Urakanda Petroglyphs

Urakanda Petroglyphs
A site with some petroglyphs has been discovered on the western face of the Urakanda mountain in Asmadalagala village in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka.

Petroglyphs are considered a primitive art form made by prehistoric people (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). These include various rock engravings executed on the face of a rock or a cave wall using some form of sharp instruments such as stone, bone or metal implements (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). Petroglyphs have been recorded from a few places in Sri Lanka such as Urakanda, Danigala, Hakbelikanda, Dorawaka Kanda, Navagala, Molagoda, Budugala, and Dimbulagala (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010; Sumanarathna et al., 2020).

Petroglyphs at Urakanda
Urakanda petroglyphs were discovered in 1983 by W.H. Wijayapala, the Director-General of Archaeology from 2001 to 2004 (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). They have been engraved on a rock surface close to the ground level. A later engraving of a Siri Pathula (a sacred footprint) is also found above these petroglyphs (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010).

All the petroglyphs of Urakanda have been executed using simple lines (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). Two figures similar to the human shape are found among these engravings (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). According to Senanayaka & Rammungoda, some of these engravings are significant as they have been found in the megalithic context as well (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010). Symbols similar to Urakanda petroglyphs have been found from Dorawaka-lena and the megalithic cist burial at Pinwewa Galsohonkanatta [(near Yapahuwa) Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010]. Also, some pottery sherds retrieved from excavations at Yatigalpotta, Anuradhapura Citadel and Akurugoda (Tissamaharama) have indicated similar engravings (Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010).

Scholars have tentatively assigned Urakanda petroglyphs to the Proto-historic period [(ca. 2600- 2300 BP) Senanayaka & Rammungoda, 2010].

1) Senanayaka, J., Rammungoda, U.R., 2010. Petroglyphs of Urakanda - Sri Lanka : A preliminary account. Sirinimal Lakdusinghe Felicitation Volume. pp.247-253.
2) Sumanarathna, A.R., Aouititen, M., Taylor, B., Sameera, G. and Bandara, A., 2020. Fundamental inspection report- relevant to astrotourism, geotourism, and archaeological potentials: Vistas and unique opportunities of Dhanigala circular rock Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. pp.2-50.

Location Map (approximate !)
This page was last updated on 8 January 2023
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