Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Bendiyamulla Tombstone of Karunaratne

Bendiyamulla Tombstone of Karunaratne
The Bendiyamulla Tombstone is a monument located on roadside of Gampaha - Miriswatta highway about 1.2 km distance from the Gampaha Hospital. It has been erected to commemorate Mr. Karunaratne, a wealthy landowner.

Karunaratne
Don David Karunaratne was a politician and one of the wealthiest men in Gampaha area. He was elected to parliament at the 1st parliamentary election in 1947, representing the United National Party (UNP), for the Gampaha electorate. After the death of Karunaratne, his remains were deposited in a small stone-built house erected in a land he owned.

Karunaratne is also popular for his social works. Rathnavalee Balika Vidyalaya and Gampaha Base Hospital are said to be established/developed with the help of Karunaratne.

Agra Building
In the 1930s, Karunaratna constructed a palatial mansion called Agra, in Bendiyamulla. After the demise of Karunaratne, the property was inherited to his elder daughter but by the mid-1970s, there were no direct descendants to claim the property. In 1978, the mansion was taken over by the government and converted it into a state property. The mansion is  today used as the office of the District Secretariat of Gampaha (Gampaha Kachcheri).

Tomb
The tomb is quadrangular in shape and has been built on a elevated basement. It can be entered through a flight of steps accompanied by decorated Korawak Gal (balustrades) and Sandakada Pahana (moonstone).

However, a large commercial building has been constructed around the monument recently, disturbing the view as well as the value of the tomb.

A protected monument
The Bendiyamulla Tombstone adjoins Miriswaththa - Gampaha highway belonging to Bendiyamulla village situated in Grama Niladhari Division, Bendiyamulla in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Gampaha is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 12 June 2015.
Decorated Korawak Gala Stone carvings
New constructions have endangered the moument The view of the tomb has been disturbed
References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1919. 12 June 2015. p.395.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 20 July 2019

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