Kadugannawa Tunnel

Kadugannawa Tunnel Kadugannawa Tunnel.
Kadugannawa Tunnel is a small rock-tunnel located at Kadugannawa on the Colombo-Kandy road in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.

The entry to Kandy through the Balana Pass was difficult during the Kandyan Period due to several reasons including the exists of natural barriers such as Giri-durga (mountain pass), Vana-durga (forest pass), and Jala-durga [(water pass) Abeyawardana, 2002]. The Portuguese, Dutch, and British are said to have found difficulties on many occasions when they try to enter the Kandyan Kingdom through Balana (Abeyawardana, 2002). Therefore, folks are said to have tended to believe that if someone wants to capture the Kandyan Kingdom, it is needed to pierce the rock at the Kadugannawa first (Abeyawardana, 2002).

Kandy was annexed to the British empire in 1815. In the 1820s, the British commenced the construction works of the modern Colombo - Kandy road through the Kadugannawa mountain pass. At Kadannawa, they met this rock as a barrier. To proceed with the road construction work, it was pierced by excavating a tunnel under the guidance of Captain William Francis Dawson, the British engineer who was responsible for the designing and construction of the road (Abeyawardana, 2002; Rajapakse, 2016). It is said that the piercing was done somewhere between 1828-1830. The Dawson Tower that was built in 1832 to commemorate the deceased Cap. Dawson is located on the Kadugannawa hill close to this tunnel (Rajapakse, 2016). According to popular opinion, this tunnel has been created by the British to symbolize the local belief that there is no way for outsiders to rule the Kandy unless they pierce this Kadugannawa rock. 

Presently. the tunnel is not much used for vehicular traffic due to the new alternative road (a bypass road) that was built at the site recently. 

1) Kadugannawa, Sri Lanka - panoramio (4) by Luboš Holič is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
2) This image (Kadugannawa tunnel) has been released into the public domain by its creator, Trengarasu.

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.58.
2) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.82-83.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 21 February 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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