Buddhism and Sri Lanka

According to Sri Lankan chronicles, Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. by Arhant Mahinda, during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa.

Sri Lankan Inscriptions

The earliest trace of epigraphy in South Asia is said to be found in Sri Lanka. A piece of pottery, dated to circa the 4th century B.C. has been discovered from the Anuradhapura citadel.

Architecture of Sri Lanka

The architecture of Sri lanka has a long history and shows diversed forms and styles, mainly infuenced by their religions and traditional beliefs.

Sri Lankan Antiquities

Inherited from the past, Sri Lanka has a large number of antiques with cultural and historical significance which reflects the glory of past era.

Visit Sri Lanka

Located in the northern waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an island blessed with a large number of attractons which has made the country an ideal destination for the tourism.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

SriLankan Airlines Regional Building, Colombo

SriLankan Airlines Regional Building
Photo credit: Google street view

The SriLankan Airlines Regional Building is located on Sir Baron Jayatilaka Mawatha, opposite the Lloyd's Building in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

History
This building is said to have been used as the office of the Dutch Governor of Ceylon in 1786 and was renovated in 1850 by the British rulers (Manathunga, 2016).

The building
The two-storied building has Dutch/ British architectural features (Manathunga, 2016). Some old Dutch pillars that were in the front porch of the building are said to have been replaced by present arches added during the British Period (Manathunga, 2016). The arches have been decorated with horizontal lines.

References
1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.28-29.

Location Map
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State Pharmaceuticals Corporation Building, Colombo

State Pharmaceuticals Corporation Building
Photo credit: Google street view

The State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka Building is located on Sir Baron Jayatilaka Mawatha, near the Gaffoor Building in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

History
This building is said to have been constructed in 1854 by John Walker, a Scottish planter who arrived in Sri Lanka in 1842 (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

The building
The four-storied building has been constructed following British architecture (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). Although many alterations have been made to the interior of the building, the facade remains largely unchanged (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The front porch on the ground floor is designed with five arches and subsequent renovations have removed the arches in the back portion of the building (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

Presently, the building is used as the headquarters of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka (SPC), a state-owned enterprise established in 1971.

References
1) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. p.36.

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Former General Post Office, Colombo

Former General Post Office, Colombo
The Old General Post Office Building is located on Janadhipathi Mawatha, opposite the President's House in Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka. It was the headquarters of the Sri Lanka Post and the office of the Postmaster-General until it was moved out to a new building in 2000 due to security reasons.

History
This building was designed by Herbert Frederick Tomalin of the Public Works Department and constructed by Wapchi Marikar during the period 1891-1895 (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018; Wright, 1999). The completed building was declared open by Arthur Elibank Havelock, the then British Governor of Ceylon from 1890-1895 (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

The building
Constructed on a raised platform, the building can be entered through a wide flight of steps leading to four arch-shaped entrances. The Corinthian, Ionic and Doric pillars with various mouldings and decorations have given a majestic appearance to the facade of the building (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

A protected monument
The old building called as the General Post Office (G.P.O.), situated on the Janadhipathi Mawatha Street in Colombo Fort in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Colombo is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 21 January 2000. 

Attribution

References
1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.22-23. 
2) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. p.25.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1116. 18 June 1999.
4) Wright, A. ed., 1999. Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources (first published in 1907). Asian Educational Services. pp.122.

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Friday, July 30, 2021

Colombo Club Building

Colombo Club Building
The Colombo Club Building is located at the Taj Samudra Hotel premises overlooking Galle Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

History
The Colombo Club is considered the second-oldest social club in Sri Lanka as well as one of the oldest social clubs in Asia. It was established in 1871 for the promotion of social intercourse among gentlemen residing in Ceylon and the then Governor of Ceylon, Sir Hercules Robinson (Governor of British Ceylon: 1865-1872) was among its founding members (Wright, 1999). In the beginning, its membership was limited to the British and Europeans and the club building was used as a resting place and a pavilion for them for watching horse racing at Galle Face Green (Manathunga, 2016). In 1893, it turned into a clubhouse (Manathunga, 2016).

Attribution

References
1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.45-46.
2) Wright, A. ed., 1999. Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources (first published in 1907). Asian Educational Services. pp.419.

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Lloyd's Buildings, Colombo

Lloyd's Buildings
The Lloyd's Buildings is an old five-storied building located on the wayside of Sir Baron Jayatilaka Mawatha in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 

History
This building was built in 1908 by Clifford Lake and Company in accordance to the design by Edward Skinner, a British architect (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). At the time, it was known by the name "Freudenberg Building" as the main occupant of the building was Freudenberg & Co., an import and export company (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

In the beginning, the Freudenberg and Company used this building for their business activities mainly focused on coffee and oil trading (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). Later, Aitken Spence purchased the building and renamed it the "Lloyd's Building".
 
Attribution

References
1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. p.39. 
2) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. p.35.

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Whiteaways Building, Colombo

Whiteaways Building
The Whiteaways Building is an old three-storied building located on the wayside of Sir Baron Jayatilaka Mawatha in Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka. 

History
This building is said to have been built by following a plan by British architect Edward Skinner under the Walker & Company during the period 1905-1908 (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). Owned by Whiteway, Laidlaw & Co., the building was initially used for various retail trade activities (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018; Wright, 1999).
 
Attribution

References
1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.29-30. 
2) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. p.44.
3) Wright, A. ed., 1999. Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources (first published in 1907). Asian Educational Services. pp.456.

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Wolvendaal Church, Colombo

Wolvendaal Church
Wolvendaal Church (Wolvendaalse Kerk) is a Protestant church situated in Pettah in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. It is considered the first Protestant church in the country and also the only Dutch building in Colombo which is still being used for the same purpose it built (Jayatunga, 2010; Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

History
Wolvendaal Church
This church was begun to construct in 1749 by the Dutch Reformed Church with the help of the Dutch East India Company [(Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009; Jayatunga, 2010; Lewis, 1913; Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018]. It was dedicated to public worship on 6 March 1757 by Rev. Mattias Wirmelskircher (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). A Portuguese church of Our Lady of Guadalupe that was standing at this site is said to have been demolished by the Dutch to occupy the ground for this church building (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009; Jayatunga, 2010; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). 

Tombstones
A number of tombstones of deceased priests and elites are found on the church premises (Lewis, 1913; Manathunga, 2016). Of them, about 37 tombstones have been fixed onto the floor of the church while a few are in the outer compound (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). Some of these tombs are not original to the church and have been brought from other churches outside (Lewis, 1913; Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

The church building
The church building is about 100 ft. in height and has been built in accordance with Dutch Architecture (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The cross-shaped foundation is made with large granite slabs and blocks and the walls have been made of laterite while burnt red bricks were used for the arches (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The walls are about 5 ft. in thickness.

The dome which has been constructed with bricks and cement is considered a special feature of this building. It was damaged by a bolt of lightning in 1856 but repaired later (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). 

The church building went through renovations in the years 1783, 1856, 1969, and 1992 (Manathunga, 2016). In 2017, the glass windows of the church building were conserved by the Department of Archaeology with the financial assistance of the Government of the Netherlands (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

2) This painting (Dutch Reformed Church, Colombo) by J.L.K. van Dort has been drawn more than 100 years ago and therefore in the public domain.

References
1) De Silva, N.; Chandrasekara, D.P., 2009. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo: The National Trust Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-0093-01-4.  pp.60,85.
2) Jayatunga, P.A., 2010. Wolvendaal: An Etymological Study. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 56, pp.31-56.
3) Lewis, J. P., 1913. List of inscriptions on tombstones and monuments in Ceylon, of historical or local interest with an obituary of persons uncommemorated: Colombo. pp.101-120.
4) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.79-80. 
5) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. pp.19-20.

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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Pravachanodaya Pirivena, Molligoda

Pravachanodaya Pirivena is a Buddhist temple situated in Molligoda in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka. Presently it serves as a Pirivena (an educational institute) for Buddhist monks.

History
After the establishment of Vidyoda Pirivena in Colombo (1873), and Vidyalankara Pirivena in Peliyadoda (1876), several Pirivenas were set up around the country mainly to educate Buddhist monks (Abeyawardana, 2002). Pravachanodaya Pirivena in Molligoda was one such institute established in 1891 by a local donor named Liyanage Lewis Perera Vidana-arachchi (Abeyawardana, 2002).

References
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.100.

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Sunandarama Pirivena, Ovitigala

Sunandarama Pirivena, Ovitigala
Sunandarama Pirivena is a Buddhist temple situated in Ovitigala in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
This temple is said to have been established in the second half of the 19th century. Induruwe Medhankara Thera was the first incumbent of the temple.

The image house
Murals in the image house
The old image house of Sunandarama Viharaya is considered the most important monument of the temple. It mainly consists of two parts; the inner chamber and the outer chamber (the vestibule). The inner chamber contains three Buddha statues in the seated, standing and the reclining postures. An entrance decorated with Makara Thorana (the dragon arch) provides access to this chamber. The walls and the ceiling of the outer chamber are filled with old murals depicting Buddhist themes such as Sath Sathiya (the first seven weeks after the enlightenment), Suvisi Vivaranaya (Buddha to be receiving the blessing from 24 previous Buddhas), and some important events in the life of the Buddha.

Two male figures wearing a colonial dress
The entrance door of the inner chamber is flanked by two lions and two guardian statues. Adjacent to the guardian statues are the paintings of two male figures wearing a dress of the colonial period. The black coat, tight-fitting breeches, pointed shoes have given these figures a western appearance and the white halo around their crowned heads have increased their status among other figures in the vestibule. As both figures have the same features, they probably represent the same person. However, of the two figures, one holds a brown leather-bound book by his right hand.

The front cover as well as the spine of this book contain some words written in Roman and Devanagari characters. The Roman scripts on the front cover label this book as "Denapota" which is probably the incorrect form of the original word "Dinapotha" (Sinhala: the diary), because the word written in Devanagari characters above this Roman word can be pronounced as "Dinapota". The Devanagari word on the spine of the book says "Me Potha" which can be translated from Sinhala to English as "this book". The year 1827 is also denoted in this book.

A protected site
The old Vihara-geya (image house) of Sunandarama Viharaya, situated in Ovitigala village in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Matugama is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 November 1996. 

Sunandarama Pirivena, Ovitigala .
References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 948. 1 November 1996.

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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Ashokarama Maha Viharaya, Kalutara

Ashokarama Maha Viharaya, Kalutara
Ashokarama Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Kalutara North in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
The image house
According to the details in the plaque fixed on to the front wall of the image house, a wealthy devotee named Wel Arumage Elliyas Fernando established the Ashokaramaya temple in the Buddhist Year 2411 (1868 A.D.) and bestowed it to Buddhist monks headed by Matara Sri Dhammarama Maha Swamipadayan Vahanse. Later, they (the Buddhist monks) handed over the custody of the temple to the lineage of students of Alutgama Sangharatana Maha Sthavira.

The Stupa of the temple, as mentioned on the upper part of it (in the Hatares Kotuwa), has been built in the Buddhist year 2442 (1899 A.D.). The decorative gate in front of it has been constructed by a person named A.F. Jayasekara Dharmasiriwardana Mudiyanse Ralahami.

Murals in the image house .
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Sudarshanarama Viharaya, Dodangoda

Sudarshanarama Viharaya, Dodangoda
Dodangoda Sudarshanarama Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Dodangoda in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
By the 19th century, there were no Buddhist temples in the Dodangoda area and people had to go to Pushparama Viharaya in Malegoda for their religious activities (Priyandana, 2013). Therefore, a new Buddhist temple was established at the present site in Dodangoda under the guidance of a Buddhist monk named Dodangoda Sudassi Thera on 12 August 1855 (Priyandana, 2013). Later, Sudassi Thera handed over the custody of this temple to one of his students named Mawanane Indragupta Thera (Priyandana, 2013).

With the support of local donors such as D.V.W. Kotalawala and K.K.A. Ranaweera, an image house for this temple was begun to construct in 1880 (Priyandana, 2013). In 1911, the preaching hall of the temple was erected (Priyandana, 2013). A Stupa was added to the temple in 1928 (Priyandana, 2013).

The image house
The image house of Sudarshanarama Viharaya
The image house of Sudarshanarama Viharaya is considered the most important monument of the temple as it contains Kandyan mural and sculptures belonging to the second half of the 19th century. It mainly consists of two parts; the old image house and the newly-built outer house. The old image house is 52 ft. long and 45 ft. wide and contains two sections, viz; the inner chamber and the outer chamber (Priyandana, 2013). The inner chamber contains three Buddha statues in the seated, standing and reclining postures. Two entrances provide access to this chamber and a figure of the Queen of Great Britain surrounded by a lion, a unicorn and a royal crown is found over one of these entrances (Priyandana, 2013).
 
The murals in this old image house have been drew between the period 1881-1882 by a painter of the Kadolgalla Sittara lineage (Priyandana, 2013).

Murals of the Kandyan tradition.
References
1) Priyandana, W.H.R., 2013. Dodangoda Sri Sudarshanarama Maha Viharaye Bithusithuwam (In Sinhala). An author publication. pp.1-17

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Medawachchiya Wewa

Medawachchiya Wewa is a reservoir situated in Medawachchiya in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The present tank was restored in 1876 but breached in 1923 due to excessive rains (Arumugam, 1969). The repaired tank was damaged again during the heavy flood in December 1957 (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The bund of the reservoir is about 3,100 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 180 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has one spill and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.324.

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Madukanda Wewa

Madukanda Wewa is a reservoir situated in Madukanda village in Vavunia District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The Madukanda area is believed to be one of the places where the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was lodged on the journey from India to Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka (Arumugam, 1969).

The tank was restored in the 1886-1896 period (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The bund of the reservoir is about 3,550 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 270 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has three spills and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.302.

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Mamaduwa Wewa

Mamaduwa Wewa is a reservoir situated in Mamaduwa village in Vavunia District, Sri Lanka. 

History
According to a 9th-century inscription in situ, this has been identified as the ancient Mahida Wewa (Nicholas, 1963). It is believed to have been repaired during the reign of King Kassapa V [(914-923 A.D.) Arumugam, 1969]. The Mahindatalaka Wewa restored by King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.) during his reign is identical with this tank (Nicholas, 1963).

The tank was restored in the 1888-1896 period (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The bund of the reservoir is about 6,480 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 600 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has two spills and three sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.304.
2) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.87.

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Rajanganaya Reservoir

Rajanganaya Reservoir
Rajanganaya Wewa is a reservoir built across the Kala Oya river, at Rajanganaya, bordering the North Western and North Central provinces of Sri Lanka.

History
This is a newly built reservoir. However, on the Kadigala hill where the dam of Rajanganaya reservoir abuts into the rock are the ruins of ancient Maha Mangala Viharaya built on the bank of Gona Nadi (the ancient name used to identify the present Kala Oya river) by King Vankanasika Tissa [(109-112 A.D.) Arumugam, 1969]. Rock-cut flight of steps, Stupa mounds are found at this site (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The reservoir has been constructed by damming the Kala Oya river (Arumugam, 1969). The bund of the reservoir is about 1.62 km. long and the water is extending in an area of about 4,000 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has one spill and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

Attribution

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.349.

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Hambegamuwa Wewa

Hambegamuwa Wewa is a reservoir situated in the Thanamalwila area in Monaragala District, Sri Lanka. 

History
This ancient tank was restored in 1890 and improved in 1961 (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The reservoir has been constructed by damming the Mau Ara (Arumugam, 1969). The bund of the reservoir is about 2,800 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 400 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has three spills and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.106.

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Dewahuwa Wewa

Dewahuwa Wewa
Photo credit: Google street view

Dewahuwa Wewa is a reservoir situated in the Galewela area in Matale District, Sri Lanka. 

History
A few stories are there that describe how the present name of this reservoir was originated. As the belief of some, "Devahuwa" is the corrupted name of "Deyahuva", a word that originated by the combination of two words "Diya" (water) and "Huva" [(pronounce as  "Hoova") Abeyawardana, 2004]. It is said that there was a noise similar to a cry of a "Hoo" when releasing the water from the sluice of this tank (Abeyawardana, 2004).
 
According to another story, King Dutugemunu (161-137 B.C.) had received a Pirith thread (Huya) from the gods (Dewa) when he encamped at this site (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The present reservoir has been made by merging two tanks named Dewahuwa and Palu Rotawewa in 1950 (Arumugam, 1969). The bund of the reservoir is about 4,300 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 850 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has one spill and one sluice (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.170.
2) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.341.

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

Paramananda Purana Viharaya, Kotahena

Paramananda Purana Viharaya
Photo credit: Google street view

Paramananda Purana Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Kotahena in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

History
This temple is said to have been erected in 1808 under the guidance of a Buddhist monk named Pandure Dhammananda Thera (Hulugalle, 1965; Manathunga, 2016). It is considered the second Buddhist place of worship to be built in the Colombo area (Corea, 1988). Before the establishment of Vidyodaya Pirivena, Ven. Hikkaduwe Sumangala Thera (1827-1911) is said to have lived here (Hulugalle, 1965; Manathunga, 2016). Some buildings of this temple have been built in 1870 (Manathunga, 2016).

References
1) Corea, I., 1988. Glimpses of Colombo. Colombo Municipal Council. p.73.
2) Hulugalle, H.A.J., 1965. Centenary Volume of the Colombo Municipal Council, 1865-1965. Colombo Municipal Council. p.155.
3) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. p.78. 
 
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Vipashyaramaya, Maharagama

Vipashyaramaya, Maharagama
Photo credit: Google street view

Vipashyaramaya (also known as Puwakpitiya Temple) is a Buddhist temple situated in Maharagama in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

History
This temple is said to have been established by a Buddhist monk named Bogoda Vipassi Thera during the period of the 1818 Uva-Wellassa rebellion (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

The image house
The old image house is the main attraction of this temple with archaeological value. It consists of two parts; the inner section and the outer section (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The outer section can be entered through two entrances and another two entrances have been provided after them in order to enter into the inner section. The front wall of the inner section has been decorated with paintings and sculptures belonging to the low-country style of the latter Kandyan Period (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). In the inner section, three seated and two standing Buddha statues are found.

A protected site
The old Vihara-geya (image house) of Vipashyarama Viharaya, situated in Watte Gedara in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Maharagama is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 8 July 2005. 

References
1) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. pp.52-53.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1401. 8 July 2005.

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Saturday, July 17, 2021

Cargills & Millars Buildings, Colombo

Cargills & Millars Buildings
The old Cargills & Millars Buildings are located on the corner of the Sir Baron Jayatilaka Mawatha and the York Street in Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka.

History
A Dutch building is said to be on the land where the present Cargills & Millars buildings are located and it had been occupied by Sir Frederick North (1766-1827), the first British Governor of Ceylon from 1798 to 1805 (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). In 1844, a British businessman William Milne started his company at this premises by replacing the old Dutch building and in 1896, it was acquired by David Sime Cargill, a Scottish businessman who headed the popular Cargills & Company (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). 

During the period 1902-1906, the present two-storied Cargills building that following the renaissance architecture was built by Walker Sons & Company in accordance with the design by Edward Skinner, a British architect (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018; Wright, 1999). In 1907, another two-storied building designed by Skinner was attached to this Cargills building and it belonged to William Cramond Miller, the head of the Millers & Company (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

By 1946, the ownership of these buildings was in the hands of the local businessmen (Manathunga, 2016).

A protected monument
The building belonging to the Cargills company at No. 40/1, York Street, Colombo 01, situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Fort in Colombo Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 9 September 2011. 


References
1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.38-39. 
2) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. pp.33-34.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1723. 9 September 2011.
4) Wright, A. ed., 1999. Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources (first published in 1907). Asian Educational Services. pp.457.

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Colombo Terminus Railway Station

Colombo Terminus Railway Station
The Colombo Terminus Railway Station is an abandoned railway station in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is considered as the first railway station built in the country by the British who pioneered in the beginning of the railway service in Sri Lanka (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). 

History
In the 19th century, the British rulers commenced the railway service in Sri Lanka for planters to facilitate the transportation of their harvest from inland to the seaport located in Colombo (Kesavan et al., 2015). On 3 August 1858, the then Ceylon Governor, Henry George Ward (1855-1860 A.D.) commenced the construction of the first railway line in the country to be run between Colombo and Ambepussa (Abeysinghe, 2016). After the completion, the first train transportation happened between Colombo and Ambepussa on 27 December 1864 (Abeysinghe, 2016).

Besides the stations at Colombo (the Colombo Terminus Railway Station) and Ambepussa, three more stations at Mahara (present Ragama), Henarathgoda (present Gampaha) and Veyangoda were completed along the railway line in 1866 (CGR, 1964). In 1867, the railway station at Peradeniya was built.
 
Colombo Terminus Railway Station
This railway station was built in the 1858-1865 period by a contractor named William Frederick Faviell (1822-1902) following the architecture of the Manchester Railway Station in England (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The first train in Sri Lanka commenced its journey from this station to the railway station at Ambepussa in 1864 (Abeysinghe, 2016; Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

However, after the construction of the Maradana Railway Station in 1908, the activities of the Colombo Terminus Railway Station were stopped (Manathunga, 2016). The station was completely neglected after the construction of the present Colombo Fort Railway Station (Manathunga, 2016).
 
The station
Initially, the railway station consists of an office, a train platform, two store rooms, and a quarter for officials (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).  The office is presently used as a museum and one can approach to the train platform through this office building (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). At the beginning, the train platform was about 50 m in length and after the addition of another platform, the length increased up to 108 m (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The roof of the platform was held on a frame made of cast iron imported from England (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

A protected monument
The Old Fort Railway Station in Maradana in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Colombo is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 18 June 1999.

Attribution

References
1) Abeysinghe, A.H.M.S.P., 2016. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ දුම්රිය කාර්මික පුරාවිද්‍යාව; නව මානයක් කරා රැගෙන යමු. Puraveda 2016.
2) CGR, 1964. Ceylon Government Railway : One hundred years, 1864-1964, Colombo. p.19.
3) Kesavan, R.A., Chandrakumar, C., Kulatunga, A.K., Gowrynathan, J., Rajapaksha, R.T.D., Senewiratne, R.K.G.D.M. and Laguleshwaran, D., 150 Years of Sri Lankan Railways: Evaluation of the Services from Employee and Customer Perspectives. International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering. Volume 5, Issue 5.
4) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.60-61. 
5) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. pp.37-38.
6) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1085. 18 June 1999.

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De Mel Building, Colombo

De Mel Building
The De Mel Building is an old building located in Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka. 

The four-storied building (with a ground floor) is said to have been built in 1901 (Manathunga, 2016). A restaurant is maintained on the ground floor while the upper floors are reserved for office activities (Manathunga, 2016). The facade of the building is decorated with cylindrical columns of Corinthian style and floral designs (Manathunga, 2016).
 
Attribution
1) _MG_8275 and _MG_8274 by Pahol Chaloeykitti are licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

References
1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.31-32. 
 
Location Map
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Olcott Building, Colombo

Olcott Building, Colombo
The Olcott Building is an old two-storied building located in Pettah in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was the residence of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907), an American who played a major role in the revival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the latter part of the 19th century (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). 

History
Built between 1881-1885, this two-storied building was the residence of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, the co-founder of the Theosophical Society who arrived in Sri Lanka in 1880 (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). Later, an English Buddhist school named "Pitakotuwa Ingrisi Bauddha Pasala" was established on the upper floor of this building by the Theosophical Society (Manathunga, 2016). This school was later moved to a land at Maradana and presently it is known as Ananda College (Manathunga, 2016).

In 1929, a building named "Bauddha Mandiraya" (Buddhist Mansion) was annexed to this for the usage of the Theosophical Society and for the religious activities of local residents (Manathunga, 2016).
 
The building
Olcott Building
The two-storied and rectangular-shaped building has been built by using Kabok (laterite), brick and lime mortar (Manathunga, 2016). It is 15 m in length and 13.40 m in width (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The two stories are divided by a floor made of wood and a wooden flight of steps provides access to the upper floor (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). Two open verandahs are found at either side of the building and their roofs are held by round pillars (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). There are four entrances at the front-verandah of the building while six entrances at the rear-verandah (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

A protected monument
The Olcott Building (of Theosophical Society), situated on the Maliben Street in Pettah in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Colombo is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 18 June 1999. 

Olcott Building, Colombo
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References
1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.67-68. 
2) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. p.32.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1085. 18 June 1999.

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Friday, July 16, 2021

Gaffoor Building

Gaffoor Building
The Gaffoor Building is an old building in Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka. Located on the corner of the Sir Baron Jayatilaka Mawatha and Leyden Bastian Street, it is a wedge-shaped building of four stories. 

History
This building is said to have been built in 1907 by H. W. Cave, a leading writer and a book publisher at the time (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018; Wright, 1999). The printing, binding and all other marketing works of the travel and religious books published by his business named the H. W. Cave & Company were done from the offices established at this building (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). Besides that, the building also provided space for the offices of other companies that are involved in businesses related to sports and music items as well as crockery and silverware (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018). It is said that this building was begun to call the Gaffoor Building after it was purchased by Abdul Gaffoor (Manathunga, 2016; Rajapakshe et al., 2018).
 
However, as mentioned in another source, the Gaffoor Building was completed in 1915 and was owned by the prominent jewellery trader N.D.H. Abdul Gaffoor (Macmillan, 2005). At the time it was considered as one of the largest and finest commercial structures in Colombo (Macmillan, 2005). 

Attribution
1) Colombo by massa 我嫌日的冬 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

References
1) Macmillan, A., ed., 2005. Extract from Seaports of India and Ceylon (first published in 1928). Asian Educational Services. p.479.
2) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.40-41. 
3) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. p.22.
4) Wright, A. ed., 1999. Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources (first published in 1907). Asian Educational Services. pp.455-456.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 July 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map