Karagahagedara Ambalama

Karagahagedara Ambalama is an old wayside rest situated in Karagahagedara. Constructed in 1837, it has architectural features of the Kandyan Period.
Karagahagedara Ambalama

Karagahagedara Ambalama (Sinhala: කරගහගෙදර අම්බලම) is an old wayside rest situated in Karagahagedara village in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.


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.

Constructed in 1837, the Karagahagedara Ambalama has architectural features of the Kandyan Period (Dasanayaka, 2018; De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). It was restored in 1980 by the Department of Archaeology (Uduwara, 1990).

The Structure

The Ambalama has been built on a flat rock outcrop near a paddy field. The wooden framework of it has been constructed on four round boulders, placed at the four corners. Four timber logs that are balanced on the four-round boulders, make the base of the wooden framework. The roof is supported by 21 wooden posts arranged in two sets. The outer set contains 17 posts and the inner set comprises 4 posts (Dasanayaka, 2018). The roof is covered with flat clay tiles known as Pethi Ulu.  On one of the rafters used in the roof, the year 1837 A.D. is mentioned (Dasanayaka, 2018).

Although the Karagahagedara Ambalama does not have wood carvings as found in Panavitiya Ambalama, there are indications that initially there had been some decorations (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).


1) Dasanayaka, R., 2018. Ambalama saha samajaya (In Sinhala). S. Godage & Brothers.  pp.172-173.
2) De Silva, N.; Chandrasekara, D.P., 2009. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo: The National Trust Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-0093-01-4. p.162.
3) Uduwara, J., 1990. History of the Department of Archaeology, 1970-1990. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative series: Volume I: History of the Department of Archaeology. p.155.


1) This photo licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 was published in the following article;
# Mendis, M.S., Halwatura, R.U., Somadeva, D.R.K., Jayasinghe, R.A. and Gunawardana, M., 2019. Influence of timber grain distribution on orientation of saw cuts during application: Reference to heritage structures in Sri Lanka. Case Studies in Construction Materials, 11, Elsevier. pp.1-18.

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This page was last updated on 3 July 2023

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