valuable things at Ratnapura Saman Devalaya are said to have brought to the Bolthumbe shrine when it was destroyed by the Portuguese in the early part of the 17th century (Abeyawardana, 2002; Gnanawimala Thera, 1967).

A protected site
The Boltumbe Saman Devalaya situated in Imbulpe Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government notification published on 22 November 2002.

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7. pp.25-26.
2) Gnanawimala Thera, K., 1967. Saparagamu Darshana (In Sinhala). S. Godage Saha Sahodarayo. pp.255-257.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 18 June 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Kottimbulwala Viharaya

Kottimbulwala Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka. 

History
Locals link the history of this temple to King Valagamba [(103, 89-77 B.C.) Gnanawimala Thera, 1967]. It is believed that the caves of this place had been used by the king after he was overthrown by a rebellion followed by an invasion from South India. However, he regained the throne by defeating the invaders fourteen years later.
 
The oldest Stupa of this temple is said to have been constructed by King Buwanekabahu I of Dambadeniya [(1273-1284 A.D.) Gnanawimala Thera, 1967]. It is also believed that King Parakramabahu VI of Kotte (1412-1467 A.D.) is responsible for some of the constructions (Abeyawardana, 2002).

Aramanapola copper plate grant
A copper plate grant of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe (1798-1815 A.D.) reveals some historic information about this temple. According to it, Anomadassi Thera who was a monk of the lineage of Kottimbulawala Viharaya restored the old Stupa of the temple by constructing a new rampart. Expending 1285 amount of silvers he also erected a Stupa and three images at Aramanapola Viharaya and the merit thus acquired was offered to the Mahawasala of Kandy (Gnanawimala Thera, 1967). By hearing this meritorious deed, King Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe issued a copper plate in 1730 of Saka years (1808 A.D.), declaring several grants of properties to both Kottimbulwala Viharaya and Aramanapola Viharaya (Gnanawimala Thera, 1967). 

Cave temple
The cave temple of Kottimbilawala Viharaya is 120 ft. long and 25 ft. wide (Abeyawardana, 2002). Sculptures and paintings of the Buddhist tradition are found inside the cave.

A protected site
The old hermitage in the premises of the cavern Rajamaha Viharaya in Kottimbulwala belonging to the Kottimbulwala Grama Niladhari Division in the Waligepola Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government notification published on 30 December 2011.

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7. pp.29-30.
2) Gnanawimala Thera, K., 1967. Saparagamu Darshana (In Sinhala). S. Godage Saha Sahodarayo. pp.216-220.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1739. 30 December 2011. p.1090.
 
Location Map
This page was last updated on 18 June 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map