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.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Kadireshan Kovil, Anuradhapura

Kadireshan Kovil is a Hindu shrine situated in Anuradhapura town, Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to God Siva along with other deities including Ganesa, Laksmi, Bahirava.

History
The temple was originally located at a site near Sri Maha Bodhi but it was shifted to the present location in 1961 (Wikramagamage, 2004). It was set on fire by mobs after Tamil Tiger rebels (LTTE), a militant group designated as a terrorist organization, attacked the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi in 1985 and massacred 146 people who were around the temple premises (DeVotta, 2007; Wikramagamage, 2004).

References
1) DeVotta, N., 2007. Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist ideology: Implications for politics and conflict resolution in Sri Lanka. pp.38,77.
2) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.154.
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Location Map
This page was last updated on 28 October 2021
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Mapakada Wewa

Mapakada Wewa is a reservoir situated in Mapakada village in Badulla District, Sri Lanka. 

History
As an inscription found in the locality, this tank was functioning during the 9-10th centuries A.D. (Arumugam, 1969). The present tank was restored in the period of 1952-1953 (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The bund of the reservoir is about 1,900 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 450 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has one spill and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.232.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 27 October 2021
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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Ridiyagama Wewa

Ridiyagama Wewa is a reservoir situated in Ridiyagama village in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The construction work of this reservoir was begun in 1923 and completed in 1928 (Arumugam, 1969). It is the main reservoir built under the Walawe Ganga Left Bank Scheme (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The bund of the reservoir is about 1.5 miles long and the water is extending in an area of about 2,200 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has two spills and one sluice (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.116.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 27 October 2021
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Balaharuwa Wewa

Balaharuwa Wewa is a reservoir situated in Balaharuwa village in Monaragala District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The breached tank was restored in 1956 (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The bund of the reservoir is about 4,200 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 130 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has two spills and one sluice (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.125.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 27 October 2021
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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

N.A. Jayawickrama

Professor Nicholas Abeydheera Jayawickrama, known as N.A. Jayawickrama (1920-2012) was a Sri Lankan academic and Pali scholar.

Life events
Jayawickrama was born on 17 March 1920 in Kidamulla village in Hambantota District (Abeynayake, 2012). He completed his primary education at the Government School in Nakulugamuwa and secondary education at Mahinda College in Galle (Abeynayake, 2012). After that, he entered the University College Colombo and then obtained his BA Degree in Indo Aryan languages from the University of London in 1942 (Abeynayake, 2012). In 1944, he got an appointment as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Sri Lanka and in 1947 he obtained his Ph.D. Degree from the University of London for his work Sutta Nipata (Abeynayake, 2012; Kitsudo, 1914). He served at the University of Ceylon till 1973 holding various positions (Abeynayake, 2012).
 
In 1973, Jayawickrama joined the University of Vidyalankara (present Kelaniya University) and work there until his retirement in 1985 (Abeynayake, 2012; Kitsudo, 1914). He was also a guest lecturer at the SOAS University (School of Oriental and African Studies) of London (1969-1970) and at the Churchill College of the University of Cambridge (1978-1979) and a Visiting Professor at Carleton College in Minnesota, USA  [(1970) Abeynayake, 2012; Kitsudo, 1914].

Jayawickrama has been honoured with numerous awards and titles. He was bestowed the position of Professor Emeritus twice by the University of Peradeniya in 1986 and by the University of Kelaniya in 1988  (Abeynayake, 2012). In 1990, the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka conferred in him the D.Litt Degree (Abeynayake, 2012).

Jayawickrama passed away on 21 September 2012 at the age of 92 (Abeynayake, 2012; Kitsudo, 1914).

Publications
Sacred Books of the Buddhists Series
# The inception of Discipline and Vinayanidana (translation and edition of Samanta-pasadika Nidankata, 1962)
# The Chronicle of the Thupa and the Thupavamsa (1971)
# Minor Anthologies of the Pali Canon Part IV Stories of the Mansions (1974)

Pali Text Society
# The Epochs of the Conquerer (translation of Jinakalamali, 1968)
# Buddhavamsa and Cariyapitaka (1974)
# Vimanavattu and Petavattu (1979)
# Katavatthupkarana-atthakatha (1979)
# The Story of Gotama Buddha: the Nidana-Katha of the Jatakatthakatha (1990)

Articles & others
# A Critical Analysis of the Pali Suttanipata, IIustrating its Gradual Growth (PhD Thesis, University of London, 1947)
# Pali Manuscripts of the John Rylands University Library (1972)
# Suttanipata Text and Translation with Notes (2001)
 
References
1) Abeynayake, O., 2012. Emeritus Professor NA Jayawickrama. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 57(2). pp.341-342.
2) Kitsudo, M., 2014. Tribute Professor Emeritus NA Jayawickrama. Journal of Pali and Buddhist Studies, 28, pp.117-120.


Disclaimer
By accessing this website, we hope that you are accepting the following disclaimer notice.
The information published in this biography has been extracted from reliable sources but we, Lanka Pradeepa (lankapradeepa.com) assumes no responsibility or liability for any inaccurate or outdated content in this page.
This page was last updated on 26 October 2021
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Mendis Rohanadeera

Professor Mendis Rohanadeera (1931-2011) was a Sri Lankan academic and historian.

Life events
Rohanadeera was born on 21 January 1931 in Pallattara village in Hambantota District (Suraweera, 2013). He completed his primary education at the Government Sinhala School in the village and then entered the Nittambuwa Guru Vidyalaya where he underwent teacher training under D.P. Atukorala from 1950 to 1951 (Suraweera, 2013). During this period, Rohanadeera was fortunate to have Mahagama Sekara as his colleague who later became a popular poet, playwright, novelist, artist and filmmaker in Sri Lanka (Suraweera, 2013).
 
After the teacher training, Rohanadeera got a job at Buddhagosha Vidyalaya at Kalubowila (Suraweera, 2013). He followed a Diploma course in Sinhala along with his colleague Mahagama Sekara at the University of Ceylon in 1956-1957 (Suraweera, 2013). After that, he got a teaching appointment at Weeraketiya Central and then at Vidyodaya University where he obtained his Masters and PhD degrees (Suraweera, 2013). With a series of promotions and honorary titles, Rohanadeera eventually became a Senior Professor of History and Archaeology (Suraweera, 2013). 

Rohanadeera has been honoured with numerous awards and titles. He was an active member of a number of organizations including the UNESCO National Commission (Suraweera, 2013). In 2009, he received a D.Litt from the University of Rajarata (Suraweera, 2013).

Rohanadeera passed away on 25 August 2011 at the age of 80 (Suraweera, 2013).
 
References
1) Suraweera, A.V., 2013. Professor Mendis Rohanadeera (1931-2011). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka. pp.104-106.


Disclaimer
By accessing this website, we hope that you are accepting the following disclaimer notice.
The information published in this biography has been extracted from reliable sources but we, Lanka Pradeepa (lankapradeepa.com) assumes no responsibility or liability for any inaccurate or outdated content in this page.
This page was last updated on 26 October 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Monday, October 25, 2021

Kurunegala Lake

Kurunegala Wewa, popularly known as Kurunegala Lake, is a reservoir situated in Kurunegala town, Sri Lanka. Located at the verge of the Ethugala rock, it is used for recreation and sometimes as a drinking water source.

History
Kurunegala Wewa is also called by locals as Ranthaliya Wewa as there are some legends around this tank associated with Vathhimi Bandara, a prince born to a Muslim consort of King Buvanekabahu I (1273-1284 A.D.) or Vijayabahu IV [(1271-1273 A.D.) Borup et al., 2019]. 
 
The treasure & the origin of the Gale-Bandara cult
As mentioned in the legends, a treasure in the form of a golden pot began to float in the Kurunegala lake during the time of Vathhimi and his all attempts to acquire it proved futile (Borup et al., 2019). Ritual specialists (Kattadiyas) who were engaged to retrieve the treasure by Vathhimi are said to have been killed after they failed to grab this floating treasure (Borup et al., 2019). This action finally made Sinhala elites feared who thought that Vathhimi was planing a gradual annihilation of the Sinhalese starting with the Kattadiyas (Borup et al., 2019). 
 
To prevent this as well as to finish the non-Buddhist ruling, a Pirith chanting ceremony was organized on the summit of Ethugala located at the verge of the Kurunegala lake and Vathhimi was invited to it by making him believe that by participating in this event he would be able to recover the treasure floating on the lake (Borup et al., 2019). The greedy Vathhimi, without knowing anything, participated in the event as the chief guest and he was sitting on a special stand built towards the cliff of the rock (Borup et al., 2019). At the midnight, Vathhimi was pulled down the rock by a group of secret agents who had been assigned this task (Borup et al., 2019). 
 
The legends say that, following his assassination, Vathhimi was born as a demon and began to terrorize the people in the area (Borup et al., 2019). The deity Kataragama, responsible for the protection of Sri Lanka, came to meet this demon and agreed to make him a deity if he stops the violence against people (Borup et al., 2019). The demon agreed with it and after that, a shrine named Gale-Bandara Devalaya was built in his honour (Borup et al., 2019).

Attribution
 
Reference
1) Borup, J., Fibiger, M.Q. and Kühle, L. eds., 2019. Religious diversity in Asia. Brill. pp.255-256.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 October 2021
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Anagimala Ella Falls

Anagimala Ella Falls is a waterfall situated in Kanneliya Forest Reserve in Galle District, Sri Lanka. The Kanneliya Forest Reserve is the largest of the Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya forest complex. Regarded as one of the most biologically diverse areas in the country, this forest complex was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 2004 by UNESCO (Gunawardena et al., 2019).
 
Climbing and bathing have been prohibited at this waterfall site by the Department of Forest Conservation.

Attribution
 
References
1) Gunawardena, M.P., Karunananda, H.T.A.R., Priyadarshana, P.H.M.G.C. and Ravindu Anjana, T.H., 2019. Plant diversity and conservation status of the Kanneliya forest reserve, Sri Lanka. International Journal of Development Research, 9(04), pp.26843-26846.
 
Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 October 2021
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Sunday, October 24, 2021

King Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha of Kandy

Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha was the King of Kandy Kingdom, Sri Lanka from 1781 A.D. to 1798 A.D. (Nicholas, 1963). Belonging to the Kandy Nayakkar Dynasty, he ruled the country from his capital at Kandy until he was succeeded by Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (De Silva, 2009).

Reign
The king of Kandy
Rajadhi Rajasinha ascended the Kandyan throne at the death of his childless brother Kirti Sri Rajasinha in December 1781 (De Silva, 2009).
 
From the Dutch to the British occupation
While the Kandyan Kingdom remained as an independent state, the trade activities of the maritime provinces of the country were under the influence of the Dutch who had occupied those areas from the Portuguese since the 17th century. The arrival of the South Indian related Nayakkar Dynasty on the Kandyan throne in 1739 was not made the Dutch happy as they were aware of the potential dangers that could come from the English East India Company that had been established in Madras (South India) by the British (De Silva, 2009). In 1762, the English East India Company sent their first diplomatic mission to Sri Lanka and the results made by this mission finally led the Kandyan rulers to develop closer ties with the British than with the Dutch.
 
King Rajadhi Rajasinhe's relations with the Dutch was consistently unhappy and his hatred of the Dutch was sufficiently intense for him to welcome their removal from Sri Lanka at any cost (De Silva, 2009). Therefore, he put up with British rule in the maritime provinces as it was the only means available to him of eliminating the Dutch (De Silva, 2009). In 1976, the British conquered the Dutch possessions in maritime provinces of Sri Lanka, as a result of some situations developed in Europe (De Silva, 2009).
 
Death
In August 1798, Rajadhi Rajasinha died of a malignant fever (De Silva, 2009). Like his predecessor, he died childlessly and this made some internal conflicts within the royal family as there was no named successor to the throne (De Silva, 2009). Pilimatalave Maha Adikaram who was the most influential person at court at the time used his power to bring an eighteen years old lad named Kannasami, the son of a sister of one of the queens-dowager, to the throne (De Silva, 2009). However, Muttusami, a brother-in-law of three of the late monarch's queens claimed himself as the successor of Rajadhi Rajasinha but he along with his sister were promptly placed in confinement by Pilimatalave (De Silva, 2009). Kannasami with the help of Pilimatalave, ascended the Kandyan throne by the name Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe (De Silva, 2009).

Services & monuments
  Inscriptions
Only one slab inscription has been found in Sri Lanka containing the name of Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha (Ranawella, 2015). However, this inscription has not been engraved in the reign of Rajadhi Rajasinha but in the 19-20th century A.D. (Dias, 1991; Ranawella, 2015).
 
1) Agrabodhi Viharaya slab inscription (from Matara District)
This inscription reveals some donations made to the temple by Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha and two other chiefs named Seneviratna Korala, Wijesinghe Mudali (Dias, 1991; Ranawella, 2015).
 
  Other documents
1) Degaldoruwa Viharaya Sannasa (from Kandy District)
This is a royal grant by Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha and it gives in detail the work done to set up the Degaldoruwa temple (Abeywardana, 2004). 
 
2) Lankatilaka Viharaya copper plates (from Kandy District)
A copper plate preserved in Lankatilaka Viharaya records some grants of lands made to the shrine at Lankatilaka in the reigns of Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha and his predecessor King Kirti Sri Rajasinha [(1747-1782 A.D.) Paranavitana, 1960]. 
 
3) Sankhapala Viharaya Tudapatha (from Ratnapura District)
A Tudapatha granted to Sankhapala temple by Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha in Saka year 1708 (1786 A.D.) reveals an offering (a land grant) made to a Buddhist monk named Karatota Dhammarama Thera (Abeyawardana, 2002).

4) Rajadhirajasinha Katikavata 
A document known as Rajadhirajasinha Katikavata contains the history of the Buddhist Church of Sri Lanka from the time of Vikramabahu (1542 A.D.) of Kandy and its final part dealing with the Rajadhirajasinha and an ecclesiastical code which he had promulgated for Buddhist monks (Mudiyanse, 1973).

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.  p.32.
2) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.108-109.
3) De Silva, K.M (Editor in chief), 2009. History of Ceylon: Vol. III. Ministry of Higher Education. pp.6,13-16.
4) Dias, M., 1991. Epigraphical notes (Nos 1 -18). Colombo: Department of Archaeology. pp.33,35-36.
5) Mudiyanse, N., 1973. The Ecclesiastical Code of Rājādhirājasiṁha. Journal of the Sri Lanka Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 17, pp.22-27.
6) Paranavitana, S., 1960. Lankatilaka inscriptions. University of Ceylon Review. Vol. XVIII, Nos. 1 & 2. pp.1-45.
7) Ranawella, S., 2015. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. IX. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-9159-98-8. pp.63-64. 
 
This page was last updated on 28 October 2021
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A. V. Suraweera

Professor Alankaraga Victor Suraweera (1930-2014), known as A. V. Suraweera was a Sri Lankan academic, historian, literary critic and politician.

Life events
Suraweera was born on 12 October 1930 in Korasa village in Gampaha District (Arangala, 2014). He had his primary education at the Government English School in Gampaha and completed his secondary education at Royal College in Colombo (Arangala, 2014). In 1950, he entered the University of Ceylon and completed a B.A. by 1954 (Arangala, 2014). He obtained the M.A. degree in 1957 for his critical edition of the last four chapters of the Pujavaliya (Arangala, 2014). In 1964, he obtained a Ph.D. for his critical edition of Rajavaliya which was published in 1976 (Sinhala edition) and in 2000 [(English edition) Arangala, 2014]. 
 
Suraweera's career life started when he entered into school teaching in 1954 at Sri Rahula College in Katugastota and later in Ananda College in Colombo (Arangala, 2014). In 1960, he became an assistant lecturer in Sinhala at Vidyodaya University (present the University of Sri Jayawardanapura) and where he held a number of higher positions later (Arangala, 2014). In 1968, Suraweera entered the University of Lowa on a scholarship and in 1977-78 he conducted research at the University of Kent in the UK (Arangala, 2014). He studied ola leaf manuscripts and early Sri Lankan prints in 1992 while working as a visiting professor at the SOAS University (School of Oriental and African Studies) of London (Arangala, 2014). In 1994, the University of Sri Jayawardanapura conferred on him the position of Professor Emeritus and D. lit in 1997 (Arangala, 2014).

After retirement from the university, Suraweera contested the 1994 General Election and was elected as a Minister of Parliament and during this period he worked as the Deputy Minister in Cultural and Religious Affairs (Arangala, 2014). He became the Director-General of the Central Cultural Fund in 2000 and the Chairman of the National Education Commission in 2003 (Arangala, 2014). He was the Chancellor of the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka until his death on 14 January 2014 (Arangala, 2014).

Suraweera has won more than six State Literary Awards. As an honour for his contribution to Sri Lanka scholarship, the government conferred on him the national honorific title of Kalakeerthi in 1898 and Sahitya Ratna in 2008 (Arangala, 2014).

Publications
Suraweera has published five novels, four collections of short stories and a range of scholarly works.
 
Novels
# Heyyanmaruwa (1971),        # Noyan Putuni Gama Hera Da (1975),        # Atta Bindei Paya Burulen (1977)
# Sada Melesa Pura Derane (1980),          # Anduru Duralana Res (1983)

Short stories
# Katath Ma Epawela (1969),     # Pedi Diyata Bora Diya (1970),     # Goduru Loba (1973)   
# Bava Thimira (1984)

Children's books
# Velava Balamu (1982),     # Ujaru Kumari (1985),     # Kala Mediri Eli (1985),     # Suratal Sina Sila (1993)
 
Anthologies in literary studies
# Vichara Vilasaya (1957),     # Sinhala Sahityaya Sampradaya (1966)    
# Navakata Nirmanaya Ha Avabodhaya (1973),     # Samajiya Sahityaya Adyanaya (1982)    
# Sahityaya Vichara Pradipika (1991),     # Sahityaya Vichara Samhita  (1995)
 
Cultural studies
# Anuradhapura Sanskutiya (1959),     # Anuradhapura Samajaya (1964)    
# Sinhala Katikavat Ha Bhikshu Samajaya (1971),     # Lekhana Samiksa (2011)
 
Critical editions of classical texts
# Alakeshwara Yuddhaya (1965),     # Pujavaliya (1961, 1998)    
# Rajavaliya (1976),     # Tisara Sandeshaya (1991)
 
References
1) Arangala, R., 2014. Professor A.V. Suraweera. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 59(1). pp.113–116.


Disclaimer
By accessing this website, we hope that you are accepting the following disclaimer notice.
The information published in this biography has been extracted from reliable sources but we, Lanka Pradeepa (lankapradeepa.com) assumes no responsibility or liability for any inaccurate or outdated content in this page.
This page was last updated on 24 October 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map