Friday, 30 April 2021

Hanguranketha Ambalama

Hanguranketha Ambalama
Photo credit: Google street view

The Hanguranketha Ambalama is an old wayside rest situated near Hanguranketha Pothgul Viharaya in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. 

History
Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were travelling to distant places. They were also used as a place for people to gather, hold meetings and serve as a public place in society. During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Ambalamas were spread all over the country. The Ambalama at Hanguranketha is believed to have been built about 150 years ago (Dasanayaka, 2018). It may have been used by the travellers who came to visit nearby Pothgul Viharaya and Natha Devalaya (Dasanayaka, 2018).

The structure
This Ambalama is primarily made out of granite pillars holding a roof with a complex shape (Dasanayaka, 2018). The pillars are shaped but lack decorations. Later, walls had been added to this structure between the pillars to form a few rooms and some of them were used as an Ayurveda medical centre (Dasanayaka, 2018; Wijesinghe, 2015). However, these walls were removed by government authorities to obtain its ancient appearance again.

There is a granite Pinthaliya (a water vessel for the use of people) in front of the Ambalama. A note carved on it reveals that it was donated on 11 September 1905 by a person named Salu Abhaya Gunasekara Lekam (Dasanayaka, 2018).

References
1) Dasanayaka, R., 2018. Ambalama saha samajaya (In Sinhala). S. Godage & Brothers.  pp.83-84.
2) Wijesinghe, T.K., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Nuwara Eliya Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-36-4. pp.22-23.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 2 January 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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