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.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Dawatagaha Jumma Mosque


Dawatagaha Jumma Mosque (also called as Sheikh Usman Wallyullah shrine & masjid) is one of the famous Sufi shrines in Sri Lanka (Rameez, 2018). The mosque is located on the wayside of Dr. C.W.W Kannangara Mawatha, about 100 m distance from De Soysa Circus, Colombo 7.

History
As a memorial of Saint Sheik Usman, a small monument was erected in 1802, by a group of Muslims on the place where the present mosque is standing (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). In 1840, a two-storied building was established on the site (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). However, in 1983, the original building was demolished, but remnants of that historic building are still visible.

Altering the original appearance, some parts have been added to the mosque later.

A protected monument
Sheik Usman Vali-ulah Darga Mosque alias Davatagaha Mosque situated in the Kurunduwatta (Cinnamon Gardens) Grama Niladhari Wasama in the Timbirigasyaya Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 30 December 2011.

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.132.
2) Rameez, A., 2018. Caste and Islamic revivalist movements: a case study of Eastern Muslims in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Islamic Thought. Vol. 13. p.9.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: No: 1739. 30 December 2011. p.1093.
 
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Mihintale Slab Inscriptions of Mahinda IV

Slab Inscriptions of Mahinda IV
Two Slab Inscriptions of Mahinda IV are found established in a ruined building at the ancient monastery of Mihintale in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. The two inscriptions have been erected on the orders of King Mahinda IV (956-972 A.D.) to provide information on the administration and inner life of the monastery at Mihintale. They further reveal about the rules and regulations pertaining to the monk community, intervention of the State, the wages and allowances for the employees of the temple as well as about the information regarding the work involved with the temple, the relic house and special monastic buildings.

Inscriptions
Mihintale Inscriptions Mahinda IVThe two inscriptions are about seven feet high and about four feet wide and standing upright in a ruined building called "Bhojana-shala" [(the refectory) Wickremasinghe, 1912]. The both inscriptions are consist of 58 lines and have been written in Sinhalese language of the late tenth and early eleven centuries A.D. (Wickremasinghe, 1912). The author of the inscription is mentioned as Siri Sangboy Abahay (the King Mahinda IV).

Content
Reign  : King Mahinda IV (956 - 972 A.D.)
Period : 10th century A.D.
Script  : Medieval Sinhala
Language: Medieval Sinhala

The slab inscription no. I
This inscription provides details about the statutory enactments (rules and regulations) imposed on Chetiyagiri Viharaya. They include; preparation of accounts on income and expenditures, preparation of monthly accounts, preparation of annual profit and loss account and the balance sheet and also about making the accounts public.

The content in this slab is said to be more or less similar to those in the Jetavanarama Sanskrit Inscription and Kassapa V's inscription near the stone canopy in Anuradhapura (Wickremasinghe, 1912).

Content : The king in his 16th regnal year, convened a meeting of the representatives of the Abhayagiri Viharaya and Chetiyagiri Viharaya (modern Mihintale) and the laymen attached to the Vihara (such as officers, servants and the tenants of the properties belonged to the Vihara). After reviewing the administrative and regulations in force, the king enacted a new set of rules on the administration of Chetiyagiri Viharaya.
The slab inscription no. II
The second slab deals with the emoluments of employees/servants. According to the inscription, the employees had been paid based on their relevant positions.

Content : The inscription contains details about the allowances to be paid to all employees and servants of the Chetiyagiri Viharaya and about the special provisions which should be given to the chief administrator monk of the Vihara. The units and measurements of allowances are as in vogue during that time.

References
1) Wickremasinghe, D.M.D.Z., 1912. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). London. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon. pp.76,83.
2) The information board at the site by the Department of Archaeology and the Ministry of National Heritage.

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This page was last updated on 15 August 2019

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Japanese Peace Pagoda, Ampara

Ampara Peace Pagoda
The Peace Pagoda (also known as Japan Sama Cetiya) is a Japanese Stupa situated in Ampara District, Sri Lanka. The site can be reached by traveling along the Inginiyagala - Ampara road, about 3.5 km distance from Ampara town.

History
The Stupa with a retinue of 99 small pagodas was constructed with the objective of commemorating the 99th birthday of  Ven. Nichidatsu Fugii Maha Thera of Nipponzan-Myōhōji of Japan. The completed Stupa was declared open on 28 February 1988, by the then Sri Lankan President J. R. Jayawardene.

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Thonigala Rock Inscriptions, Anamaduwa

Tonigala Rock Inscription - I
Two inscriptions known as Thonigala Rock Inscriptions are found inscribed on a low rock called Tonigala situated in Anamaduwa in Puttalam District, Sri Lanka. 

Inscriptions
There are two long rock inscriptions at the site. The letters of both inscriptions are about a foot long and have been cut an inch deep in the rock, forming triangular grooves (Muller, 1883; Parker, 1909).

The second inscription is located about 100 m distance from the first inscription. Some parts of the second inscription had been destroyed by an attempt made to blast the rock by some officers of the Public Work Department in search of imaginary treasures (Paranavitana, 1970). Those parts are said to be there until 1936 (Paranavitana, 1970).

Tonigala Rock Inscription - I
Reign & period : Gamini Abhaya; 1st century A.D.
Language & script  :
Old Sinhala; Early Brahmi
Transcript: Parumaka Abaya puta parumaka 
Tisaha vapi Acagirika-Tisa pavatahi agata.....>>
Content :  The tank of the chief Tissa, son of the
chief Abhaya was  donated to the Sangha of the
four    quarters    present    and   absent,   in   the
monastery  of  Acchagirika  Tissa  Pabbata. The
great      King      Gamini      Abhaya     dedicated
Acchanagaraka  and  Tavirikiya - nagaraka  (two
villages) to the monastery. These  donations, the
chief Abhaya, caused to  be dedicated by the king
to  the Sangha  of the four  quarters, present  and
absent.
Tonigala Rock Inscription - I
Tonigala Rock Inscription - II Tonigala Rock Inscription - II
Reign & period   : Gamini Abhaya; 1st century A.D.
Language   : Old Sinhala
Script          : Early Brahmi
Transcript: Parumaka Abaya puta parumaka Tise niyate 
ima vapi Acagirika Tisa Pavatahi agata anagata catu.....>>
Content :  This tank has been donated by chief  Tissa, the
son  of chief  Abhaya to  the Sangha  of  the  four quarters
present and absent, in the monastery of Acchagirika Tissa
Pabbata.   Two   places   named   Accha  -  nagaraka   and
Tavirikiya  -  nagaraka    have   also   been   donated.   The
monastery  was  dedicated  (to  the  Sangha)  by  the chief
Tissa, son of the chief Abhaya.
Reference : Paranavitana, 1970.; The information board at
the site by the Department of Archaeology and the Ministry
of National Heritage.
The name: Gamini Abhaya
Muller, the author of "Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon", believes that the name Gamini Abaya which is mentioned in both inscriptions, to be either Duttagamini (King Dutugemunu: 161-137 B.C.) or Vattagamini [(King Valagamba: 88-76 B.C) Muller, 1883].
The persons mentioned in the inscription are two: Tisa, son of Abhaya and Gamini Abhaya. On account of the form of the character, which is the oldest we meet in Ceylon, I take this Gamini Abhaya to be either Dutthagamini, 161-137 B.C., or Wattagamini, 88-76 B.C.; but the title Dewanapiya, beloved of the gods, rather points to the latter; he was the youngest of three sons of King Saddhatissa, the brother and successor of Dutthagamini.
Citation: Muller, 1883. p.25.
According to the opinion of Parker (1909), these inscriptions have been cut by King Duttha-Gamini, who reigned from 161-137 B.C. (Parker, 1909). However, Paranavitana (1970) suggests that the name Gamani Abhaya in these inscriptions may represent King Vattagamani Abhaya who is recorded to have granted lands to Buddhist temples (Paranavitana, 1970). 

A protected site
The Thonigala rock inscriptions situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Thonigala in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Anamaduwa are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 23 January 2009.
Thonigala Wewa

References
1) Muller, E., 1883. Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon. London. p.25.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). Department of Archaeology Ceylon. pp.lxii, 82.
3) Parker, H., 1909. Ancient Ceylon: An account of the aborigines and of part of the early civilisation. Luzac & Co. London. pp.438-440.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: No: 1586. 23 January 2009. p.107
 
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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Siriwardhanarama Viharaya, Kottegoda

The old image house, Kottegoda Viharaya
Siriwardhanarama Viharaya (also known as Kottegoda Temple) is a Buddhist temple situated in the village of Kottegoda in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka.

Folklore
According to the villagers, the history of Kottegoda is dated back to the period of Kotte Kingdom. It is said that King Parakramabahu VI (1411-1466 A.D.) had sailed through a river from Kotte to a place today known as Orutota (the port of canoes) and had landed at Kottegoda.

Locals also believed that Kottegoda was used as a lookout and messaging point for Kotte Kingdom and a place involved in wars against the Portuguese.

Veediya Bandara, the commander-in-chief of the Kingdom of Kotte during the reign of Bhuvanaikabahu VII (1521–1551) is also mentioned with the history of Kottegoda. It is said that he had planted Bodhi-trees at several places located between Kottegoda in Gampaha and Aluthgama in Kalutara. Kottegoda villagers believe that the first Bodhi-tree by the Veediya Bandara was planted in the land where the Kottegoda temple stands today. After that, this place had become a religious site for the local Buddhist devotees.

Image house
The seated Buddha statue
The image house is the main aspect of this temple with an archaeological significance. It has been constructed or renovated, according to the date mentioned above the entrance of the image house, in 1903 (2447 Buddhist era).

The image house consists of an inner shrine and a small ambulatory around it. The inside as well as the outer walls of the inner shrine is adorned with the paintings and sculptures belonging to a period between the 19-20th centuries. Inside the image house is a seated Buddha statue accompanied by two images of Sariputta and Moggallana, the two chief disciples of Gautama Buddha. Two standing statues of Vishnu and Kataragama are found facing each other at both left and right walls. An image of God Ganesha can be seen on the inner side of the entrance wall.

A protected site
The image house situated in Kottegoda Siriwardhanarama Vihara premises in Pahala Yagoda Grama Niladhari Wasama of the Gampaha Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.
The Makara Thorana at the entrance of image house Kottegoda paintings
The Stupa, Kottegoda temple The Bodhi-tree at Kottegoda temple
References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.

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Colombo Lotus Tower

Colombo Lotus Tower
The Lotus Tower (also known as Nelum Kuluna) is a 350-meter (356 m: with the lightning conductor) high multi-functional iconic communication tower located at D.R. Wijewardana Mawatha, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka.

Construction
The process to build a multi-funtional tower in Colombo was initiated in 2008 by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka and the Project Consultancy Unit, Faculty of Architecture, University of Moratuwa was appointed as the consultant to the project to support project formulation & implementation.

The project contract to build the Lotus Tower was signed in 2012, between the Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (SLTRC), China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC) and Aerospace Long - March International Trade Corporation Limited (ALIT).

The construction was commenced in the same year, at a total cost of $ 104.3 million. The project was mainly funded by Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of Peoples’ Republic of China.

The tower was declared opened on 16 September 2019, by the then Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (2015-2019).

Structure
The design of the tower is inspired by the lotus flower, which has symbolic ties to the Sri Lankan culture. The tower has four sections, viz: the base, the tower stem, the tower house and the antenna mast. The tower base inspired by the lotus throne is formed by two inverted trapezoidal and comprised of four floors. The tower house is bud-shaped and consists of 9 levels starting at 215m level going up to the height of 260m level. The petals of the bud is illuminated by LED lights with changeable colors. The steel antenna mast which is approximately 88 m tall, extending from a level of approximately 262 m to 350 m above ground level (Mendis et al., 2018).

The tower house consits following sections.
Transmittion - Extending from 215m to 225m, the first & second levels of the tower house have been allocated for the Radio and Television transmission. The first level is for radio transmission purposes and the second level totally allocated for the Television transmission.
Banquet halls - The third & forth levels (225m-235m) are reserved as banquet halls.
Revolving restuarent - Located in the fifth level (235m-240m), the revolving deck takes approximately 90 minutes to complete one revolution.
Lotus suite - The sixth level (240m-245m) has been reserved for a guest house comprising 6 guest rooms.
Observation deck - The seventh level (245m-250m) is used as an observation deck.

Facilities
The tower is mainly used for the country's telecommunication purposes. Also, it houses a revolving restaurant, a observation deck, two banquet halls and food courts.

View from Lotus Tower View from Lotus Tower
References
1) Mendis, P., Fernando, S., Holmes, J.D., Gunawardena, T., Abu-Zidan, Y. and Dias, P., 2018. Wind-induced fatigue analysis of Lotus Tower Mast. 19th Australasian Wind Engineering Workshop, April 4-6, 2018, Torquay, Victoria.

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This page was last updated on 30 November 2019

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Kossinna Ambalama

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

Ambalama
Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were traveling to distant places.

Structure
The Ambalama lies in the middle of a paddy field. The structure is square in shape and made out of brick and mortar. The four-sided roof which is held by six brick pillars, has been paved with semi-cylindrical clay tiles (Sinhala Ulu).

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This page was last updated on 11 August 2019

Alakeshwara Archaeological Site

Alakeshwara Archaeological Site
Alakeshwara Archaeological Site is situated in Ethul Kotte in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

History
This ruined site is believed to be either of the palace or mausoleum of Gallant lord King Nishshanka Alakeshwara (Rajapakshe et al., 2018; Wijewardana et al., 2011). Architectural construction of the ruins and the domestic artifacts (such as grinding stones, water filters, etc.) discovered from the exploratory excavations suggest that this site was probably the palace of King Alakeshwara (Wijewardana et al., 2011).

However, there is no conclusive evidence to recognize the true identity of this place (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

Ruins
At present, the site contains two building foundations made out of cut "Kabok" (laterite) stones (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The foundations are unequal in size and has been built close to each other (Wijewardana et al., 2011)

The larger foundation which has a rectangular shape, is 41 ft. long and 18.5 ft. wide (Wijewardana et al., 2011). The smaller foundation is square in shape and has a length and width of 21.5 ft (Wijewardana et al., 2011). The middle portion of both structures is completely filled with the earth (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). Presently, the foundations have been conserved up to a height of about 50 cm (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

Excavations
The site was taken over as an archaeological reserve by the government in the years of 1937-1938 (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). 

From an excavation done in 2010, it was identified that this site may have been used as a place related to religious activities (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

A Kabok foundation, parts of clay lamps, flat clay tiles and iron nails were unearthed during an excavation done in 2013 (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The findings were identified as the building materials used during the Kotte period [(1412–1597 A.D.) Rajapakshe et al., 2018].

A protected site
The ruins of Alakeshvara of Ethul Kotte in the Grama Niladhari Division of Ethul Kotte (GND No. 521) in Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 16 August 2013.

Attribution
1) Alakeshwara Archaeological Site by L Manju is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0

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. p.3.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Extraordinary. No: 1823/73. 16 August 2013. p.5.
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. p.15.

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Dedigama Slab Inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI

Dedigama Slab Inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI
Dedigama Slab Inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI is found erected near the Bodhi-tree in the Buddhist temple, Dedigama Raja Maha Viharaya in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka. It contains a grant of amnesty given to the inhabitants of Hatara Koralaya (Four Koralas), who had recently rebelled against the authority of King Bhuvanekabahu VI (1470-1477 A.D.).

Inscription
The inscription has been engraved on both sides of a stone slab of about 5 ft. tall and 1 ft. 7 in. broad (Paranavitana, 1933). It had been broken into two pieces which are now joined together. The first side of the inscription contains twenty-seven lines and the second side contains twenty-one lines (Paranavitana, 1933). Written in Sinhalese language, the epigraph is dated in the ninth year of King Bhuvanekabahu (the sixth).

Content
The inscription has been indited on a stone by Vikramasingha Adhikara on the orders of his majesty, King Bhuvanekabahu VI, to allay the suspicion of fear from the minds of the people of the Satara Korale who were subdued after an insurrection against the authority of King Bhuvanekabahu VI. According to the inscription, an amnesty was granted to the inhabitants of the Satara Koralaya, by the king.

The insurrection
Details on the insurrection against King Bhuvanekabahu VI are found in some chronicles such as Rajavaliya and lithic inscriptions including the Dedigama slab inscription and Pegu-Kalyani inscription of Burma [(Myanmar) Khui, 1892; Paranavitana, 1933; Suraweera, 1997].

During the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1410/1412/1415 - 1467), Sapumal Kumaraya, an adopted son of King Parakramabahu VI, attacked Jaffna (Yapa Patuna) and brought it under the control of Kotte Kingdom. After the demise of King Parakramabahu VI, the throne of the Kotte Kingdom was given to Prince Jayabahu [coronation name: Vira Parakramabahu (1467-1468)], the son of Ulakudaya Deviya [(the daughter of King Parakramabahu VI) Suraweera, 1997]. By hearing this coronation, Sapumal Kumaraya who was at the time at Yapa Patuna came to Kotte and usurped the throne and became the king of Kotte under the name Bhuvanekabahu VI (Suraweera, 1997). However, this incident caused to make an insurrection among Sinhalese people in the kingdom

Simhala Peraliya (the Sinhalese insurrection)
The coronation of King Bhuvanekabahu VI was not supported by several Sinhalese territories in the country. A serious insurrection against the authority of Bhuvanekabahu VI occurred among the people of the Pasyodun Koralaya located between the Kalu Ganga river and the Walawe Ganga river under the leadership of Sri Vardhana Pathiraja and Kurugama Thera (Suraweera, 1997). This insurrection was also spread to Satara Koralaya, Udarata and southern part of the country (Paranavitana, 1933).

Meanwhile, King Bhuvanekabahu VI dispatched Prince Ambulugala, the ruler of Satara Koralaya, to subdue this insurrection (Paranavitana, 1933). Prince Ambulugala captured both Sri Vardhana Pathiraja and Kurugama Thera and brought them before King Bhuvanekabahu VI (Suraweera, 1997). The captives were then imprisoned by the king (Suraweera, 1997).
Dedigama Slab Inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI

Reign    : 9th regnal year of Bhuvanekabahu VI
Period   : 15th century A.D.
Language   : Modern Sinhala
Script          : Modern Sinhala
Transcript: (1)   Svast(i)  Sri  Mahasa   (2)  mmata 
paramparanu (3) yata Suryya vamso  (4) tbhuta Sri 
Parakra (5)  mabahu maharajadhiraja (6) nandana 
Tri-Simhaladhisva.....>>
Translation :  Hail. On  the  thirteenth  day  of  the
waxing  moon   in  (the  month  of)  Poson  in  the
year after the eighth of his majesty the illustrious
emperor .....>>

Citation : Paranavitana, 1933
Dedigama Slab Inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI
References
1) Khui, T.C., 1892. The Kalyānī Inscriptions Erected by King Dhammacetī at Pegu in 1476 AD: Text and Translation. superintendent, government printing, Burma.p.77.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1933. (Edited and translated by Wikramasinghe, D.M.D.Z.; Codrington, H.W.) Dadigama slab-inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being Lithic and Other Inscriptions of Ceylon :Vol. III. Printed at the Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) for the Archeological Department. pp.278-286.
3) Suraweera, A. V., 1997. Rajavaliya: A critical edition with an introduction (In Sinhala). Educational Publications Department. pp.85-86, 90, 219-220.
 
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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Kekunadola Raja Maha Viharaya

Kekunadola Raja Maha Viharaya
Kekunadola/ Kekulandola Raja Maha Viharaya (also known as Prathiraja Pirivena) is a Buddhist temple situated near to Agalawatta town in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
The history of Kekunadola temple can be compared with the account on Kekulandola Sri Vardhana Pathiraja, a rebel leader who is mentioned in the Sinhalese chronicle, Rajavaliya (Suraweera, 1997).

During the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1410/1412/1415 - 1467), Sapumal Kumaraya, an adopted son of King Parakramabahu VI, attacked Jaffna (Yapa Patuna) and brought it under the control of Kotte Kingdom. After the demise of King Parakramabahu VI, the throne of the Kotte Kingdom was given to Prince Jayabahu [coronation name: Vira Parakramabahu (1467-1468)], the son of Ulakudaya Deviya [(the daughter of King Parakramabahu VI) Suraweera, 1997]. By hearing this coronation, Sapumal Kumaraya who was at the time at Yapa Patuna came to Kotte and usurped the throne and became the king of Kotte under the name Bhuvanekabahu VI [(1468-1475) Suraweera, 1997]. However, this incident caused to make an insurrection among Sinhalese people in the kingdom

Simhala Peraliya (the Sinhalese insurrection)
The coronation of King Bhuvanekabahu VI was not supported by several Sinhalese territories in the country. A serious insurrection against the authority of Bhuvanekabahu VI occurred among the people of the Pasyodun Koralaya located between the Kalu Ganga river and the Walawe Ganga river under the leadership of Sri Vardhana Pathiraja and Kurugama Thera (Suraweera, 1997). This insurrection was also spread to Satara Koralaya, Udarata and southern part of the country (Paranavitana, 1933). The slab-inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI in Dedigama Raja Maha Viharaya and the Pegu-Kalyani inscription of Burma (Myanmar) reveal some details about this insurrection occurred in Satara Koralas as well as southern part of the country (Khui, 1892; Paranavitana, 1933; Suraweera, 1997).

Meanwhile, King Bhuvanekabahu VI dispatched Prince Ambulugala, the ruler of Satara Koralaya, to subdue this insurrection (Paranavitana, 1933). Prince Ambulugala captured both Sri Vardhana Pathiraja and Kurugama Thera and brought them before King Bhuvanekabahu VI (Suraweera, 1997). The captives were then imprisoned by the king (Suraweera, 1997).

However, due to some reason, the king released both Sri Vardhana Pathiraja and Kurugama Himi later and placed his adopted son and hair under their protection (Suraweera, 1997; Paranavitana, 1933).

Kekulandola Viharaya to Prathiraja Pirivena
Some believe that Kekunadola temple was established during the reign of King Bhuvanekabahu VI by Sri Vardhana Pathiraja (Abeyawardana, 2002). However, in order to commemorate this regional leader, the Kekulandola temple was later started to known by the locals as Prathiraja Pirivena (Fernando, 2003).

The Bodhi-tree of the temple is said to be planted in 1876 (Fernando, 2003).

Tempita Viharaya
Kekunadola Raja Maha Viharaya
Tempita Viharas (the temples on pillars) were a popular aspect of many Buddhist temples during the Kandyan period. These structures were usually built on a wooden platform resting on bare stone pillars or stumps which are about 1-4 feet tall. The roof is generally made of timber and held by wooden stumps and walls made of wattle and daub. Wattle walls make the main enclosed shrine room containing the Buddhist sculptures and murals belonging to the Kandyan style. Some Tempita Viharas have narrow verandas and ambulatories circulating the main enclosed space. Construction of these buildings was started in the 17th century and lasted till the end of the 19th century (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

The Tempita Viharaya building in Kekunadola temple is considered as the only such kind of structure found in Kalutara District (Abeyawardana, 2002; Wijayawardhana, 2010).  It is also the main aspect of the temple with an archaeological significance. It has been built upon 9 granite pillars of about 3 feet tall. The four-sided roof with an elevated middle portion is paved with flat clay tiles. Several renovations have been done to the building on 6 July 1980.

The inside walls of the image chamber is adorned with the paintings belonging to the Kandyan style. The main sculpture is a seated Buddha statue accompanied by two images of Sariputta and Moggallana, the two chief disciples of Gautama Buddha. Figures of Kuragama Thera (left side) and minister Sri Vardhana Prathiraja (right side) can be seen on the inner side of the entrance wall.

A protected site
The Tempita Viharaya situated in Prathiraja Piriven Vihara premises in Agalawatta village in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Agalawatta is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.

Kekunadola Raja Maha Viharaya Kekunadola Raja Maha Viharaya Kekunadola Raja Maha Viharaya Kekunadola Raja Maha Viharaya
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.110.
2) Fernando, M., 2003. Kalutara (In Sinhala). Thejani Publishers. ISBN: 955-8818-00-3. pp.47-49.
3) Khui, T.C., 1892. The Kalyānī Inscriptions Erected by King Dhammacetī at Pegu in 1476 AD: Text and Translation. superintendent, government printing, Burma.p.77.
4) Paranavitana, S., 1933. (Edited and translated by Wikramasinghe, D.M.D.Z.; Codrington, H.W.) Dadigama slab-inscription of Bhuvanekabahu VI. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being Lithic and Other Inscriptions of Ceylon :Vol. III. Printed at the Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) for the Archeological Department. pp.278-286.
5) Suraweera, A. V., 1997. Rajavaliya: A critical edition with an introduction (In Sinhala). Educational Publications Department. pp.85-86, 90, 219-220.
6) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.
7) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. pp. 12, 44.

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This page was last updated on 15 September 2019

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Awariyawala Ambalama

Awariyawala Ambalama

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

History
Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were traveling to distant places. The history of Awariyawala Ambalama, according to the local people, is connected with King Walagamba (103 B.C. and c. 89 - 77 B.C.) and his queen.

Structure
The Ambalama lies on a flat rock adjoining a small pond. The square-shaped structure is made of wooden pillars and balanced on a few stones on the ground. Presently, the roof is thatched with dry coconut leaves.

On one of the wooden pillars, following notes are found,
  • ගල් වල කැපූ දිනය (the date on which the stone pond was cut) : 1983.2.27
  • උළු (roofing tiles) : 1976.3.15
A protected monument
The Ewariyawala Ambalama situated in Awariyawala village in Palle Tuttiripitya Grama Niladari Division in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Mahara is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 November 2002 .
Awariyawala Ambalama Awariyawala Ambalama
Awariyawala Ambalama Awariyawala Ambalama
References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: No: 1214. 22 November 2002.

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This page was last updated on 15 September 2019

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Kandalama Wewa

Kandalama Wewa
Kandalama Wewa is a reservoir located in Kandalama village in Matale District, Sri Lanka.

History
The name "Kandalama" doesn't appear in ancient chronicles. Some scholars believe that "Duratissa Wewa", a tank built by King Saddha Tissa (137-119 B.C.), was the ancient name used to identify the present Kandalama reservoir (Abeywardana, 2004).

Reservoir
The tank was formed by constructing a dam across the Mirisgoni Oya (Arumugam, 1969). The restoration work of Kandalama Wewa was carried out during the years 1952-1957 by the Department of Irrigation (Abeywardana, 2004; Arumugam, 1969). The Mahaweli Development Authority took over the management of the water of the Kandalama reservoir in 1978 (Abeywardana, 2004).

Kandalama Wewa data

Catchment area   : 37.7 sq. miles
Length of bund    : 3200 ft.
Tank full storage : 24,400 acre ft.
Area of water spread : 1700 acres (tank at full storage)
Nature of spills : masonry on rock
Spill location : at left bank entrance
Length of the spill : 260 ft.

Reference : Arumugam, 1969

Kandalama Wewa
Attribution
1) KandalamaReservoir-June2008-2 by Rehman is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
2) KandalamaReservoir-June2008-1 by Rehman 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.178-179.
2) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.340.

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This page was last updated on 21 September 2019