Balapokuna Raja Maha Viharaya

Balapokuna is a pond on the premises of Balapokuna temple. According to historical texts, the history of it goes back to the time of the Kotte Kingdom
Balapokuna Raja Maha Viharaya

Balapokuna Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: බලපොකුණ රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple located in Pamankada in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

The Pond

Balapokuna pond

Balapokuna is a small natural pond located on the premises of Balapokuna temple. According to historical sources, the history of this pond is dated back to the period of the Kotte Kingdom (1412–1597 A.D.). The pond was originally known as Bata-pokuna [giving the meaning of "the pond of soldiers"] and the word "Bata" later evolved to the present name Bala-pokuna.

During the reign of King Parakramabhu VI (1412-1466 A.D.), the water of this pond is said to have been used by the king's soldiers. As it is possible to see a vast area of the Kotte Kingdom, the high spot located next to the pond is believed to have been used as a lookout point by the soldiers who had been appointed as sentries. Presently, this area is known as Balahenmulla, the name has been derived from the Sinhalese equivalent of the garrison. Therefore it is assumed that this area could be a "Forward defence line" of the Kotte Kingdom.


According to local folklore, the pond located in the Balapokuna temple is one exit point to an ancient underground tunnel that runs from Kotte. Two other points that had been connected to this tunnel are said to be located at the Ambalama (wayside rest) in Ethul Kotte and at the premises of Ananda Shastralaya College in Kotte.

A Protected Site

The ancient pond of Pamankada Balapokuna Viharaya in the Grama Niladhari Division of Pamankade East, in the Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretary’s Division, is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 6 June 2008.  

The image house and the bell tower, Balapokuna Viharaya The Stupa, Balapokuna Viharaya


1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 6 June 2008. p.533.

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This page was last updated on 2 January 2024

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