Padiwita Ambalama and Paddy Field

Padiwita Ambalama
Photo credit: Dilashani Meegahapola, Google street view

The Padiwita Ambalama is an old wayside rest situated in Matale District, Sri Lanka. It lies in the middle of a paddy field known as Padiwita located along the AB26 road in Kumbiyangoda.

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 Padiwita Ambalama is one such building that is believed to have been erected during the Kandyan Period.

The structure
The Ambalama has been built upon a raised platform. The quadrangle-shaped building is made of wooden pillars balanced on short stone stumps. The four-sided roof is held by wooden pillars and beams containing wood carvings.

Paddy fields
The paddy field where the Padiwita Ambalama is situated has historical associations to the Kingdom of Kandy (Abeyawardana, 2004). A Bodhi tree which was located in close proximity to the field is mentioned in the Matale Kadaimpota as the venue for the declaration of Royal pronouncements and for public meetings during the Kandyan Period (Abeyawardana, 2004). This Bodhi tree had also served the purpose of being used as the venue for the swearing-in of parties consequent to judgements (Abeyawardana, 2004). 

A protected monument
The Pandiwita Ambalama (Pedestrians Resting Hall) in the Pandiwita Grama Niladhari Division in the Matale Divisional Secretary’s Division, is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government notification published on 24 July 2009.

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.130.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1612. 24 July 2009. p.1022.

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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