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. have 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, February 24, 2019

Thimbiri Pokuna

Thimbiri Pokuna
Thimbiri Pokuna (or Timbiri Pokuna) is an old pond located in the premises of the ancient monastery of Jetavanaramaya. It is the largest pond found within the complex.

Pond
The rectangular shaped pond is about 99 m long and 30 m wide. Roughly circular-faced medium size stones have been used to construct the pond.

References
1) The information board at the site.

Location Map

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Silacetiya (Kujjhatissa)

Silacetiya (Kujjhatissa)
Silacetiya (also known as Kujjhatissa Stupa) is a Stupa situated in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

History
The history of Silacetiya is linked to the early Anuradhapura period (Anuradhapura period: 377 B.C. to 1017 A.D.). It is said that this Stupa had been built during the reign of King Saddhatissa (137-119 B.C.). However, the current structure has the architectural features belonging to the latter part of Anuradhapura period.

The Stupa has been identified by Skinner as Silacetiya in his maps drawn in the 19th century.

Legends
Chronicle Mahawamsa and Manorathapurani have referred this structure as Silacetiya. According to the account given in Manorathapurani, during the reign of King Saddhatissa, the remains of an Arhant named Kujjhatissa had levitated and traveled to the place where the Silacetiya stands today and had exhibited miracles. 

References
1) The information board at the site by the Director General of Archaeology.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 6 December2019

Dawson Tower

Dawson Tower is a commemorative pillar in Kadugannawa in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. The tower is located next to Colombo - Kandy road, between Kadugannawa railway station and Kadugannawa old rock tunnel. The tower is considered as an important monument related with the history of Sri Lankan road development (Rajapakse, 2016).

History
The tower was built in 1832 in memory of Captain William Francis Dawson, the British engineer who was responsible for the designing and construction of the modern Colombo - Kandy road (Rajapakse, 2016). However on 28 March 1829, before the completion of the road, the engineer passed away. In order to commemorate the service done by Captain Dawson, the tower was erected at a highest point in Kadugannawa with the private donations raised by his well-wishers (Abeywardana, 2004). 

The plaque fixed at the base of the tower can be read as follows,
"Captain W. F. Dawson
During the government of General Sir E. Barnes GCB, Commanding Royal Engineer Ceylon, Whose science and skill planned & executed this road and other works of public utility, died at Colombo 28th March 1829.
Subscription among his friends and admirals in Ceylon. This monument was raised to his memory. 1832"

The total cost for the construction of the tower is said to be £ 345.7 shillings and 11 pence (Abeywardana, 2004).

Tower
The tower is about 38 m tall (Abeywardana, 2004) and has been built in a shape similar to a light house. It can be entered by a door at the back of the tower. In the interior, a spiral staircase fixed to a central massive column of wood leads the visitors to the top of the tower (Rajapakse, 2016).

A protected monument
Ancient Dowsan tower situated in the Kadugannawa town in the Grama Niladhari Division of Kadugannawa in the Divisional Secretariat Division of Yatinuwara is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 6 July 2007. 
 
Attribution
1) Captain Dawson Tower Kadugannawa in 2013 by MediaJet is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0

References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.87-88.
2) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.82-83.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1505. 6 July 2007. p.548

Location Map

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ranawana Purana Raja Maha Viharaya

The Stupa of Ranawana Viharaya
Ranawana Purana Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Pilimathalawa in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. The temple is located about 1 km distance from the Colombo - Kandy highway and can be reached by traveling along the Ranawana temple road start from the Kiribathkumbura Highway Museum Junction.

The calm ascetic environment and some modern monastic features including the tallest walking Buddha statue in the country have made this temple an attractive place for local and foreign visitors.

History
Ranawana walking Buddha
The history of the old Ranawana temple is unclear. However, a gold sheet/Sannasa which had been given to an elite person in Ranavana village by the then king reveals some information about a Buddhist temple located in this area. The Sannasa mentions that it was issued in 1602 Saka years (1675 C.E.) to an indigenous doctor named Ranawana Vedarala with representing his farther Ranawana Mohottala. According to that Sannasa, Ranavana Mohottala and a monk called Hamithi Thera had continued previous constructions of the temple and finished the establishment work of three-Bodhis. Then they had conferred the temple to a Buddhist monk named Buluwe Maha Thera along with some paddy lands. However, after few years, that monk had abandoned the usual maintaining work of the temple for about 20 years and was begging in the Hath Korale area. Ranawana Vedarala, the son of Ranawana Mohottala informed this situation to Henakanda Biso Bandara who lived at the time at Anuradhapura. She ordered to dedicate the temple to a new monk and continue the ritual practices again. Instructed by Henakada Biso Bandara, Ranawana Vedarala came back to Ranawana and started the temple rituals along with other reconstruction work. One day, the king who came to the temple with dressing as a villager saw Vedarala and ordered his one of ministers to bring him to the palace. By hearing the total story from Vedarala, the king became happy and gave him more paddy lands and the appellation name 'Sri Rama Mohottalage Gedara' to him and his ancestry.

The name of the Ranawana temple can be found in the book, 'A Gazetteer of the Central Province of Ceylon (excluding Walapane)' written by A.C. Lawrie (Lawrie, 1898). According to the account given in that book, Ranawana Vihare has been built by the people of Ranawana Walawwa. It further mentions that Boyagama Unnanse was appointed as incumbent by Ranawana Disawa just after the accession in 1815 when he was Basnayaka Nilame of the Natha Devalaya in Kandy (Lawrie, 1898).

Walking Buddha at Ranawana temple The entrance Statues of eighty great disciples, Ranawana Viharaya Statues at Ranawana temple
Attribution
1) World's highest statue of walking Buddha by AntanO is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0

References
1) Lawrie, A.C., 1898. A Gazetteer of the Central Province of Ceylon (excluding Walapane) (Vol. 2). GJA Skeen, Government Printer, Ceylon. p.771.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 15 September 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019

Avukana Buddha Statue and Viharaya

Avukana Buddha Statue
The Avukana Buddha Statue is an ancient rock cut Buddha statue located in the premises of Avukana Raja Maha Viharaya in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

History
From the inscriptions found from the premises, the history of Avukana temple is dated back to the 1st century A.D. (Nicholas, 1963).

There is a controversy over the period of the Avukana image. Scholars have pointed out that the Buddha statue at Avukana could be the same statue mentioned in the Sri Lankan historical record Culavamsa. According to Culavamsa, an image of Buddha had been constructed during the reign of King Dhatusena (455-473 C.E.) in the name of 'Kalasela Sathu Pathima' (Vanarathana Thera, 1990). The name 'Kalasela' is the Pali (language) equivalent of 'Kalagala' and which is also the old name for Avukana occurring in the documents of the Kandy period (Ray, 1959).

However, depending on the characteristic features of the statue other scholars have dated this image to the 8th century A.D. (Deegalle, 1999; Vanarathana Thera, 1990). A donatary inscription found from the site mentions about the shrine which enclose the Avukana Buddha statue (Ray, 1959). That inscription has been written in characters of about 8th-9th centuries A.D. but it does not record anything about the image.

Avukana Rock Inscription
Period        : 1st century A.D.
Scripts       : Later Brahmi
Language  : Old Sinhala
Transcript : Si(ddham) Vayavada Tisaha puti
Bahuravamati Kalubaha Vava Saga dini.
Content : Kalabaha Tank of Mata of Bahakava
was  given to the  Sangha by  the son  of Tissa
of Vayavada.
Reference  : Nicholas, 1950; The information
board at  the  site  by  the  Director General  of
Archaeology.
Avukana Rock Inscription
Statue
The statue is 38 feet, 10 inches in height (Vanarathana Thera, 1990) and has been carved out of a living rock. A narrow strip has been left at the back of the image to keep the statue connected with the rock. On the head of the statue is a "Siraspota" symbolizing the radiance of the supreme knowledge of the Buddha. The oval-shaped face is adorned with half closed long eyes and long ears (Lambakarna). The robe is closely touching the full body of Buddha but leaves the right shoulder bare. The lotus pedestal of Buddha is said to be a later work added to the statue.

The right hand of the image is in the pose of Abhaya Mudra but the raised palm and the straight fingers of the right hand has lead some scholars to interpret that pose as Ashir-Mudra (Vanarathana Thera, 1990). The left hand is in the ring-hand attitude and holding the edge of the robe. The image originally was covered with an image house but only the lower walls of that building are remaining today (Wikramagamage, 2004). 

The Siraspota on the head of the statue is said to be added to the image during the period of British rule in Sri Lanka [(British Ceylon: 1815 - 1948) Fernando, 1990]. A wooden hood fixed on a railway girder had also been added to the image later in the purpose of protecting the statue. However, it obscure the view of the image and made a threat of collapse (Fernando, 1990). Therefore, the wooden hood was carefully removed by the Archaeological Department (Fernando, 1990)

Excavations
From the excavations done near the lotus pedestal of Avukana Buddha in 1952, archaeologists discovered a statue of Indra (Deegalle, 1999) along with four other images of guardian deities. They were found deposited in a stone receptacle containing 25 compartments (Wikramagamage, 2004). It is believed that these statues had been deposited here at the time when the lotus pedestal was added to the image (Vanarathana Thera, 1990). Professor Senarath Paranavithana has named these figures as Indra, Brahma, Yama, Kuvera and Varuna (Vanarathana Thera, 1990).

A protected site
In 1941, the site was declared as a protected area under the Antiquities Ordinance by the Archaeological Department and the conservation work was started at the site in 1948 (Fernando, 1990).
 
Rock cut steps, Avukana Viharaya The Avukana Buddha
Attribution
1) Buda de Avukana - 03 by Carlos Delgado is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0
2) Avukana Buddha Statue 22 by Cherubino is licensed under CC BY SA 3.0
3) Avukana Buddha Statue 01 by Cherubino is licensed under CC BY SA 3.0
4) Avukana Buddha Statue 05 by Cherubino is licensed under CC BY SA 3.0

References
1) Deegalle, M., 1999. a Search for Mahāyāna in Sri lanka. Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, 22(2), pp.343-357.
2) Fernando, W.B.M., 1990. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)] Section III: History of the Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka; 1930-1950. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. I: History of the Department of Archaeology. pp.109-110.
3) Nicholas, C.W., 1950. Some offices and titles in the early Sinhalese kingdom. University of Ceylon Review. pp.116-128.
4) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series, vol VI, Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). pp.166-167.
5) Ray, H.C. (Editor in chief), 1959. History of Ceylon: Vol. I: Part I. Ceylon University Press. Colombo. p.405.
6) Vanarathana Thera, K., 1990. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)] Section I: 248 BC - 500 A.D. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. IV: Sculpture. pp.29-30.
7) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites: Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.31-32

Location Map

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Yamuna Eri

Yamuna Eri
Yamuna Eri or Yamunari/ Jamunari Pokuna is an old pond situated in Nallur in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka.

Folklore
There are many theories about the origin of this pond. Depending on the accounts given in the Yalpana Vaipava Malai (a Tamil literary work), some believe that it was built by a Chola prince named Vijaya Kulangai (or Kulang-kay-ariyan or Singka-ariyan). According to Yalpana Vaipava Malai, Vijaya Kulangai had built a three-sided well in his newly built city of Nallur and the water brought from the sacred river Yamunai (Yamuna River in India) had mixed with the water in that well (Britto, 1879).

According to another well known opinion, this pond has been constructed by the renowned Cakravarti King Pararajasekaram [(1478-1519 C.E.) Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014].

Pond
The pond is completely made of coral blocks and has been built in the shape of the English letter 'U'. The outer part of the pond is about 70 ft long, 65 ft wide and 15 ft deep (Wijebandara, 2014). The platform presenting in the central of the pond is about 55 ft in length and 30 ft in width. A flight of steps running towards the water is located at its southern end.

A protected monument
The Jamunari Pokuna situated in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Nallur is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 16 July 1948. 

Attribution
1) Yamuna Eri by AntanO is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0

References
1) Britto, C., 1879. The Yalpana-Vaipava-Malai or The history of the Kingdom of Jaffna: Translated from the Tamil, with an appendix and a glossary by C. Britto. Colombo. p.14.
2) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. p.209.
3) The Gazette notification of Ceylon. No: 9886. 16 July 1948.
4) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhala). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. pp.68-69.

Location Map

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Kandy Old Fountain

Kandy Old Fountain
Kandy Old Fountain is a water spout found in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It has been built by the Coffee Planters of Ceylon to commemorate the visit of Prince of Wales, Edward VII (1841-1910) to Sri Lanka in 1873.

History
Shortly after the British occupation of Sri Lanka (British Ceylon 1815-1948), coffee became the main plantation in the country (Abeywardana, 2004). At the time Sri Lanka was a largest coffee producer in the world. When the Prince of Wales announced his plan to visit Sri Lanka, the coffee planters of the country erected this fountain to commemorate this event. 

The plaque at the fountain can be read as follows,
"Erected by the Coffee Planters of Ceylon in commemoration of the visit of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to Kandy, December 1873."

Built in a form of a coffee flower, the fountain is said to be manufactured in a factory in Glasgow. The imported parts were assembled in Kandy and activated for first time during the visit of the prince.

A protected monument
The old fountain located at the junction of Temple street and Deva Veediya in Kandy town in the Gangawata Koralaya Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 8 July 2005.

Attribution
1) Kandy old fountain by Cossde is licensed under CC BY SA 3.0

References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.48-49.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1401. 8 July 2005.

Location Map

Monday, February 4, 2019

Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya

The Stupa of Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya
Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya is an early Buddhist site situated on the east bank of Mahaveli Ganga near to present Mahiyanganaya town in Badulla District, Sri Lanka. The site is considered as an important shrine by pilgrims as its history is related with the first arrival of Buddha in Sri Lanka.

Legends
Mahiyanganaya is associated with the story of the first visit of Buddha to Sri Lanka. Therefore the the history of this temple goes as far back as the 6th century B.C. (Wijesekara, 1990). Local chronicles such as Mahavamsa record that at the ninth month of his Buddhahood, on a Duruthu (January) full moon Poya day, Buddha visited the island of Sri Lanka in order to subdue Yakkhas, the inhabitants of Mahiyanganaya area (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017), and send them away to another island (Wijesekara, 1990). Buddha is said to be appeared at Mahanaga garden, the customary meeting place of the Yakkas and dispersed the them (Yakkhas) to Giri Divaina [(the island of Giri) Nicholas, 1963]. Then Buddha preached the Dhamma to the gods who had gathered there and as a result some of the gods attained Margapala. After hearing the Dhamma on the occasion, the prince of Devas, Mahasumana of the Samanthakuta mountain (Sri Pada mountain) asked Buddha for something to worship and received a handful of his hairs (Ward, 1952). He enshrined the hairs at the spot where Buddha had sat and built a Stupa of 7 cubits tall.

About forty four years later (after the death of the Buddha) an Arhant named Sarabhu Thera, a disciple of Arhant Sariputta Thera, had recovered the Greeva Dhathu [the cervical spine (neck bone) relic] of Buddha from the funeral pyre and brought it to Sri Lanka and laid in this Stupa by restructuring it with golden colored stones (Medhawanna Pashana) to a height of 12 cubits (Ward, 1952; Wijesekara, 1990).

According to these legends, Mahiyanganaya Stupa (as well as the Stupa of Girihanduseya in Trincomalee) was built in Sri Lanka during the life time of Buddha (Ray, 1959). Therefore this Stupa could be one of the earliest Buddhist monuments in the world. However, these legends are full with miraculous details and no monument that can be dated to a time before the introduction of Buddhism into Sri Lanka has been identified in the country yet (Ray, 1959). 

History
The Mahiyangana Stupa was renovated from time to time by various Kings. The Prince Uddha Culabhaya, the brother of King Devanampiyatissa (247-207 B.C.) constructed the Stupa to a height of 30 cubits over the earlier Stupa (Nicholas, 1963; Wijesekara, 1990). King Dutugemunu (161-137 B.C.) had raised the Stupa to a height of 80 cubits. According to chronicles, Dutugemunu had the first battle of his campaign against King Elara at Mahiyanganaya and defeated a local Tamil commander named Chatta (Nicholas, 1963).

Other rulers such as King Voharika Tissa (209-231), Sena II (853-887), Kassapa IV (898-914), Vijayabahu I (1055-1110) and Parakramabahu VI (1410-1468) had carried out donations and maintenance work at the temple (Nicholas, 1963; Wijesekara, 1990). The Sorabora Wewa Pillar Inscription records that King Udaya IV (946-954) had visited the temple, Miyugun Mahaveher (Nicholas, 1963). The Gal Potha inscription of King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) also reveals that he effected repairs to Miyangunu-mahavehera (Nicholas, 1963).

The reconstruction of the Stupa was finally started in 1940s and ended in 1960s with the completion of a new pinnacle for the Stupa.

Relic chamber paintings
On 4th of January 1951, the Archaeological Survey Department of Ceylon excavated a relic chamber of Mahiyangana Stupa and found a large number of paintings fragments on the floor (Ward, 1952). The chamber/repository was located above the ground at a height of 22 feet and had been covered with three large stone slabs (Wijesekara, 1990). The paintings had been originally drawn on its inside walls but at the time it was discovered most of them had peeled off and fallen to the floor of the vault (Wijesekara, 1990).
Lokapala from Mahiyangana Dagaba relic chamber Buddha enthroned under Bo-tree with chauryi bearers. Mahiyangana Dagaba relic chamber
Lokapala from Mahiyangana Dagaba relic chamber Worshipping group from Mahiyangana Digaba relic chamber
Among the antiquities found inside the relic chamber was a silver coin belonging to the reign of Rajendra Chola [(1014-1044) Wijesekara, 1990]. Depending on this and other findings, the paintings of Mahiyanganaya Stupa has been dated to the 11th century but the style of some paintings are believed to be the work of 8th, 9th or 10th centuries (Ward, 1952; Wijesekara, 1990). 

A protected site
The ancient Stupa and the Saman Devalaya situated in the Mahiyanganaya Raja Maha Vihara premises in the Mahiyanganaya Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notifications published on 22 November 2002.  
The museum Saman Devalaya
Attribution

References
1) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series, vol VI, Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). pp.48-49.
2) Priyadarshani, S.A.N.; Gunasena, I.P.P., 2017. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Badulla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 955-9159-48-8. pp.5-7.
3) Ray, H. C. (Editor in Chief), 1959. University of Ceylon: History of Ceylon (Vol 1, part I). Ceylon University Press. pp.136-137.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.
5) Ward, W.E., 1952. Recently discovered Mahiyangana paintings. Artibus Asiae, 15(1/2), pp.108-113.
6) Wijesekara, N. (Editor in Chief), 1990. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Volume V: Painting. pp.48-49.


Location Map

Asupini Ella Falls

Asupini Ella Falls
Asupini Ella Falls (also called as Ahupini Ella) is a waterfall cascading in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. The fall can be reached by traveling through the Horewala-Deiyanwela road about 1.5 km distance from the Uduwella Bus Station.

The waterfall originates from Maha Oya, a stream flows through Mawanella, Rambukkana and entering the sea at Negombo area (Abeyawardana, 2002). The fall is visible through the jungle and the access is little difficult.

The name Asupini Ella is said to be evolved from "Asupitin Penna Ella" - the fall crossed over on horseback (Abeyawardana, 2002). According to folklore, a prince who escaped captivity from enemies had crossed over the stream at this spot.

Attribution
1) Ahupni Ella by D.V.Mervin is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
 
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.78-79.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 23 August 2019

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Queen's Tower, Delft Island, Sri Lanka

Queen's Tower, Delft Island, Sri Lanka
Queen's Tower is an old measurement tower located in the southeastern coast of the island of Delft (Neduntheevu in Tamil language), Sri Lanka.

History
The tower was erected by the British (British Ceylon 1815-1948) as a trigonometric point and a light navigation point for diurnally operated ships (Dias et al., 2016). Recorded evidence have confirmed that  the tower had been used by them to measure the land by setting up an instrument on the top of the tower (Dias et al., 2016).

However, an incorrect opinion suggests that this tower had been used as a light house (Dias et al., 2016). According to that notion, the smoke released by a fire set at the bottom of the tower create a vacuum forcing the air come out from the opening of the wall at the top of the tower's chimney-like tube thus making it visible for sailors during the day and in the night.

Tower
The tower is about 55 ft tall and has been built with cubic shape cut limestone rocks (Dias et al., 2016). The tower is getting smaller as it rises from the bottom to the top.

A protected monument
The Lighthouse (Queens Pillar) found in the area called Alamavanan in the Grama Niladhari Wasama No. Pe/6, Delft North-East in the Delft Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 22 July 2011.

Attribution
1) Queen's tower by AntanO is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0

References
1) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. pp.215-216.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1716. 22 July 2011. p.512.

Location Map

The Pigeon Nest, Delft Island, Sri Lanka

The pigeon nest, Delft Island, Sri Lanka
This Pigeon Nest is standing among the ruins found on the land adjoining the District Secretaries Office on the island of Delft (Neduntheevu in Tamil language), Sri Lanka. This nest is considered as a special creation of the Dutch rulers who were living in the Jaffna Peninsula.

History
According to historical sources, the Dutch people who was controlling the Delft island at the time (Dutch Ceylon 1640–1796) had used pigeons as an expedient to send messages between the islands, ships and the mainland (Dias et al., 2016). This pigeon nest found in the Delft island has been made by them for the arrival, exit, and resting of these messenger pigeons (Dias et al., 2016).

Nest
This square-shaped nest is completely made of coral and still remaining in unharmed condition. The total height of the nest is about 4 m and each side of the nest contains holes for 15 pigeons (Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014).

A protected monument
The building with the dove cage and the associated building ruins situated in the Grama Niladhari Wasama No. fma/4 Delft Central in the Delft Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 30 December 2011. 

Attribution
1) Pigeon house (Neduntheevu) by AntanO is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0

References
1) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. p.215.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1739. 30 December 2011. p.1093
3) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhalese). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. pp.68-69.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 27 October 2019

The Salvation Army Church, Kandy

The Salvation Army Church
The Salvation Army Church is an old church located in the Colombo Street of Kandy town, Sri Lanka.

History
Local people believe that this building has been erected in order to commemorate Arnolis Weerasooriya [(1857-1888) Rajapakse, 2016], the first non-westerner who attained the rank of colonel in the Salvation Army (Anderson, 1999).

Church
The two storied church building is about 19.7 m long and 8.18 m wide (Rajapakse, 2016). The ground floor is mainly used for the usual church services and can be accessed through three arch shaped entrances. The upper storey contains about five rooms and is connected to the ground floor through a flight of steps with a wooden balustrade (Rajapakse, 2016).

A protected building
The Salvation Army Building bearing assessment no 26 situated in the Colombo Street of Kandy town, in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Kandy is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notifications published on 8 July 2005.  

Attribution
1) Salvation Army Church Kandy by Adbar is licensed under CC BY SA 3.0

References
1) Anderson, G.H., 1999. Biographical dictionary of Christian missions. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p.721.
2) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.24-25.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1401. 8 July 2005.

Location Map

Bambarakanda Falls

Bambarakanda Falls
Bambarakanda Falls is the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka (Gunawardena, 2005). The fall is about 263 meters tall (Disanayaka, 2000) and situated in Kalupahana area near Haputale in Badulla District.
Bambarakanda Falls Bambarakanda Falls
Attribution
1) Bambarakanda Waterfall by Kiriwattuduwa is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
2) Bambarakanda Falls-Sri Lanka (1) by Ji-Elle is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
3) Bambarakanda Falls-Sri Lanka (3) by Ji-Elle is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
 
References
1) Disanayaka, J.B., 2000. Water Heritage of Sri Lanka. Ministry of Mahaweli Development, Govt. of Sri Lanka. p.20.
2) Gunawardena, C.A., 2005. Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p.38.

Location Map

St. Clair's Falls

St. Clair's Falls
St. Clair's Falls is a waterfall cascading in Talawakele in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. The fall is also called by some as the small Niagara of Sri Lanka (Abeywardana, 2004) since it is considered as the widest waterfall in the country. The fall can be seen from the Hatton-Talawakele Highway near the 84 km post (Abeywardhana, 2004).

The fall
The fall originates from Kotmale Oya, a tributary of Mahaweli Ganga and occurs 1076.92 meters above the sea level (Abeywardhana, 2004). It consists of two falls called greater and lesser St. Clair's Falls and cascade 80 m and 50 m respectively (Briggs, 2018). It forms three tiers and the cascading water is filled into a large pond (Abeywardhana, 2004).

Upper Kotamale Hydropower Project
St. Clair's Falls is one of the waterfalls affected by the Upper Kotamale Hydropower Project [(UKHP) Ranawake, 2011]. The project is located in the southern central mountains of Sri Lanka in the Kotmale Oya basin (Nandalal, 2007).

From the initial project proposal, it was identified that six aesthetically important waterfalls were to be dried up due to the project (Nandalal, 2007).  The significant reduction of water flow over Saint Clair waterfall was among the key issues to be considered. In 2003, the Sri Lankan Government published a Gazette notification regulating the release of water from the future reservoir, in order to preserve and maintain the aesthetic value of the waterfall (Ranawake, 2011). According to the Gazette, it was proposed to release 47,250 cubic meters of water over the falls for 10 hours and 30 minutes daily, between sunrise and sunset (Gazette Extraordinary, 2003).

In 2005, the government decided to proceed the project with a modified plan which only affects St. Clair's waterfall (Nandalal, 2007). At the construction phase, a special valve has been proposed to install near the bottom outlet of the dam in order to meet the conditions specified for the waterfall in the Gazette (Ranawake, 2011).

St. Clair's Falls St. Clair's Falls
Attribution
1) StClairsFalls-Srilanka-April2011 by Rehman is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
2) St.ClairsFalls-Srilanka by Chamal N is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
3) St. Clair Falls - panoramio by Alexey Komarov is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

References
1) Abeywardhana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  p.241.
2) Briggs, P., 2018. Sri Lanka. Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN: 9781784770570. p.413.
3) Nandalal, H.K., 2007. Importance of Public Participation in Project Implementation: Upper Kotmale Hydropower Project in Sri Lanka. International Conference on Small Hydropower-Hydro Sri Lanka. pp.1-7.
4) Ranawake, R.A.L., 2011. Waterfall maintenance of the upper Kotmale hydropower project. University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
5) Gazette Extraordinary of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1283/19. 10 April 2003. p.4A.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 21 November 2019

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Samudrasanna Viharaya, Mount-Lavinia

The image house of Samudrasanna Viharaya, Galkissa
Samudrasanna Viharaya (or Galkissa Samudrasanna Viharaya) is a Buddhist temple situated in Mount-Lavinia in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

History
During the 19th century, a modern Buddhist revival took place in Sri Lanka and as a result of that many Buddhist institutes were established throughout the country. The Samudrasanna Viharaya is also one of such temples established during that period. Bodhigama Dammarathana Thera pioneered in establishing this temple in 1845 (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

Image house
The image house is the main attraction of the temple and is considered as a monument of archaeological interest. It mainly consists of into two sections; the inner shrine room and the outer section.

Paintings belonging to two different periods are found drawn on the walls of both inner and outer sections of the image house. The paintings in the inner shrine room mainly show features belonging to the transitional period of southern school art style and the walls of outer section are adorned with paintings of the 1950s (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

Paintings based on the life story of Buddha, heaven and Jataka stories such as Vessantara are found in the image house. Among them, the painting which depicts the cremation of Buddha is considered as a special piece of work (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

A protected site
The Buddha shrine at Vedikanda Galkissa Samudrasanna Vihare situated in the Grama Niladhari Division, No. 546-A Wedikanda, in the Ratmalana Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notifications published on 6 June 2008.  
The Bodhi-tree, Galkissa Samudrasanna temple The Stupa, Galkissa Samudrasanna temple
References
1) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. p.56.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 6 June 2008. p.533.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 17 May 2019