Mahakanadarawa Stone Bridge

Mahakanadarawa Stone Bridge
Mahakanadarawa Stone Bridge (Sinhala: මහකනදරාව පැරණි ගල් පාළම) is an ancient bridge over the Kanadara Ela near Mahakanadarawa Wewa in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

This bridge is believed to have been erected at the same time as Mahakanadarawa Wewa built by King Mahasena (276-303 A.D.). The ancient road that ran from Anuradhapura to the north of the country would have lain over this bridge.

The bridge
The bridge has been made of smoothened rock slabs. It lies north and south and consisted of 14 spans of which the only one broken adjoins the northern abutments (Bell, 1904). The roadway of the bridge, varying from 8 ft. 6 in. to 10 ft. in width across the three uprights, was formed of seven horizontal slabs laid across the three centre and two end spans, and of six slabs elsewhere (Bell, 1904). The piers at the deepest point are 5. ft. 6 in. out of the ground (Bell, 1904).

A protected monument
The Mahakanadarawa stone bridge (and the archaeological site in the extent of 150 m around it) situated in Mahakanadarawa village in the Grama Niladhari Division no. 01-94 of Rambewa Yaya in Mihinthale Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government notification published on 1 February 2023.

Mahakanadarawa Stone Bridge
See also
#) Halpanu Ela Stone Bridge
#) Malwathu Oya Stone Bridge

#) would like to thank Lalith Kekulthotuwage for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

1) Bell, H. C. P., 1904. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon; North-Central Province, Annual Report 1890. p.8.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Extraordinary. No: 2317/57. 1 February 2023. p.7A.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 22 October 2023
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