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, June 30, 2019

Beddagana Veherakanda Archaeological Site

Beddagana Veherakanda Archaeological Site
Veherakanda  (also known as Beddagana Kota Vehera) is an archaeological site located in the village of Beddagana in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

History
During the Dutch period (1640-1796 A.D.), this site was used as a church cemetery. Therefore, at that time this place was called by the locals as Vehera Kanatta (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

The two non-identical Stupas which have been built on a rectangular platform are considered to be the main archaeological monuments at the site. They were unearthed by an exploratory excavation carried out by the Department of Archaeology in 1949. According to the opinion of S. Paranavitana, these Stupas may represent the mausoleums of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.) and his queen Ran Menika [(or Swarna Menike) Rajapakshe et al., 2018].

However, some believe that these monuments represent the ruins of an ancient Devalaya dedicated to God Kataragama (Wijewardana et al., 2011).

Monuments
Two Stupas, a rectangular platform and several ruins of old structures are found at the site. The rectangular platform is made up of "Kabok" (laterite) stones and about 97 ft long, 58 ft wide and 5.5 ft tall (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). Two sets of steps on the northern and western sides provide the access to the platform (Wijewardana et al., 2011).

The smaller Stupa having a diameter of 24 ft, has been entirely built out of Kabok stones (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The larger Stupa is about 30 ft in diameter and in a good state of preservation (Wijewardana et al., 2011). The base of the larger Stupa is made of Kabok stones but the upper part has been constructed using the bricks. The "Pesa Walalu" (three tiers) are visible on both monuments.

In addition to the Stupas, remains of an old image house and a rampart of Bodhi-tree have been identified at the site (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

An archaeological reserve
The site known as Veherakanda (Lots 1 and 2 in PPA 2323 and lot 1 in PPA 3103) located in the village of Beddagana in Grama Niladhari Division of Pita Kotte (no.522 A) in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte is an archaeological reserve, declared by a government gazette notification published on 26 June 1964.
Beddagana ruins Veherakanda ruins
Attribution
1) Beddagana Veherakanda by Indi Samarajiva is licensed under CC BY 2.0
2) Beddagana Veherakanda by Indi Samarajiva is licensed under CC BY 2.0
3) Beddagana Veherakanda by Indi Samarajiva is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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. pp.8-9.
2) The government gazette notification: No: 14080. 26 June 1964.
3) Wijewardana, A., Thilakawardana, A. E. L., Priyangani, S., 2011. Aithihasika Kotte (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-9159-69-8. pp.16-17.

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Jubilee Post, Mirihana

The Jubilee Post is a historic monument located at the Mirihana Jubilee Kanuwa junction on Nugegoda - Pitakotte road (B120), Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

History
Jubilee Post, Mirihana
The post was established in parallel to the Queen Victoria's visit to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1887. After participating in a church service, the queen had visited Mirihana area and during her visit this pillar was erected as a monument to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the coronation of the queen (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

The post was initially at the verge of the road but due to the development work, the pillar was dismantled from its original location and installed in the middle of the junction. 

Post
The post is about 120 cm tall and has been fixed on a square shaped base (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

A protected monument
The old Jubilee Post at the Mirihana Jubilee Kanuwa junction in Grama Niladhari Division of Mirihana South (no.523 A) in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 8 July 2005.

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.11.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: No: 1401. 8 July 2005.

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This page was last updated on 29 June 2019

Appallagoda Ambalama

The Appallagoda Ambalama is an old wayside rest in the village of Appallagoda in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.

History
Appallagoda Ambalama
Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were traveling to distant places. The Ambalama at Appallagoda is believed to be a such structure built about 100 years ago (Rajapakse, 2016).

Structure
The Ambalama has been built by erecting twelve and four columns (12 externally and 4 internally) fixed in two concentric tiers. The double-pitched roof is paved with modern clay tiles and supported by the two sets of columns. Few names who involved in the construction of the Ambalama are found inscribed on the several columns (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

In front of the Ambalama is a stone "Pinthaliya", a traditional container used to provide drinking water to the wayfarers. 

References
1) De Silva, N.; Chandrasekara, D.P., 2009. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo: The National Trust Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-0093-01-4.  p.173.
2) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp. 121-122.

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This page was last updated on 7 July 2019

Friday, June 28, 2019

Halpe Pattini Devalaya, Ella

Halpe Pattini Devalaya, Ella
Halpe Pattini Devalaya is a shrine dedicated to Pattini, the patron goddess of fertility and health. It is located in the village of Halpe in Badulla District, Sri Lanka. The site can be reached by traveling along the Bandarawela - Badulla road about 5 km distance from Dowa Raja Maha Viharaya.

History
According to a traditional belief, this Devalaya had been originally erected in Hettipola, a village located in close proximity to the present Devalaya site. However, it was shifted to the present site later (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017).

Shrine
The main shrine which houses the image of Pattini is called as Maligawa and is a two storied structure supported on short stone columns and beams (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). Its upper floor is made up of timber panels and can be accessed through a wooden ladder. A sandalwood statue of goddess Pattini and several other objects such as lances, lamps and water containers are found in the inner chamber of the shrine.

The roof of the shrine has been supported on simply carved timber columns with lotus bracket-capitals (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). The images of door keepers and a small Makara Thorana (a dragon arch) depicting the typical Kandyan tradition are found at the entrance of the shrine.

A protected site
The Pattini Devalaya, Sinhasana Mandapaya and the kitchen located in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Ella are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.  
The two storied structure is supported on short stone columns and beams Sinhasana Mandapaya
References
1) 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.15-16.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.

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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Pulligoda Galge

Pulligoda Galge paintings
Pulligoda Galge (or Pulligoda Archaeological site) is a rock shelter containing a series of paintings depicting the great tradition of art of the Anuradhapura period (377 B.C. - 1017 A.D.). It is located about 3 km south to the Dimbulagala Raja Maha Viharaya in Polonnaruwa District, Sri Lanka.

Painting fragments
A series of fragmentary remains of old paintings in Pulligoda cave was first reported in 1897, by H. C. P. Bell (De Silva, 1990; Dhanapala, 1964).

The main painting fragment is about five feet in length and in a fair state of preservation (Wijesekara, 1947). It consists of five haloed male figures seated on a broad seat. The plaster around the figures has fallen, thus the theme of the painting is not clear. The figures probably depict deities engaged in worship and offering (Wijesekara, 1947).

The Pulligoda paintings have been done on a thin layer of lime plaster applied on the cave wall (De Silva, 1990). White, yellow, red, light green and brown are the major pigments used. The background is white and the figures have been emphasized with outline drawings. The figures are drawn in an attitude of veneration (De Silva, 1990). The first four figures from left are in the act of worship while the most right figure holds a garland in both hands (Wijesekara, 1947). The upper bodies are naked but carry ornaments such as necklaces, armlets, bracelets and breast strings across the shoulder (Wijesekara, 1947). The lower bodies are covered with striped garments. Each figure is sitting on an open lotus resting on a decorated seat.

Few details of similar figures are also found on a separated fragment of the same cave (De Silva, 1990).

Dating
Vincent Smith and Coomaraswamy who studied the paintings in the Pulligoda cave have dated the work to the 7th century A.D. (Coomaraswamy, 1927; Wijesekara, 1947). S. Paranavitana in the opinion that these paintings are belonged to a period earlier than 12th century (De Silva, 1990). R. N. De Silva thinks that Pulligoda paintings have similarities to those of the early or middle Anuradhapura period and hence has dated them to a period closer to the 7th century A.D. (De Silva, 1990). De Silva have dated these paintings to the 4th century A.D. (De Silva, 1990).

Attribution
1) Old historical paintings of Sri Lanka Pulligoda Arechaeological Site by Avon Pubudu is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

References
1) Coomaraswamy, A.K., 1927. History of Indian and Indonesian art (p. 1965). New York: Dover publications. p.163.
2) Dhanapala, D.B., 1964. Buddhist paintings from Shrines and Temples in Ceylon. New American Library of World Literature by arrangement with UNESCO.
3) De Silva, R., 1990. Painting (Early period 247 B.C. to 800 A.D.). Nandadeva W. (Editor in chief), Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative series (Vol. V). Painting. pp. 29-30.
4) Wijesekara, N., 1945. Early Sinhalese Paintings. A thesis submitted for the Ph. D. of the Culcutta University. pp.35,117.

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Yodha Wewa, Mannar

Yodha Wewa, Mannar
Yodha Wewa (lit: Giant's Tank) is a large irrigation tank situated in Mannar District, Sri Lanka.

History
The tank presently known as Yodha Wewa is believed to the the ancient 'Manamatta' tank mentioned in Mahawamsa (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018; Nicholas, 1963). It was constructed by King Dhatusena (455-473 A.D.) and restored in the 12 century by King Parakramabahu I [(1153-1186 A.D.) Asanga & Nishantha, 2018; Nicholas, 1963].  

The Tamil author, Mudaliyar C. Rasanayagam, in his book 'Ancient Jaffna', gives a short description about this tank as follows;
The existence of the extensive ruins at Matota and of the celebrated Giant's Tank close to it, are indubitable signs of an immense population well advanced in agriculture. This tank is apparently the most ancient work extant in Ceylon, so ancient that it is not mentioned as having been built by any of the kings who reigned in Ceylon after Vijaya. The Giant's tank must, therefore, have been the work of the remotest times, constructed probably by the ancient Nagas, who were the people then living in that part of Ceylon.
Citation: Rasanayagam, 1926
Rasanayagam suggests that the tank was probably constructed by the Nagas who are said to be an ancient tribe of Sri Lanka. Nagas are mentioned in several ancient texts such as Mahavamsa and Manimekalai, as a class of superhuman beings who inhabited a subterranean world (Paranavitana, 1961).

Restoration
The tank was mentioned and reported during the colonial period by several Dutch and British officers such as Van Imhoff, Thomas Maitland, Emerson Tennent, Hercules Robinson, H. Parker, R.L. Brohier etc. (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018). Consideration was given to renovating the tank in 1739 by the Dutch rulers, but it was abandoned due to the lack of labors (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018). A motion which was brought to the State Council in 1889, by P. Ramanathan revived the restoration work of the tank (Arumugam, 1969). The restoration of the tank and the old canal were completed in 1897 (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018).

Tank
The tank is fed by the water comes from Malwatu Oya. In order to turn the water into the Yodha Wewa, a long stone-dam known as Thekkama Amuna (Tamil: Tekkam) has been built across the Malwatu Oya. The canal which starts from the Thekkama dam is named as Aalawakka-ela.

Yodha Wewa (Giant's Tank)

Source of Supply : Inlet  channel (Aalawakka-
ela) from the Thekkama Amuna (Malwatu Oya diverted flow)
Catchment area   : 38 sq. miles
Length of bund    : 4.5 miles
Tank full storage : 26,600 acre ft.
Area of water spread : 4550 acres
No. of sluices : seven

Reference : Arumugam, 1969

Giant's tank
Attribution
1) Yoda Wewa (Giant’s Tank) by Amila Tennakoon is licensed under CC BY 2.0
2) Yoda Wewa (Giant’s Tank) by Amila Tennakoon is licensed under CC BY 2.0

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.333.
2) Asanga, M. V. G. K.; Nishantha, I. P. S., 2018. Mannarama Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-10-9. pp.58-59.
3) 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), p.81.
4) Paranavitana, S., 1961. The Arya kingdom in north Ceylon. JRAS (CB), 7, pp.172-224.
5) Rasanayagam, C., 1926. Ancient Jaffna: Being a Research Into the History of Jaffna from Very Early Times to the Portug [u] ese Period. Asian Educational Services (1984). pp.82-83.

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Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription of Parakramabahu

Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription of Parakramabahu
Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription of Parakramabahu is one of Tamil inscriptions in Sri Lanka. It is now on the display at the Stone Gallery of the Colombo National Museum. It records about a grant of fields in Naimmana village (in Matara District) to feed Brahmans at the alms hall near the shrine of Devinuwara.

Discovery
The slab was found from a place at Naimmana village in Matara District. Edward Muller, in his book "Ancient Inscriptions of Ceylon", says that an upright slab with a Tamil inscription was found standing in the jungle of Naimana, located about two miles north of Matara (Muller, 1984).

Inscription
The inscription has been engraved on both sides of an irregularly shaped stone slab of about 3 feet tall and 1 feet broad. The top of the slab is round and outline drawings of the Sun and the Moon (on the first side) and 'Samkha' and 'Cakra' (on the second side) are found carved above the lettering. It consists of forty six lines and has been written on both sides of the slab (Pathmanathan, 2005). The epigraph is mainly in Tamil language with the Tamil scripts but it ends with two Sanskrit verses written in Grantha scripts (Pathmanathan, 2005).

The inscription is dated in the twenty first year of a king styled Sri Parakramabahu (Pathmanathan, 2005). Depending on the palaeographical considerations, S. Paranavitana has assigned this inscription to the 14-15th centuries A.D. (Paranavitana, 1953). S. Pathmanadan in the opinion that this inscription has been set up during the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.), around the year 1433 A.D. (Pathmanathan, 2005).

Content
The inscription has two parts: the Sanskrit portion and the Tamil portion. The Sanskrit portion is identified as the summary of the Tamil record but significant differences are found in the descriptions of the grant in the two languages (Pathmanathan, 2005). The Sanskrit portion records about the endowment of village of Naimmana by Parakramabahu, the king of Lanka, for the purpose of feeding twelve Brahmans daily at 'sattra' (a alms hall) of Devaraja (Pathmanathan, 2005). The Tamil portion records about the grants of fields of several villages (including Naymnanai) by the king, for the purpose of providing alms daily at the 'cattiram' of the shrine of the (god) king (Pathmanathan, 2005).

The interpretations for the Naimmana Tamil inscription by S. Pathmanathan (2005) are given below,
Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription

Reign    : Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.)
Period   : 15th century A.D.
Language   : Tamil, Sanskrit
Script  : Tamil, Grantha
Transcript: (1)  Ciri   parakkirama   (2)  vaku  tevarku  ya 
(3) ntu  20 avatuk  (4) ku  etiravatu vai  (5)  kaci mu  5(i)l 
maha (6) iracavintiru .....>>
Translation : Hail Prosperity. The twenty-first anniversary
of    the    inauguration    of    the    reign    of    his   majesty
Parakkiramavaku    tevar   is   on    the    fifth   (day)  of  the
first fortnight of (the month of) Vaikaci.....>>

Citation : Pathmanathan, 2005
Naimmana Tamil Slab
References
1) Muller, E., 1984. Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon. Asian Educational Services. New Delhi. p.60.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1953. The Shrine of Upulvan at Devundara (Vol. 6). Ceylon Government, Archaeological Department. p.71.
3) Pathmanathan, S., 2005. Tamil inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 47. (2010). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka, pp.39-52.
 
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Renagala Ambalama

The Renagala Ambalama is an old wayside rest in the village of Renagala in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.
Renagala Ambalama

History
Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were traveling to distant places. The Ambalama at Renagala is believed to be belonged to the late 19 century (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). According to a folklore, Pilimatalawe Maha Adikaram had stopped at this place for a while after he was captured by the British (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015).

Structure
The Ambalama has been built on a rock plane by using clay and rubble stones. The walls are about 1.25 m tall and the roof is sustained by 9 pillars of about 1 m height (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). The four pillars at the corners of the structure are covered with lime plaster while others contains simple wood carvings.

A protected monument
The doss house (Renagala Ambalama) in Renagala village in the Grama Niladhari Division of Hungamuwa in Alawwa Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 7 December 2001.

References
1) Anuradha, R.K.S.; Kumari, A.S., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kurunegala Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-37-2. pp.65-66.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: No: 1214. 7 December 2001.

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Rathmale Ambalama

The Rathmale Ambalama is an old wayside rest in the village of Daulagala in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.
Rathmale Ambalama

History
Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were traveling to distant places. The Ambalama at Ratmale is believed to be constructed in 1908 (the date is found inscribed on a stone plate fixed in the ground floor of the Ambalama), as a resting place for wayfarers (Wikramaratne, 2015).

Structure
The Ambalama has been constructed as a two storey structure. The upper floor is built with a wooden floor and a staircase made of wood is said to be there to reach it (Wikramaratne, 2015).

A protected monument
The doss house (Ratmale Ambalama) in Rathmale village in the Grama Niladhari Division of Bambarenda South in Dikwella Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 30 August 1974.

References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Extraordinary No: 1823/73. 16 August 2013. p.5A.
2) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. p.63.

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Baobab Tree, Delft Island, Sri Lanka

Baobab Tree, Delft Island
The Baobab tree located in Delft island, Jaffna District is said to be one of oldest trees in Sri Lanka.

Baobab in Sri Lanka
Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) is not a native to Sri Lanka but several baobab clusters are found mostly on Mannar and neighboring areas in the north-west of the island. They are believed to be introduced to Sri Lanka by Arab traders (Vandercone et al., 2004). Baobab is called locally as "Aliya-gaha" (elephant-tree) by Sinhalese and as "Perukka" by Tamils (Vandercone et al., 2004).

According to Vandercone et al. (2004) about 40 baobab trees survive in Sri Lanka, of which 34 have been identified in the island of Mannar (Vandercone et al., 2004). Due to its rarity, antiquity and limited distribution, baobab is a protected tree in Sri Lanka (Vandercone et al., 2004).

The baobab tree in Delft island has a large hollow within its trunk and the space it has made is enough for a group of people to assemble in it (Wijebandara, 2014).

An archaeological protected tree
The Baobab Tree found in the area called Kavolaiyampalai in the Grama Niladhari Wasama No. J/6, Delft-East of the Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 22 July 2011.

Attribution
1) Massive Baobab by David Stanley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1716. 22 July 2011. p.512
2) Vandercone, R., Sajithran, T.M., Wijeyamohan, S. and Santiapillai, C., 2004. The status of the baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) in Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. Current Science, pp.1709-1713.
3) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhala). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. pp.70-71.

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Keppetipola Walawwa, Kandy

The old manor house known as Keppetipola Walawwa is located on D. S. Senanayake Veediya, Kandy town, Sri Lanka.
Keppetipola Walawwa, Kandy

Building
The two storied building presently owned by Kandy Buddhist Association is the old Keppetipola Walawwa. It was handed over to the association in 1952 (Rajapakse, 2016).

The building contains architectural features of the colonial period and is in a well preserved state. The ground floor of the building has been paved with tiles while the upper storey is on a floor made of woods (Rajapakse, 2016). A wooden flight of steps runs from the ground floor to the upper floor.

A protected monument
The Keppetipola Walawwa (the building bearing assessment nos. 150, 152, 152/1) on D.S. Senanayake Veediya in Kandy town in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Gangawata Koralaya is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 8 July 2005.

References
1) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.22-23.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1401. 8 July 2005.

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Madugalla Walawwa, Kandy

The old manor house known as Madugalla Walawwa is located on D. S. Senanayake Veediya, Kandy town, Sri Lanka.

Building
The two storied Walawwa building is well preserved. Presently, it is used as a furniture showroom by Jayasinghe Furniture Dealers (Pvt) Ltd. The archaic value of this building can be identified by its brick built pillars, wooden staircase, old arches etc. (Rajapakse, 2016).

A protected monument
The Madugalle Walawwa (the building bearing assessment no 184) on D.S. Senanayake Veediya in Kandy town in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Gangawata Koralaya is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 8 July 2005.

References
1) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.23-24.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1401. 8 July 2005.

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Sirimalwatta Ambalama

Sirimalwatta Ambalama is an old wayside rest in the village of Sirimalwatta in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.
Sirimalwatta Ambalama

History
Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were traveling to distant places. The Ambalama located in Sirimalwatta is believed to be built during the Kandyan period, by a regional chief of King Sri Vikrama Rajasingha [(1798-1815 A.D.) De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009: Rajapakse, 2016].

The structure is said to be reconstructed around 1936 (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

Structure
The Ambalama has been renovated several times recently, resulting some old features invisible. The roof is paved with modern clay tiles and supported by the twelve and four pillars fixed in two concentric tiers. The outer pillars are made of wood and said to be brought from an Ambalama at Yakgahapitiya (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). Several decorations belonging to Kandyan period are found carved on the remaining wooden pillars (Rajapakse, 2016).

A protected monument
Sirimalwaththa Ambalama situated in Grama Niladhari Division, Sirimalwaththa West in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Kundasale is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 24 March 2016.

References
1) De Silva, N.; Chandrasekara, D.P., 2009. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo: The National Trust Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-0093-01-4.  p.170.
2) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. p. 66.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1960. 24 March 2016. p.227.

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Daulagala Ambalama

Daulagala Ambalama is an old wayside rest in the village of Daulagala in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.
Daulagala Ambalama

History
Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were traveling to distant places. The Ambalama located in Daulagala is said to have been constructed in 1914 (Abeywardana, 2004), by a person named Nugawela Manamperi Chandrasekara Wasala Mudalilage Kuda Bandara Diyawadana Nilame (Rajapakse, 2016).

Structure
The Ambalama has been constructed by erecting four granite pillars fixed to a foundation. The roof is paved with Kandyan period clay tiles and supported by the four granite pillars. Several decorations are found carved on the wooden rafters.

A protected monument
The old Ambalama situated in Daulagala village in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Udunuwara is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 30 August 1974.

References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.85.
2) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. p. 66.
3) The government gazette notification. No: 8-826. 30 August 1974.

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This page was last updated on 21 September 2019

Thursday, June 13, 2019

National Museum of Galle

National Museum of Galle
The National Museum of Galle, Sri Lanka is one of museums administered by the Department of National Museums. It has been established in an old Dutch building located in the Galle fort (Abeyawardana, 2004; Embuldeniya & Karunarathna, 2019). 

Archaeological and anthropological objects related to Southern region such as traditional wooden mask carvings, collection of Beeralu laces and ornamental objects made up of turtle shells are mainly exhibited in this museum (Embuldeniya & Karunarathna, 2019).

History
The museum building was constructed around 1656 (Embuldeniya & Karunarathna, 2019) as the house for a commander or a similar high official (Abeyawardana, 2004). During the Dutch period it had been used as an armory for the Dutch garrison at the fort (Ranchagoda, 2015).

A part of the museum building is said to be destroyed during the construction of New Oriental Hotel [(present Amangalla Hotel) Abeyawardana, 2004]. The building was developed and opened to the public on 31 March 1986 by Department of National Museums (Embuldeniya & Karunarathna, 2019).
National Museum of Galle National Museum of Galle
Attribution
1) Galle National Museum 002 by Dan arndt is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
2) Galle National Museum 003 by Dan arndt is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
1) Galle Museum by Shehanw is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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. p.21.
2) Embuldeniya, P., Karunarathna, K.G.M., 2019. Significance of developing museums in Sri Lanka as tourist attractions: with special reference to national museums. EPRA International Journal of Research and Development. Vol. IV. Issue 2. pp.14-21.
3) Ranchagoda, T. O., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Galla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-53-4. pp.55-56.

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This page was last updated on 14 June 2019

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Old Dutch Watch Tower, Narapadu, Mannar

The tower located in Narapadu in Mannar District, Sri Lanka is an old watch tower built by the Dutch.
Old Dutch Watch Tower, Narapadu, Mannar

History
During the period between 1640 – 1796, most of the coastal areas in Sri Lanka were controlled by the Dutch. They built this tower in Mannar island during this period to be used as a watch tower (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018).

Tower
The brick-built tower is about 10 m tall and has been erected on a quadrangle foundation which is about 4.5 m in length and width (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018). The tower is circular in shape and getting smaller as it rises from the bottom to the top. The diameter of the bottom part of the tower is about 4 m (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018)

The tower can be entered through an arched shaped entrance of about 2 m tall and 80 cm wide (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018). A spiral staircase is running upward till more than half of the tower. The upper part of the tower has been made of coral stones (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018).

A protected monument
The Dutch guard post in Narapadu in the Grama Niladhari Division of Narapadu in Mannar Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 16 August 2013.

References
1) Asanga, M. V. G. K.; Nishantha, I. P. S., 2018. Mannarama Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-10-9. pp.72-73.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Extraordinary. No: 1823/73. 16 August 2013. p.7A.

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This page was last updated on 9 June 2019

Old Nupe Market, Matara

The Old Nupe Market is a historic building situated in Matara town, Sri Lanka. The building is located at the Nupe junction on Nilwala By pass road about 2 km distance from the Matara Bus station.
Old Nupe Market, Matara

History
The British constructed this building during their colonial period to be used as a market place (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015). 

The construction of markets became a usual urban tradition since the beginning of colonial period. During the British occupation, markets were built in several main towns in the country such as Colombo, Galle and Jaffna. The Welekade market at Badulla (built in 1889) and the vegetable market at Galle (built in 1890) provide evidences that the British had started to build markets around the country during the late 19th century. The old Nupe market at Matara is thought to be a contemporary work of Welekade market.

Conservation
The building was conserved in the 1980s by the Urban Development Authority and again in the 1990s by the Department of Archaeology. The most recent conservation was done in 2014, by the Archaeological Department.

Building
The Nupe market has been built in the shape of the English letter "T" and is an open structure (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015). The front section of the building (the upper bar of the letter "T") is about 200 ft long and running parallel with the road (Wikramaratne, 2015). At the middle of it is a wooden portico providing the entrance to the building. The back section of the building is about 100 ft long and the width of the total building is 30 ft (Wikramaratne, 2015).

The roof of the market building is paved with Kandyan period clay tiles (Peti-ulu) and supported by a number of large circular pillars (Abeyawardana, 2004). The pillars are about 10 ft. 10 in. tall and not bonded with walls. The supporting wooden frame of the roof has been elaborated and edged with lavish latticework. The three small wooden spires which are rising from the roof of the front section is considered as a peculiar feature.

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. p.68.
2) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. p.61.

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This page was last updated on 9 June 2019

Maha Saman Devalaya, Ratnapura

Maha Saman Devalaya, Ratnapura
Maha Saman Devalaya is a famous shrine dedicated to god Saman and situated in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka. The site can be reached by traveling along the Ratnapura - Panadura road about 3.5 km from Ratnapura town.

The temple is also popular for its annual pageant hold in July.

History
The history of Ratnapura Maha Saman Devalaya is running back to the period of Dambadeniya [(1220–1345 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2002]. It is believed that this shrine was built by Aryakamadeva, the chief minister of King Parakramabahu II (1236-1271 A.D.).

At the beginning it was a Buddhist temple of Theravada tradition called by the name of Saparagrama Viharaya (or Saparagamu Vehera). According to the account found in Saman Siritha (an old poetry work), a monk named Viharavasi Seelawansa who was on a pilgrimage to Sri Pada had a dream and found a statue of god Saman in a rock cave at Sri Pada mountain. He brought the statue to the Saparagamu Vehera amidst a ceremony and subsequently, the temple was started to called as Saman Vehera.

During the reign of King Parakramabahu II, a vow of constructing a Devalaya for god Saman was made at Saman Vehera by Aryakamadeva, if he was able to find a trove of gems in the area. After a successful gem expedition he built a three storied Devalaya for god Saman and gave jewelries, villages and workers for its maintenance. 

Again in the reigning period of King Parakramabahu VI (1415-1467 A.D.), Nilapperumalu, a descendant of minister Aryakamadeva, renovated the Viharaya and Devalaya with giving it 26 villages and jewelries. He also had established an inscription enacting a constitution for the temple.

In 1618, the Saman Vehera and Devalaya were destroyed and the debris had been put into the Kalu Ganga river by Portuguese. They constructed a church at the site and maintained it for 47 years. King Rajasinghe II (1629-1687 A.D.) captured the site in 1665, and reconstructed the Devalaya again. The shrine which is standing today at the site is said to be the structure erected during the 17th century by King Rajasinghe II.

Inscription
A stone plaque depicting a Portuguese standing over a prostrate foe has been found from the temple premises (Abeyawardana, 2002; Perera, 1922). It contains an inscription written in Portuguese language with Roman characters (Lewis, 1913).
Saman Devalaya Inscription

Language  : Portuguese
Script         : Roman
Text : Com esta rendi este, ha 23 (?) annos que ando na India, e ha 15 (?)
 que  sirvo  de  capitao;  e  taoque  (?)  os  reis....de....(?)  e  o  rei  de 
Jafanapatao, eu Simao Pinhao o venci.
Translation : With  this  (sword)  I  overcame  this  (man), it being 23 (?)
 years that I have been in India, and 15 (?) that I have served as Captain;
 and  as soon as  (?) the kings....and the kings of  Jafanapatao, I, Simao
 Pinhao, conquered him.
Citation  : Lewis, 1913.
Saman Devalaya Inscription
A protected site
The ancient Maha Saman Devalaya, Alapatha Walawwa (the ancient official residence of the Basnayake Nilame) and the Buddha shrine with ancient sculptures and paintings of the Ratnapura Maha Saman Dewala premises situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Dewalegava, in Ratnapura Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by the government Gazette notifications published on 27 June 1952, and 6 June 2008.

Ruins of a Stupa Sinhasana Mandapaya
Attribution
1) This image (Mural from Maha Saman Devalaya Ratnapura) has been released into the public domain through Wikipedia by its up-loader, Mayooranathan. The original photo taken by Mr. J. W. Robertson of the Survey Department was appeared on the Journal of the Ceylon Branch of Royal Asiatic Society, 1899. Vol. XVI. No.50. pp.84-85.

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.11-12.
2) Lewis, J.P., 1913. List of inscriptions on tombstones and monuments in Ceylon, of historical or local interest: with an obituary of persons uncommemorated. Colombo. pp.286-287.
3) Perera, S.G., 1922. The Saman Devale inscription. The Ceylon antiquary and literary register. Vol. VIII: Part. I. pp.1-5.
4) The Gazette notification. No: 10418. 27 June 1952.
5) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 6 June 2008. p.527.

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This page was last updated on 14 September 2019

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Buttala Iron Ore Deposit

Buttala Iron Ore Deposit
The Buttala iron ore deposit is found exposed in the village of Kukurampola, Monaragala District, Sri Lanka. It is located about 15 km distance from the Buttala town and closer to the Pelawatta sugar factory. The deposit is believed to be the largest magnetite deposit discovered in Sri Lanka (Athisinghe et al., 2019).

Iron Ores
Iron is a common rock forming element in the Earth. It constitutes about 5 % of the crustal materials (Kanellopoulos et al., 2018; Marion, 2012) and occurs in nature as different compounds such as oxides, carbonates, silicates, sulphides etc. (Christie & Brathwaite, 1997). Natural iron deposits with good quality and quantity are used to extract iron and such occurrences are called as iron ores (Kennedy, 1990; Summerfield, 2016; Yellishetty & Mudd, 2014).

Sri Lankan Iron Ore Deposits
The high grade basement of Sri Lanka is composed of several iron ore deposits (Cooray, 1984). They can be grouped as; magnetite deposits, copper-magnetite deposits, and hydrated iron oxide deposits (Cooray 1984, Herath, 1995).

Buttala Iron Ore Deposit
A broken magnetite block, Buttala iron ore
In 2001, a large primary magnetite deposit was discovered at Kukurampola area in Buttala, Uva province (Senaratne et al., 2001). The site is located in the proximity of the lithotectonic boundary between the Highland Complex and eastern Vijayan Complex of the Sri Lankan Precambrian basement (Senaratne et al., 2001). This boundary is a sub-horizontal ductile thrust zone (The national atlas of Sri Lanka, 2007) where a number of geologic features are identified. They include major mineralization occurrences such as magnetite, serpentinite, gold, corundum and calcite as well as formations of hot water springs (Widanagamage, 2011).

The Buttala iron ore deposit is exposed as a small mountain covering about 550000 m2 surface area (Manjula & Madugalla, 2018). Fresh ore bodies are mainly found along the ridge of mountain (Manjula & Madugalla, 2018).  From the magnetometer investigations it has been found that the deposit is not spread throughout the total mountain area but formed as a dyke which dipping to the south-east direction (Hewathilake, 2013).

According to the XRF data by Manjula & Madugalla (2018), Buttala iron ore deposit contains high amount of Fe2O3 (78.84 wt. %) and minor amounts of Al2O3 (7.54 wt. %), SiO2 (4.4 wt. %), TiO2 (3.6 wt. %) and MgO [(2.54 wt. %) Manjula & Madugalla, 2018]. Magnetite and hematite are the main ore minerals presenting in the Buttala deposit (Manjula & Madugalla, 2018). 
Exposed iron ore bodies, Buttala Exposed iron ore bodies, Buttala
Magnetite, Buttala iron ore Magnetite veins are observed in a nearby quarry site
References
1) Athisinghe, A.M.J.N., Hewathilake, H.P.T.S. and Adikaram, A.M.N.M., 2019. Geochemical Characterization of Magnetite Ore Deposit in Buttala, Sri Lanka. International Research Conference of Uva Wellassa University-2019.
2) Christie, T. and Brathwaite, B., 1997. Mineral commodity report 15—Iron. NZ Min. pp.22-37.
3) Cooray, P.G., 1984. An introduction to geology of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). 2nd revised ed. Colombo; National Museum Department. pp.81-83, 211-212.
4) Herath, M.M.J.W., 1995. Economic geology Sri Lanka: Fifth edition, Ministry of Industrial Development, Colombo. pp.60-70.
5) Hewathilake, H.P.T.S., Cooray, J.T. and De Silva, S.N., 2013. Magnetometer Characterization of Iron Ore Deposit in Buttala, Sri Lanka. Proceedings to 29th Technical Sessions of Geological Society of Sri Lanka, 17, p.20.
6) Kanellopoulos, C., Valsami-Jones, E., Voudouris, P., Stouraiti, C., Moritz, R., Mavrogonatos, C. and Mitropoulos, P., 2018. A new occurrence of terrestrial native iron in the earth’s surface: The Ilia thermogenic travertine case, Northwestern Euboea, Greece. Geosciences, 8(8), p.287.
7) Kennedy, B.A., 1990. Surface mining. Society for mining, metallurgy, and exploration (U.S.). pp.48, 57, 60.
8) Manjula, H.A.K.L. and Madugalla, T.B.N.S., 2018. Mineral and chemical characterization of iron ore deposit in Buttala, Sri Lanka: implication for its economic potential. The 7th Annual Science Research Sessions (ASRS)-2018. South Eastern University of Sri Lanka.
9) Marion, J., 2012. Physical science in the modern world. Elsevier. p.117.
10) Senaratne, A., Dharmagunawardene, H.A., Fernando, W. A. R., 2001. Discovery of a new primary magnetite deposit in Wellawaya. Annual research sessions, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (Vol. 6).
11) Summerfield, D., 2016. Australian resources review: Iron. Geoscience Australia, Canberra, Australia.
12) The national atlas of Sri Lanka, 2007. Second edition, Survey Department of Sri Lanka, ISBN: 955-9059-04-1, p.44.
13) Widanagamage, I.H., 2011. EMPA dating of monazite from high grade metamorphic rocks along the Highland-Vijayan boundary zone, Sri Lanka. MSc thesis, Kent State University. pp.17-18.
14) Yellishetty, M. and Mudd, G.M., 2014. Substance flow analysis of steel and long term sustainability of iron ore resources in Australia, Brazil, China and India. Journal of cleaner production, 84, pp.400-410.

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This page was last updated on 6 June 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

Samangala Aranya Senasanaya

Samangala Aranya Senasanaya
Samangala Aranya Senasanaya (lit: Samangala forest hermitage) is a Buddhist temple situated in the village of Samangala in Ampara District, Sri Lanka. The mountain, Samangalakanda is located about 5.6 km to the west of 28 Junction on the Ampara - Maha-Oya road.

History
A large number caves with drip-ledges have been found on the slope of the eastern side of the Samangalakanda mountain (Withanachchi, 2013). Some caves contain early Brahmi inscriptions (3rd century B.C.- 1st century A.D.) inscribed just below the drip-ledges.

Inscriptions
 ''Transcript: Upa rajhaha puta aya abaya puta thishaha puta thisha ayana karite maha lene agata anagata chatudisha shagasha dine''
Citation: Medhananda, 2003. p. 214.
According to the opinion Rev. Ellawala Medhananda, the last name mentioned in this cave inscription (thisha aya) indicates the name of King Saddha Tissa [(137 B.C. – 119 B.C.) Medhananda, 2003; Withanachchi, 2013]. Therefore, this inscription gives the evidence for the political connectivity between the aforesaid king and the Digamadulla region during the early Anuradhapura period (Withanachchi, 2013).

An inscribed sketch resembling a figure similar to Sanchi Stupa in India has been found on a tall rock boulder near a cave (Medhananda, 2003). Also, the remains of old rubble walls are still visible in-front of several caves (Withanachchi, 2013).

A protected site
Samangala mountain range with drip ledged cave complex containing inscriptions belonging to Samangala village situated in the Grama Niladhari Division No. W/104B/2, Bandaraduwa in the Divisional Secretary’s Division Uhana is an archaeological protected site, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 10 October 2014.
Samangala Aranya Senasanaya Samangala Aranya Senasanaya
Samangala Aranya Senasanaya Samangala Aranya Senasanaya
References
1) 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.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1884. 10 October 2014 p.923.
3) Withanachchi, C. R., 2013. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Ampara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-44-5. pp.11,18.

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This page was last updated on 19 July 2019