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. has 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, February 29, 2020

Pallekadu Archaeological Site

Pallekadu
Pallekadu Archaeological site is situated in Oluvil village, Ampara District, Sri Lanka.

The site is said to be has several ruins of an ancient temple of the Buddhist tradition. A massive brick-made structure (believed to be a Stupa) covered by the thick vegetation is identified as the main monument found in the site. This monument is roughly circular in shape and completely exists in a dilapidated state. Two or more illegally excavated pits by treasure hunters are found in the middle part of this brick mound.

The Pallekadu archaeological site is located in a Muslim village, just outside of the ancient Buddhist monastery complex, Deeghavapi Viharaya. Presently, the site has been limited to a small area of land fenced by the Department of Archaeology.

A protected site
The ancient ruins in the Pallekadu archaeological site located in Oluvil village in the Grama Niladhari Division of Addalachchenai, are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 31 December 1999.

Pallekadu site Pallekadu site Pallekadu site Pallekadu site
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References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 2106. 31 December 1999.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 29 February 2020
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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Darshan Dharmaraj

Darshan Dharmaraj is an actor in Sri Lankan Cinema.

Personal details
Born in Rakwana to a family of Tamil descent, Darshan completed his education from the St.John's Tamil Maha Vidyalaya, Rakwana. He made his first appearance in the Sri Lankan Cinema in 2008, through the Thushara Peiris's movie Prabhakaran.

Filmography
No. Year Movie Character Language Director
1 2008 Prabhakaran Sinhala Thushara Peiris
2 2008 Machan Suresh Sinhala Uberto Pasolini
3 2009 Ira Handa Yata Sinhala Bennett Rathnayake
4 2011 Sinhawalokanaya Muththu Sinhala Suneth Malinga Lokuhewa
5 2011 Gamani Sinhala Sarath Weerasekara
6 2012 Matha Yoga Sinhala Boodee Keerthisena
7 2012 Ini Avan (Him, Here After) Tamil Ashoka Handagama
8 2013 Bomba saha Rosa Nadan Sinhala Anurudda Jayasinghe
9 2015 Spandana Darshan Sinhala Suneth Malinga Lokuhewa
10 2015 Address Na Sinhala Jackson Anthony
11 2016 Ulath Ekai Pilath Ekai Sinhala Harsha Udakanda
12 2017 Aloko Udapadi Dathika Sinhala Chithra Weeraman
13 2018 Porisadaya Kalu Mahaththaya Sinhala Siritunga Perera
14 2018 Dawena Wihagun Animal slaughter Sinhala Sanjeewa Pushpakumara
15 2018 Komaali Kings Mohan Tamil K. Ratnam
16 2020 Tsunami Sinhala Somarathna Dissanayake
17 2020 Suparna Sinhala Sujeewa Priyalal
Awards
Year Movie Award Organization
2012 Ini Avan (Him, Here After) The Best Actor
  • Hiru Golden Film Awards 2012
  • Derana Lux Film Awards 2013
  • 2018 Porisadaya The Best Actor Derana Lux Film Awards 2019
    Disclaimer
    By accessing this website, we hope that you are accepting the following disclaimer notice.
    The information published in this biography have been extracted from reliable sources but we, Lanka Pradeepa (lankapradeepa.com) assumes no responsibility or liability for any inaccurate or outdated content in this page.
    This page was last updated on 23 February 2020

    Magul Maduwa, Kandy

    Magul Maduwa
    The Royal Audience Hall of Kandy, popularly known as the Magul Maduwa is located on the premises of the sacred Tempe of the Tooth, one of World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.

    History
    During the Kandyan Period, the Magul Maduwa was used for both administrative works and judicial purposes (Jayasuriya, 2016). The hall was also called the Maha Naduwa by the locals as it was used as the Supreme Court for the administration of justice by the King in the presence of the Prime Minister and other ministers (Abeywardana, 2004).

    The construction of this building is said to be commenced in 1783 by King Sri Rajadhi Rajasinghe (1782-1798 A.D) and was completed during the reign of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe (1798-1815 A.D.), the last king of Kandy (Jayasuriya, 2016; Rajapakse, 2016).

    Events
    The Magul Maduwa has occupied a significant place in the history of the country. A number of major events has taken place in this building. The handing over of the last native kingdom of Sri Lanka to the British throne was declared by signing the Kandyan Convention from here in March 1815. Also, the death sentence on Keppetipola and Madugalla, two chieftains involved in the Great Rebellion of 1817–18, was declared from the Magul Maduwa (Abeywardana, 2004).

    Building
    The Magul Maduwa can be identified as an example of timber architecture of the Kandyan Period (Abeywardana, 2004; Jayasuriya, 2016). The building has been built on a stone-paved base by erecting 64 timber columns arranged in four rows (Jayasuriya, 2016; Rajapakse, 2016). The timber columns are elegantly decorated and their capitals end with inverted lotus carvings. The roof has been balanced on the timber columns and clad with plain clay tiles (Jayasuriya, 2016). The rafters and beams of the roof are also decorated with excellent carvings. The main entrance to the building has been set in the northern direction and two sub-entrances are also found at both eastern and western directions (Rajapakse, 2016).

    Renovations
    Without harming the original elements, several alterations were done to the building by the British in 1873 to facilitate the welcome of Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales to Kandy (Abeywardana, 2004). They extended the length of the original building (18.06 m) by using 16 columns obtained from the Palle Wahala (the Queen's palace) and as a result of that the length increased by another 9.69 m (Abeywardana, 2004). The present building is 27.75 m long and 10.92 m wide (Abeywardana, 2004).

    Independence Memorial Hall
    Following the basic design of the Magul Maduwa, the Independence Memorial Hall was built in Colombo to commemorate the regaining of independence from the British throne in 1948 (Abeywardana, 2004).

    A protected monument
    Ancient Magul Maduwa situated in the premises of the Temple of Tooth in Kandy town in the Grama Niladhari Division of Gangawata Koralaya, is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 23 February 2007.

    References
    1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.20,284-285.
    2) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. p.114.
    3) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. p.8.
    4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1486. 23 February 2007. p.125

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    Saturday, February 22, 2020

    Thuparamaya, Anuradhapura

    Thuparama Stupa
    Thuparamaya is an ancient Buddhist monastery complex in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. It is situated about 0.55 km north of the Ruvanweliseya Stupa and near to the Abhaya Wewa tank. Thuparama is identified as the first historic Stupa with a monastery established in Sri Lanka (Wikramagamage, 2004).

    History
    The history of the Thuparama shrine is going back to the pre-Christian era. According to chronicles, a temple dedicated to the Yakkha named Maheja had been erected here by King Pandukabhaya (437-367 A.D.). Following the introduction of Buddhism to the country by Arhant Mahinda Thera, King Devanampiyatissa (307-267 B.C.) built the Thuparama Stupa on this site as the first Buddhist structure in Sri Lanka (Nicholas, 1963). It is believed that the right collar-bone of the Buddha has been enshrined in this Stupa (Jayasuriya, 2016; Nicholas, 1963).

    The ground where the Stupa was built is said to have been consecrated by the Buddha (Nicholas, 1963). Besides the establishment of the Thuparama Stupa, King Devanampiyatissa also founded a Vihara and planted a sapling of the Bodhi-tree at the site (Nicholas, 1963). After that, King Lanjatissa (119-110 B.C.) added a stone mantling to the Stupa in the second century B.C. and a Vatadageya (a Thupaghara - a house for the Stupa) was built for it by King Vasabha (67-111 A.D.) later (Nicholas, 1963).

    Thereafter, the Stupa received the royal patronage of many successive kings including Gajabahu I (c. 113-135 A.D.), Gotabhaya (249-263 A.D.), Upatissa I (365-406 A.D.), Dhatusena (455-473 A.D.), Aggabodhi II [(604-614 A.D.) Nicholas, 1963]. However, it was robbed in the 7th century A.D. by King Dathopatissa I (639-650 A.D.) but restored again by King Kassapa II [(650-659 A.D.) Nicholas, 1963]. The Stupa was subjected to renovate again by the hands of many kings such as Aggabodhi VI (733-772 A.D.), Mahinda II (777-797 A.D.), Dappula II (815-831 A.D.) until it was plundered by the Pandyans in 840 A.D. (Nicholas, 1963). During the period between the 9th - 10th centuries A.D., the Stupa was developed by King Sena II (853-887 A.D.), Udaya II (887-898 A.D.), Mahinda IV [(956-972 A.D.) Nicholas, 1963]. At the end of the 10th century, the Vihara was completely destroyed by the Cola invaders (Jayasuriya, 2016) but subsequently renovated by King Parakramabahu the Great [(1153-1188 A.D.) Nicholas, 1963].

    Besides the Thuparama Stupa, the other components of the Vihara were developed or built by several kings including Bhatikabhaya (22-7 B.C.), Amandagamani Abhaya (19-29 A.D.), Bhatikatissa [(143-167 A.D.) Nicholas, 1963].

    Palumekichchawa inscription
    An inscription by King Gajabahu I is found engraved on a rock surface at the Vana (the spillway) of the Palumekichchawa tank (Wickremasinghe. 1912). According to the inscription, King Gamini Abhaya (King Gajabahu I) had spent 5,000 karsapanas on the excavation of the Vadamanaka Tank in the Upala district and granted it to the community of Buddhist monks at the Thuparamaya (Wickremasinghe, 1912).

    Thuparama slab inscription of Gajabahu I
    A slab inscription was discovered in 1926, while clearing the foundation of the western side of the enclosing wall of the Thuparama stupa (Paranavitana, 1933). It records that the king had granted certain income taken from Gonagiri-utaviya (a tank or a tract of paddy fields) to the monks of the Ratana Araba monastery (Paranavitana, 1933)

    Stupa
    The original Thuparama Stupa is said to be in the shape of a heap of paddy (Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004). Time to time, the Stupa was renovated by several kings including King Vasabha and King Gotabhaya. King Vasabha is said to have covered the Stupa chamber with a stone of wall and King Gotabhaya subsequently built a relic chamber for it. The last restoration of the Stupa was done in 1862 and as a result of that, the Stupa has taken the shape of a bell.

    The present Stupa is 18.9 m in height and has a circumference of 17.7 m (Wikramagamage, 2004).

    Cetiyaghara/ Vatadageya
    The remaining stone pillars around the Thuparama Stupa indicate that it once had a Cetiyaghara, a house enclosing the Stupa. The roof over the Stupa is not found today but the supportive stone pillars in four concentric circles provide the evidence for its existence. The pillars are elegantly carved and fixed to the ground in a symmetric manner.

    This Cetiyaghara is believed to be added to the Stupa after the 7th century A.D. (Jayasuriya, 2016).

    Artifacts
    Bodhisattva Maitreya
    Bodhisattva Maitreya
    This ungilt, bronze statue was discovered from Thuparama Vatadage complex and presently on the display at the National Museum of Colombo. The statue is 46.7 cm tall and has been dated to the 9-10th centuries A.D.

    The Bodhisattva is standing on a circular-shaped base in a relaxed posture. The body is bent at three places, namely the shoulder, the waist, and the knee and therefore called as a Thivanka (meaning three bends) statue. The raised right hand of the statue depicts Katakahasta mudra while the lowered left hand shows Varada mudra. The lower body is covered by a dhoti held in position by moderately used looped sashes. The head is dressed with a bejewelled crown Karandamakuta. The statue is adorned with a number of jewelries including necklaces, bracelets and anklets.
    Reference: The National Museum of Colombo.

    Attribution
    1) Thuparamaya Stupa by Nipuna Gamage is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

    References
    1) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. pp.51-52.
    2) 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.131-133.
    3) Paranavitana, S., 1933. (Edited and translated by Wickremasinghe, 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.114-119.
    4) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.74-79.
    5) Wickremasinghe, D. M. D. Z., 1912. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon (Vol, I). Published for the government of Ceylon by Henry Frowde. pp.208-211.

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    Samadhi Buddha Statue, Anuradhapura

    Samadhi Buddha, Anuradhapura
    The archaic Buddha image famously known as the Anuradhapura Samadhi Buddha Statue is found on the outer circular road (the Watawandana road) between Kuttam Pokuna and Abhayagiri Stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. This statue is considered as one of the finest specimens of Buddha statues in Sri Lanka as well as in the Buddhist world (Jayasuriya, 2016).

    History
    Sculptured in Gupta style, the statue is supposed to be a creation that belongs to the period between 5-6 centuries A.D.

    Statue
    Samadhi statue
    The statue which is in the Samadhi posture (the posture of deep meditation) and theVirasana (the seat of enlightenment) is completely carved out of stone. The body of the Buddha is covered by a flimsy robe but, it does not cover the right shoulder. The right leg of the statue lies over the left leg and the palms are placed one over the other on the lap. The hair has curls but the Usnisha (the matted lock of hair) is absent (Wikramagamage, 2004). It is said that the original image was a painted statue with inlaid eyes (Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004).

    The statue was discovered in the present location fallen to the ground with damages to the nose.

    Bodhi-tree shrine
    Before the construction of image houses, the Buddha statues were usually placed under the shade of a Bodhi-tree. Therefore, it can be assumed that this Samadhi Statue also an example of such an image. Presently, no Bodhi-tree is found at the place but there are signs of a Bodhi-tree that was standing behind the statue. The square-shaped pit where the Bodhi-tree was planted has also been discovered.

    The worship of Bodhi-tree became prevalent in Sri Lanka after the arrival of Theri Sanghamitta who brought a sapling of the Bodhi-tree (India) in the 3rd century B.C. (Wijesuriya & Weerasekera, 1997). Within a short time, every temple had its own Bodhi-tree and that led the people to develop and construct a special type of building around the tree called Bodhighara (Wijesuriya & Weerasekera, 1997).

    The ruined Bodhighara which has been unearthed near the Samadhi Statue is said to be one of the four ancient Bodhi-tree shrines that belonged to the Abhayagiri monastery complex. Evidence is there to show that this Bodhi-tree shrine had four Buddha statues facing the four cardinal points (Jayasuriya, 2016). Besides the Samadhi Statue, ruins of another Buddha statue (only the portion below the waist) have been found from the site.

    The ruins of the other Buddha state The Buddha statue The Buddha statue and the Bodhi-tree shrine
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    Attribution
    1) Samadhi Buddha statue - Anuradhapura by Hafiz Issadeen is licensed under CC BY 2.0
    2) This image (SAMADI.PILIMAYA.1870) has been released into the public domain.
    3) Buddha statue remains, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by R Barraez D´Lucca is licensed under CC BY 2.0
    4) SRL-anuradhapura-samadi-buddha by Balou46 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
    5) Anuradhapura WV banner by Saqib is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

    References
    1) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. pp.30-31.
    2) Wijesuriya, G.; Weerasekera, H., 1997. Footprints of our heritage. Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO. ISBN: 955-9043-32-3. pp.57,156.
    3) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.110.

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    Sunday, February 16, 2020

    Gamini Kularatna Memorial

    Gamini Kularatna Memorial
    Gamini Kularatna Memorial (also known as Hasalaka Gamini Ranaviru Smarakaya) has been erected to commemorate S/34553 Corporal Gamini Kularatna YG PWV, a soldier of Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment who sacrifices his life to save his camp and the comrades from a deadly bulldozer attack carried out by LTTE rebels (LTTE is a rebel group designated as a terrorist organization by 32 countries). The memorial has been set up on the wayside of the Kandy-Jaffna highway (A9), near to the Elephant Pass Railway Station in Kilinochchi District, Sri Lanka.

    The war hero Gamini Kularatna is popularly known among the people as Hasalaka Gamini.

    The incident
    Elephant Pass
    Elephant Pass is referred to as the Gateway to Jaffna as it connects the Jaffna Peninsula to the Sri Lankan mainland and therefore considered strategically important location. The Elephant Pass army camp which belonged to the 6th Battalion Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment was also a crucial point to hold in war, so LTTE rebels tried to attack it in 1991.

    The attack
    On 13 July 1991, an armor-plated bulldozer heavily filled with explosives was launched towards the Elephant Pass camp by the LTTE to destroy the camp as well as the many soldiers who were there. However, the effort by the LTTE became unsuccessful when a soldier who had realized the gravity of the imminent threat that was advancing towards the camp decided voluntarily to destroy the bulldozer in order to save the camp as well as his comrades. That soldier, Gamini Kularatna went forward with hand grenades and blasted the deadly vehicle while losing his own life in the process.

    This bravery sacrifice by Gamini Kularatne was highly appreciated at the time across the country. In recognition of his sacrifice, the Sri Lankan president awarded the Parama Weera Vibushana Medal (Posthumously), the highest decoration a soldier can earn, to Gamini making him the first recipient of that gallant award.

    The memorial
    The Sri Lanka Civil War finally came to the end when LTTE rebels were defeated by the government forces in 2009. After the war was over, a memorial for Gamini was set up in 2014, in Elephant Pass with the remains of the bulldozer he destroyed. The memorial can be seen on the A9 road on the way to Jaffna.

    The deadly bulldozer Gamini Kularatna statue
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    Ranamune Pihilla and Ambalama

    The Ranamune Pihilla & Ambalama
    The Ranamune Pihilla (the Ranamune water spout) and the Ambalama are situated in Kothmale in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka.

    Ranamune Pihilla
    Folklore
    According to folklore, the history of this place is related to Prince Dutugemunu [(reign 161-137 B.C.) Abeywardana, 2004]. It is said that the sward of the prince had been hidden here for protection when he comes from Ruhuna to Maya Rata seeking shelter. After the death of King Kavantissa (the farther of Prince Dutugemunu), the prince had to leave for war having taken the sward from this spot (Abeywardana, 2004). However, the same folklore is found associated with Dehadu Kadulla, an ancient monument located near to Kothmale Maha Seya.

    Presently, many people come to this place for washing and bathing purposes.

    Ranamune Ambalama 
    Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were traveling to distant places. The Ambalama at Ranamune is believed to be one such resting place built with granite blocks. The building is relatively small and contains an open space surrounded by a short wall. The four-sided roof which is held by four pillars has been tiled with clay tiles.

    A protected site
    The Mawela Ranamune Ambalama and water pipe situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Mawela West, in Kotmale Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 6 June 2008.

    References
    1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  pp.233-234.
    2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 6 June 2008. p.526.

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    Saturday, February 15, 2020

    Pallama Standing Buddha Statue, Colombo National Museum

    Pallama Standing Buddha
    The Pallama Standing Buddha Statue was discovered from Pallama in Puttalam District, Sri Lanka and is currently on display at the entrance lobby of the Colombo National Museum. This statue is considered important as it is the tallest metal Buddha statue found in Sri Lanka (Prematilaka & Hewage, 2018).

    Statue
    This hollow cast bronze statue of Buddha is 165 cm (5.41 ft) height and in the standing position. The right hand of the statue depicts the Vitarka Mudra and the left hand is in the pose of Katakahastha (Prematilaka & Hewage, 2018). The robe is closely touching the full body of Buddha but leaves the right shoulder bare. The pleats of the robe are denoted by clear lines. The ears are long but do not touch the shoulders.

    The statue has been dated to the 9-11th centuries A.D. (Prematilaka & Hewage, 2018). It is said that the statue had been broken into several pieces at the time of its discovery (Prematilaka & Hewage, 2018).

    References
    1) Prematilaka, L., Hewage, R., 2018. A guide to the National Museum, Colombo: Department of National Museum. ISBN: 978-955-578-035-3. p.6.

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    Mayakkai Vivaparimalai Prehistoric Site

    Mayakkai Vivaparimalai Prehistoric Site is situated in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka.

    The Mayakkai site with limestone-caves located near to Point Pedro is said to be observed for the first time in 1979 by Prof. Sellaiah Krishnarajah, an academic from the University of Jaffna (Dias et al., 2016). Krishnarajah along with Prof. P. Pushparatnam and several others explored the site again in 1984 and found a number of stone implements related to human settlement (Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014). From the overall evidence found, they suggested the cave site as a prehistoric habitation site but that opinion was refuted by another academic from the University of Jaffna, Prof. P. Ragupathy who believed the site is not a prehistoric habitation site but a stone quarry site (Dias et al., 2016).

    The stone implements collected by Krishnarajah were not extensively investigated by other academics due to several reasons such as the Sri Lankan Civil War that longed nearly three decades across the North-Eastern region of the country. However, in 2011, the samples were taken to Colombo and further studied by several scholars including Siran Deraniyagala and Nimal Perera (Dias et al., 2016). The studies identified the stone implements as the tools belonging to the ancient Stone Age (Dias et al., 2016).

    The early evidence about the humans in Sri Lanka are found in several places in the country such as in Ratnapura Beds and in Iranamadu Formation (Perera, 2014). A large bifacially flaked quartz point which was found from a basal gravel exposure of the Iranamadu Formation at Minihagal-Kanda (a place located in Southern Sri Lanka) has been categorized as Middle Palaeolithic (broadly spanned from 300,000 to 30,000 years) by P. E. P. Deraniyagala (Perera, 2014). However, according to some, the age of the stone implements of Mayakkai site is extending to about 600,000 years back (Dias et al., 2016). Some Chert-made stone implements found from the site are believed as the Acheulean tools used by Homo erectus in the Lower Palaeolithic Period [(around 3 million to 300,000 years) Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014].

    However, no reliable evidence has yet been documented with regard to the Lower Palaeolithic Period of Sri Lanka (Perera, 2014). Therefore, carrying out a scientific excavation is important to obtain a proper understanding about the stone implements found from the Mayakkai Vivaparimalai site.

    References
    1) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. pp.162, 200-201.
    2) Perera, H.N., 2014. Prehistoric Sri Lanka. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, pp.23-41.
    3) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhala). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. pp.2-3.

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    Sennarugama Pillar Inscription of King Kassapa IV

    Sennarugama Pillar Inscription of King Kassapa IVSennarugama Pillar Inscription of King Kassapa IV is a pillar inscription found in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. The inscription is presently on the display at the stone gallery of the Colombo National Museum.

    Discovery
    This inscription was discovered from somewhere (the exact place is unknown) in Anuradhapura (Ranawella, 2005). However, according to its content, this record had been originally set up at a place called Sennarugama, a village probably situated near to Anuradhapura (Ranawella, 2005).

    The pillar had been broken into two fragments at the time its discovery and therefore, they were treated as two different inscriptions by the museum (Ranawella, 2005). However, presently, the two fragments have been joined together and numbered as a single inscription.

    Inscription
    The inscription has been inscribed on all four sides of a rectangular stone pillar of about 6 ft 8 in. in height (Ranawella, 2005).

    Content
    The pillar had been used in a later period as a riser in a flight of steps and in which process some of the letters have been chiseled off. The first side of the pillar has 20 lines of writings, second and third sides have 30 lines of writings and the forth side contains 25 lines of writings (Ranawella, 2005). The figures of a crow and a dog are also found on the forth side of the inscription (Ranawella, 2005).

    The inscription mentions its inscribe date as the sixth regnal year of a king styled Abha Salamevan (Ranawella, 2005). Depending on the details found in the chronicles and other epigraphs, scholars have identified this king as Kassapa IV [(898-914 A.D.) Ranawella, 2005].

    Sennarugama Pillar Inscription of King Kassapa IV
    Reign  : King Kassapa IV (898-914 A.D.)
    Period : 10th century A.D.
    Script  : Sinhala of the early 10th century
    Language  : Sinhala of the early 10th century
    Transcript  : (1)Svasti (2)Siri Lak(di)- (3)-vhi pihi(ti) (4)yasa isi...>>
    Content: This inscription records about some immunities granted in respect of a village named Sennarugama, the revenue of which had been enjoyed by a person called Besatpanam, a warden of the royal household. Certain officers were forbidden to enter the village.  
    Reference  : Ranawella, 2005.

    References
    1) Ranawella, S. (Ed.), 2005. Sinhala inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 42. (2005). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka. pp.29-36.

    Location Map

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    Tuesday, February 4, 2020

    Kal Munai Old Survey Tower

    Kal Munai Old Survey Tower is a colonial period survey tower located in Kilinochchi District, Sri Lanka. 

    Kal Munai Old Survey Tower
    The tower which is square in shape has been built with cubic shape cut limestone rocks. At the bottom of the tower, an arch shaped passage can be seen.  The tower is getting smaller as it rises from the bottom to the top.

    A protected monument
    The old survey post belonging to Kalmunei village situated in Grama Niladhari Division No. KN 68, Kavutharimunei in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Poonaryn is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 24 March 2016.

    References
    1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1960. 24 March 2016. p.229.

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    Bolana Pillar Inscription of King Kassapa V

    Bolana Pillar Inscription of King Kassapa V
    Bolana Pillar Inscription of King Kassapa V is a pillar inscription found from Bolana village, Hambantota District, Sri Lanka. 

    Discovery
    The inscription was discovered in 1934, in Bolana, a village situated near to Ambalantota in Hambantota District (Ranawella, 2005). It was damaged at the time of discovery and a small part with a few lines of writings at the bottom is missing today (Ranawella, 2005). The inscription is presently on the display at the stone gallery of the Colombo National Museum.

    Inscription
    The writings have been engraved on the two sides of a stone pillar slab which is 4 ft 8 in height (Ranawella, 2005). The obverse side of the slab contains 15 lines of writings and a carved figure of auspicious jar. The reverse side contains 7 lines of writings and the figures of a monk's fan, a crow and a dog.

    Content
    The inscription reveals its inscribe date as the seventh regnal year of a king styled Abha Salamevan. According to details given in the inscription, it has been set up by the son of King Abha Salamevan but his name is not found in the preserved portion. However, depending on the available historical and epigraphical evidence, the king mentioned in this inscription has been identified by the scholars as King Kassapa V [(914-923 A.D.) Ranawella, 2005].

    Bolana Pillar Inscription of King Kassapa V
    A close view
    Reign  : King Kassapa V (914-923 A.D.)
    Period : 10th century A.D.
    Script  : Sinhala of the early 10th century
    Language  : Sinhala of the early 10th century
    Transcript  : (1) Navaparamuwa de- (2)senava Mahaga-...>>
    Content: The inscription records about two chena lands at Navaparamuwa those gifted to the hospital at Mahagama on the orders of King Abha Salamevan. It also mentions that even the children and grandchildren of the king have been debarred from entering the gifted lands
    Reference  : Ranawella, 2005.

    References
    1) Ranawella, S. (Ed.), 2005. Sinhala inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 42. (2005). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka. pp.59-63.

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    This page was last updated on 4 February 2020
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    Ramboda Falls

    Ramboda Falls are located in Ramboda area in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. Originated by the same water stream, three waterfalls namely Upper Ramboda falls, Middle Ramboda Falls and Lower Ramboda Falls are found there located near to each other. The waters of the stream finally enter into Kotmale Oya in the Mahaweli catchment area (Abeywardhana, 2004).

    Upper Ramboda Falls 
    The Upper Ramboda falls is the first cascade of the three waterfalls. The fall is 100.92 m (331.10 ft) high (Abeywardhana, 2004) and its observation point can be reached by walking approximately 500 m distance along the narrow foot path that starts from the middle Ramboda Falls.

    Middle/Center Ramboda Falls 
    This is the smallest waterfall among the three cascades and is located very close to the road. The fall is 3.38 m (11.08 ft) high (Abeywardhana, 2004).

    Lower Ramboda Falls 
    The Lower Ramboda Falls is located near the Ramboda Falls Hotel which is located just after the Ramboda tunnel. The fall is 110.15 m (361.38 ft) high (Abeywardhana, 2004) and can be reached by walking nearly 200 m distance along the foot path that is fallen throgh the hotel .

    Attribution
    1) PSX 20190610 174106 by Chadpics is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0, Above Ramboda Falls 01 by Cherubino is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, and LK-Ramboda-falls-02 by Balou46 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.236.

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    Sunday, February 2, 2020

    Heritance Kandalama

    Heritance Kandalama
    Heritance Kandalama is a star class luxury hotel located in the vicinity of Kandalama Wewa, Matale District, Sri Lanka. The hotel is popular among the locals and foreigners due to its remarkable Eco-friendly architecture.

    History
    Kandalama hotel
    The hotel was designed in an Eco-friendly manner by the country's most renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa (Nayomi & Gnanapala, 2015; Owen, 2008). Originally, it was planned to build the hotel near the Sigirya fortress but, Bawa rejected the site and instead opted for a new location with a distant view to Sigirya across the Kandalama Wewa (Owen, 2008). After selecting the present location, the construction of the hotel was initiated in 1992, but the project was heavily objected by local communities (Chandralal, 2010). Active protests and debates were sparked across the country centering on environmental and cultural issues but the hotel builders, the Aitken Spence Hotel Group, with the support of the then Government successfully resolved the problematic situation with doing several modification in the initial design (Chandralal, 2010; Owen, 2008). The construction work of the hotel was finally finished in 1995.

    Hotel
    Located within the Cultural Triangle, the hotel site is flanked by two World Heritage Sites: 1st century B.C. Dambulla Viharaya and the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress. The hotel serves as a convenient stopover for the visitors who come to see these two heritage sites as well as other nearby tourist destinations.

    The hotel has nearly 160 rooms categorized as Superior, Panoramic, Luxury, Deluxe, Suite, Luxury Suite, Royal Suite (Nayomi & Gnanapala, 2015; Owen, 2008).

    Accolades
    Kandalama has received numerous awards for its environmental initiatives,
    • The PATA Green Leaf Gold Award for the hotel's Eco-park for its commitment to environmental education and sustainable development (Nayomi & Gnanapala, 2015).
    • The first hotel in the world and the only building outside North America who received the LEED award by US Green Building Council [(in year 2000) Nayomi & Gnanapala, 2015].
    • The first hotel in Asia accredited under the premier international ecotourism standard, Green Globe 21 [(certified in 1999) Nayomi & Gnanapala, 2015].

    Kandalama hotel Kandalama hotel
    .
    Attribution
    1) Sri Lanka by Sergei Gussev is licensed under CC BY 2.0
    2) Sri Lanka by Sergei Gussev is licensed under CC BY 2.0
    3) Sri Lanka by Sergei Gussev is licensed under CC BY 2.0
    4) Sri Lanka by Sergei Gussev is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    References
    1) Chandralal, K.P.L., 2010. Impacts of tourism and community attitude towards tourism: A case study in Sri Lanka. South Asian Journal of Tourism and Heritage, 3(2), pp.41-49.
    2) Nayomi, G. and Gnanapala, W.A., 2015. Socio-economic impacts on local community through tourism development with special reference to Heritance Kandalama. Tourism, Leisure and Global Change, 2(1), pp.57-73.
    3) Owen, C., 2008. Architecture between the culture-nature dualism: a case study of Geoffrey Bawa’s Kandalama hotel. International Journal of Architectural Research, 2(1), pp.40-56.

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    This page was last updated on 2 February 2020
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    Saturday, February 1, 2020

    Bollatha Ambalama, Gampaha

    The Bollatha Ambalama is an old wayside rest in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. It is located at the junction where the Bollata-Walpola road joins the Kandana-Ganemulla road.

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

    Structure
    The brick-built building is relatively small and contains a single open space surrounded by a short wall. The four-sided roof which is held by nine brick pillars has been tiled with semi-cylindrical clay tiles (Sinhala Ulu). The entrance is set at the northern side of the Ambalama.

    Conservation
    The Ambalama was conserved by the Architecture Division of the Department of Archaeology in 2000.

    A protected monument
    The Bollatha Ambalama at the 5th miles stone of Kandana-Ganemulla road situated in the Grama Niladhari Wasama Bollata-South in the Gampaha Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.

    References
    1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.

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    Udammita Ambalama

    The Udammita Ambalama is an old wayside rest in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. It is located at Udammita junction on the Veyangoda-Ruwanwella road about 1.8 km distance from the Nittambuwa town. 

    Ambalama
    Udammita Ambalama
    Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were traveling to distant places. The Ambalama at Udammita is one such structure, believed to have been built in 1829.

    Structure
    The brick-built building is consists of an open verandah and two rooms. The verandah is relatively large and a short wall goes around it. The entrances of both verandah and the inner part (two doors for two rooms) of the Ambalama are facing the south. The roof is paved with semi-circular clay tiles (Sinhala Ulu).

    Conservation
    The Ambalama was conserved by the Department of Archaeology on 23 May 2012.

    Location Map

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    Delft Island Fort

    Delft Island Fort
    Delft Island Fort (also known as Meekaman/Meegaman Fort) is a ruined fort located on the island of Delft (Tamil: Neduntheevu) in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka.

    History
    The fort is said to be built during the Portuguese/Dutch Period (Dias et al., 2016). After vanquishing the Portuguese, the Dutch took over the fort and added a barrack to it nearby (Dias et al., 2016). However, local Tamils attribute this fort to a king named Meekaman, a native leader of the fisher caste (Karaiyar). 

    J. P. Lewis in his article published in 1909, reveals more details about the old structures found in the Delft island including the fort,
    Baldaeus gives a picture of this fort as it was when the Dutch took it from the Portuguese. It certainly, even at the present day, looks like a Portuguese building. But the tradition is that it was erected by Mikamam, a king of the fisher caste (Karaiyar). In October, 1903, I visited the ruins of the other fort, which is known as " Vedi Arasan's Fort." .................. It is probably, like the first fort, Portuguese, but they are both attributed to the traditional native kings, Vedi Arasan the Mukkuvar king and Mikamam the Karaiyar king. I understand, however, that there are places in.the Batticaloa District called after these personages, in the same way that every large tank everywhere is attributed to "Kullakondan," so that much weight need not be attached to the fact that particular places are called after them.
    Citation: Lewis, 1909. pp.350-351
    Fort
    The fort has been constructed out of limestone and brick and the present structure is about 30 m long and 26.5 m wide (Wijebandara, 2014). The walls are about 2 m thick and rise upward at least to a height of 6.4 m (Wijebandara, 2014). The remaining evidence suggest that the fort may have had 2 or 3 floors (Dias et al., 2016).

    A protected monument
    The Meegamen Fort in the area called Seekiriyampallam situated in the Grama Niladhari Wasama No. fma/3 Delft Central in the Delft Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 30 December 2011.

    Attribution
    1) Meegaaman Fort by David Stanley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    References
    1) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. p.217.
    2) Lewis, J. P., 1909. Notes on Delft. The Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland.Vol. 21, No. 62 (1909), pp. 341-360.
    3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1739. 30 December 2011. p.1093.
    4) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhala). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. pp.64-66.

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    This page was last updated on 1 February 2020
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    Kandawala Survey Tower

    This image was captured by the Google street view (Image capture: Oct 2015) one month before the tower collapsed. It clearly shows the road development process that was carrying out near the tower.

    Kandawala Survey Tower was an old tower located at Kandawala junction on the Negombo-Giriulla-Baseline road in Negombo, Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. The tower was considered as the oldest survey tower in the country (Dias et al., 2016).

    History
    Kandawala Survey Tower
    The Department of Survey of Sri Lanka (or the Department of the Surveyor General) which is the oldest unchanged government department in the country, was established by the British on 2 August 1800. Under the Surveyor General W.D.Gosset (1855-1858), the establishment of control for surveys in the island commenced with the base measurements in 1857 for Principal Triangulation and several survey towers were used across the country for this process (Dias et al., 2016).

    The Dutch-built tower which was standing in Kandawala, Negombo is said to be the first survey tower used by them (Dias et al., 2016).

    Collapse
    However, the tower completely collapsed on the ground on 28 November 2015 due to the negligence of relevant government authorities.

    References
    1) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. p.226.

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    This page was last updated on 1 February 2020
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