Ulpange (Kandy)

The Ulpange, also known as Queens Bathing Pavilion (Sinhala: උල්පැන්ගේ), is located on the edge of Kandy Lake, to the south of the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Sri Lanka. 

The Ulpange is thought to have been constructed in 1806 by King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (1798-1815 A.D.), the last king of Sri Lanka (Abeyawardana, 2004; Prematilleke, 1986). It was the bathing pool/bathhouse of the queens originally built with stone (Jayasuriya,, 2016). However, after the British captured the Kandyan Kingdom in 1815, the pool was filled and cemented by them to accommodate various official and commercial quarters (Prematilleke, 1986; Rajapakse, 2016). By adding another story, the British converted the building in 1828 into a library named "United Service Library" (Abeyawardana, 2004; Jayasuriya,, 2016; Rajapakse, 2016). Although the original building was altered, the British managed to retain the traditional Kandyan appearance on it (Jayasuriya,, 2016).

The cemented and tiled floor of the Ulpange was excavated in the 1980s by the Cultural Triangle under the direction of Leelananda Prematilake (Jayasuriya,, 2016; Prematilleke, 1986). During the excavation, they were able to expose an oblong octagonal pool constructed with molded stone slabs with a large central ledge running around the pool (Prematilleke, 1986). A line of pillars that supported the roof originally, but was subsequently covered with British period walls, was also observed by them (Prematilleke, 1986).

According to some scholars, this bathhouse was probably built enveloping an original spring (Ulpata) and therefore has been named Ulpange (Jayasuriya,, 2016).


1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.18.
2) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. p.115. 
3) Prematilleke, L., 1986. Recent Archaeological Research on a Sri Lankan City Complex (Kandy). A paper was presented to the South-Asian Archaeological Congress, University of Wisconsin, Madison. pp.133-151. 
4) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.14-15.

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This page was last updated on 2 July 2022

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