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, 30 April 2022

Udugodagama Tempita Viharaya

Udugodagama Tempita Viharaya (Sinhala: මලගමුව උඩුගොඩගම ටැම්පිට විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Malagamuwa village in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

History
The Tempita Viharaya is the main attraction of this temple with archaeological value. It is said to have been built during the Kandyan Period (Mendis et al., 2019).

Tempita Viharaya
Tempita Viharas were a popular aspect of many Buddhist temples during the Kandyan period. These structures were usually built on a wooden platform resting on bare stone pillars or stumps which are about 1-4 feet tall. The roof is generally made of timber and held by wooden stumps. The walls are usually made of wattle and daub and they form the main enclosed shrine room containing the Buddhist sculptures and murals belonging to the Kandyan style. Some Tempita Viharas have narrow verandas and ambulatories circulating the main enclosed space. The construction of these buildings was started in the 17th century and lasted until the end of the 19th century (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Udugodagama Tempita Viharaya
The Tempita Viharaya of this temple can be identified as an ancient monument with archaeological value. It is a small building balanced on 9 stone stumps of about 0.7 m tall (Mendis et al., 2019). The building is 3.7 m in length and 5.31 m in width (Mendis et al., 2019). The floor of it is laid with planks and the interior walls have been decorated with paintings depicting Buddhist themes. The surface of the outer walls have been covered with a clay layer in 2014 (Mendis et al., 2019).

A protected site
The Tempita Viharaya belonging to the Udugodagama Vihara premises situated in the No. 464, Malagamuwa Grama Niladhari Division in the Kurunegala Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 21 October 2010.

References
1) Mendis, D.T.; Wijepala, W.M.T.B.; Harshajith, D.M.N., 2019. දැදුරු ඔය සහ මී ඔය අතර කලාපයේ පුරාවිද්‍යාත්මක ස්ථාන පිළිබඳ මූලික විමර්ශනයක්. මධ්‍ය දැදුරු ඔය හා මී ඔය නිම්නයේ ජනාවාස පුරාවිද්‍යාව. Research and Publication Fund, Rajarata University Of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 978-955-0189-14-1.pp.33-103.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1677. 21 October 2010. p.1749.
3) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. p.12.

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Friday, 29 April 2022

Modara Maha Kali Amman Temple

Maha Kali Amman Temple is a Hindu Kovil situated in Modara (Mutwal) in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to Goddess Kali, one of the deities of the Hindu pantheon. The temple, according to local belief, has a history linked to the Dutch colonial period (1640-1796 A.D.). Presently, this site is popular among both Hindu and Buddhist populations in the area for religious rituals related to making vows and cursing punishments.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 29 April 2022
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Niyadawane Raja Maha Viharaya

Niyadawane Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: නියදවනේ රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Niyadawane village in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

History
It can be identified that this temple had been developed from the Anuradhapura Period to the Kandyan Period (Mendis et al., 2019). There are two Len Viharas (cave temples) on the temple premises and they preserve a valuable collection of paintings and sculptures of the Kandyan art tradition (Mendis et al., 2019). As mentioned on one of the walls in the first cave, the paintings in that cave have been done in 2449 B.E. [(1905 A.D.) Mendis et al., 2019].
Text: ශ්‍රී බුද්ධ වර්ෂයෙන් දෙදාසැ හරසිය හතලිස් නවයේදී ය. ගල්කන්දේගොම විසී ජයසිංහ පටබැන්දා විසින් නිම කලායග
Translation: It is in 2449 Buddhist year. Completed by Galkandegoma Visi Jayasinha Patabenda.
Also, as revealed by a note in the second cave, the three sculptures in that cave have been done in 2464 B.E. (1920 A.D.) by a Buddhist monk named Saranankara with getting the help of villagers and two named persons (Mendis et al., 2019).
Text: ශ්‍රී බුද්ධ වර්ෂ 2464 ක් වූ වෙශක් මස පුර තෙලෙස්වක නම්ලත් ගුරු දිනමෙම පිළිම තුංනම අසල් ගම්වැසි දායක පිරිසගේ උදව් ඇතිව කම්බුවන මෙම විහාරවාසී සරනංකර යතින්ද්‍රයන් වන මම විසින් හාරිස්පත්තුවේ අලගොඩ වලව්වේ ශ්‍රී වික්කම රාජසිංහ බණ්ඩාරනායක සී.බී. බන්ඩාරේ ලවා එම අයගේත් උදව් ඇතුව නිම කලා. සාදු. සාදු. සාදු.
The dilapidated mound of an ancient Stupa has been identified on the top of the temple rock (Mendis et al., 2019).

A protected site
The three drip-ledged rock cave Viharas and the ancient Chaitya belonging to the Niyadawane Raja Maha Vihara situated in the Grama Niladhari Division No. 358 - Niyadawane in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Polpitigama are archaeological protected monuments, declared by two government Gazette notifications published on 23 January 2009 and 24 July 2009.

References
1) Mendis, D.T.; Wijepala, W.M.T.B.; Harshajith, D.M.N., 2019. දැදුරු ඔය සහ මී ඔය අතර කලාපයේ පුරාවිද්‍යාත්මක ස්ථාන පිළිබඳ මූලික විමර්ශනයක්. මධ්‍ය දැදුරු ඔය හා මී ඔය නිම්නයේ ජනාවාස පුරාවිද්‍යාව. Research and Publication Fund, Rajarata University Of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 978-955-0189-14-1.pp.33-103.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1586. 23 January 2009. p.106.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1612. 24 July 2009. p.1024.
 
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Thursday, 28 April 2022

Kurulu Kele Bird Sanctuary

Kurulu Kele Bird Sanctuary (Sinhala: කුරුලු කැලේ අභයභූමිය) is a lowland wetzone forest situated in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka. Presently, it is administered by the Forest Department of Sri Lanka (Pemarathne et al., 2014).

The forest area was declared a sanctuary on 14 March 1941 due to its high bird and plant diversity (Pemarathne & Gunaratne, 2013). At the time, the forest had an extent of 109 ha., but due to various human impacts, it is now left with only 11.32 ha. [(10.4%) Pemarathne & Gunaratne, 2013; Pemarathne et al., 2014].

References
1) Pemarathne, S.K.S. and Gunaratne, A.M.T.A., 2013. Conservation Importance of Flora in the Kurulu Kele Sanctuary, Sri Lanka. In Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium (Vol. 18).
2) Pemarathne, S.K.S., Jayasuriya, K.M.G.G. and Gunaratne, A.M.T.A., 2014. Potential of Developing Ecotourism in Kurulu Kele Sanctuary, Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the Peradeniya Univ. International Research Sessions, Sri Lanka, Vol. 18. p.595.

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Kadamba Veheragala Viharaya

Kadamba Veheragala Sri Purvarama Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: කඩම්බා වෙහෙරගල ශ්‍රී පූර්වාරාම රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated near Karambe village in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

History
Archaeological evidence of an ancient Stupa such as the remnants of a Yupa (2.66 m) and Chatra stones have been unearthed from this site (Mendis et al., 2019). However, the site where this Stupa was located has not been identified yet (Mendis et al., 2019). An Asana (2.8 x 1.3 m) and a Siri Pathul Gala have also been discovered from the temple premises (Mendis et al., 2019).

References
1) Mendis, D.T.; Wijepala, W.M.T.B.; Harshajith, D.M.N., 2019. දැදුරු ඔය සහ මී ඔය අතර කලාපයේ පුරාවිද්‍යාත්මක ස්ථාන පිළිබඳ මූලික විමර්ශනයක්. මධ්‍ය දැදුරු ඔය හා මී ඔය නිම්නයේ ජනාවාස පුරාවිද්‍යාව. Research and Publication Fund, Rajarata University Of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 978-955-0189-14-1.pp.33-103.
 
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Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Kukulugala Forest

Kukulugala Forest (Sinhala: කුකුළුගල වනාන්තරය) is a lowland evergreen rainforest situated within the western boundary of Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka. It covers an area of more than 600 acres within the Ayagama Secretariat Division (Karunarathna & Amarasinghe, 2011).

The Kukulugala Mountain (also known as Horanae Kanda) is situated within the forest reserve at an elevation of 705 m a.s.l. (Karunarathna & Amarasinghe, 2011). Also, two waterfalls named Ritigas Ella and Miyunu Ella are found in the entourage of the reserve. The average annual rainfall of the forest is around 3,849 mm, with most rainfall occurring from December to May (Karunarathna & Amarasinghe, 2011). The mean annual temperature is 28.7 °C with a maximum of 32 °C and a minimum of 24.3 °C (Karunarathna & Amarasinghe, 2011). 

The forest consists of dominant tree species such as Dipterocarpus sp., Mesua sp., Doona sp.,  Schumacheria castaneifolia, Artocarpus nobilis, Calophyllum inophyllum, Mangifera zeylanica,  Humboldtia laurifolia, Oncosperma fasciculatum,  Canarium zeylanicum and Shorea sp. (Karunarathna & Amarasinghe, 2011).

References
1) Karunarathna, D.M.S. and Amarasinghe, A.A., 2011. Reptile diversity of a fragmented lowland rain forest patch in Kukulugala, Ratnapura district, Sri Lanka. TAPROBANICA: The Journal of Asian Biodiversity, 2(2). pp.

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Korossa Raja Maha Viharaya

Korossa Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: කොරොස්ස රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Korossa village in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

History
The history of this temple goes back to the Anuradhapura Period as evidenced by the inscriptions and artefacts such as the Siri Pathul Gala (Mendis et al., 2019). A number of inscriptions of the Vaharala type have been discovered from the site (Mendis et al., 2019). Of them, one is considered special as there is a figure of a dog inscribed beside the inscription (Mendis et al., 2019). 

The cave temple of Korossa Viharaya shows architectural features of the Kandyan Period (Mendis et al., 2019). It is said to have been constructed in 2306 B.E. (1762 A.D.) by King Kirti Sri Rajasinha (1747-1782 A.D.) as a tribute to Biso Bandara Swamin.

References
1) Mendis, D.T.; Wijepala, W.M.T.B.; Harshajith, D.M.N., 2019. දැදුරු ඔය සහ මී ඔය අතර කලාපයේ පුරාවිද්‍යාත්මක ස්ථාන පිළිබඳ මූලික විමර්ශනයක්. මධ්‍ය දැදුරු ඔය හා මී ඔය නිම්නයේ ජනාවාස පුරාවිද්‍යාව. Research and Publication Fund, Rajarata University Of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 978-955-0189-14-1.pp.33-103.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Horagolla National Park

Horagolla National Park (Sinhala: හොරගොල්ල ජාතික උද්‍යානය) is a low country evergreen forest in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. Extending in an area of 13 ha., it is considered the smallest national park in the country.

The park was originally designated as a wildlife sanctuary on 5 September 1973 but considering its high biodiversity it was upgraded to the state of a national park on 24 June 2004 (Pethiyagoda & Mahaulpatha, 2016).

The forest receives rainfall from NorthEast monsoons during the months of December to January and SouthWest monsoons from May to September (Pethiyagoda & Mahaulpatha, 2016). The mean annual temperature lies between 27.0 °C to 28.5 °C (Pethiyagoda & Mahaulpatha, 2016).

References
1) Pethiyagoda, P.D.R.S. and Mahaulpatha, W.A.D., 2016. Avian Fauna Abundance and Diversity in Horagolla National Park of Sri Lanka. WildLanka Vol.4, No.3. pp. 141-147.

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Badulla St. Mark's Church

Badulla St. Mark's Church
St. Mark's Church (Sinhala: බදුල්ල ශාන්ත මාර්ක් දේවස්ථානය) is an Anglican church situated in Badulla town, Sri Lanka. It was erected by locals in 1857 in the memory of the colonial British officer Major Thomas William Rogers [(1804–1845) Lewis, 1913].

History
Before 1857
There was not a church building in Badulla before 1857 and the church services were conducted in the local courthouse by the priests who came from Nuwara Eliya. In 1846, a Bishop named James Chapman visited Badulla while on a tour in Nuwara Eliya. He conducted a service in the Badulla courthouse on 24 February, attended by district officials and coffee planters. On the next day, he organized a public meeting for the locals from the neighbourhood and Europeans living in Uva and made preliminary arrangements to build a new church in Badulla.

The church was finally erected at the present site in memory of Thomas William Rogers by 1857 with the contribution of the people of all religions and races in Badulla. It was consecrated on 25 April 1857 (St. Mark's day) by Bishop James Chapman.
 
Thomas William Rogers
Major Thomas William Rogers was a British colonial administrator, soldier and sportsman. He joined the Ceylon Rifle Regiment on 7 January 1824 as a 2nd Lieutenant and was appointed as the Assistant Government Agent at Badulla in 1834 (Lewis, 1913). He, during his tenure of office as Assistant Government Agent, had rendered yeoman service for the development of the area (Abeyawardana, 2004). As found in records, he had killed as many as 1,500 wild elephants and that made him unpopular among people although he had earned a reputation for his services (Abeyawardana, 2004; Lewis, 1913). He died on 7 June 1845, struck by lightning at the Haputale Pass bungalow (Lewis, 1913). His body was buried at the Cemetery at Nuwara Eliya.

In the church, there is a tablet with two inscriptions in English and in Sinhala (Lewis, 1913). Of them, the English inscription can be read as follows;
A.D. 1845. This Church was erected to the honour of God in memory of Thomas William Rogers, Major, Ceylon Rifle Regiment, Assistant Government Agent and District Judge of Badulla, by all classes of his people, friends, and admirers. He was killed by Lightning at Haputale June 7th, 1845, aged 41.
The first vicar at the church was Rev. E. Mooyart. Rev. William J. P. Waltham, the vicar, from 1900 to 1925 established a missionary school at Medagama which later became Uva College. In 1921 he built the bell tower of the church with the money donated by W.E.T. Sharpe, the churchwarden.

A protected site
The Church of St. Mark and the bell tower situated in the Grama Niladhari Division No. 78-D-Badulla Centre, in Badulla Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 6 June 2008.

 
References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.211.
2) 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.291,323,357-359.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 6 June 2008. p.530.

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Monday, 25 April 2022

Meethirigala Forest Reserve

Meethirigala Forest Reserve (Sinhala: මීතිරිගල රක්ෂිතය) is a patch of evergreen rain forest situated in Gampaha District (bordering Kegalle District) Sri Lanka (Moonasinghe & Amarasinghe, 2001). The forest is managed by the Forest Department.

Meethirigala forest reserve was declared by the Forest Department on 4 August 1973 (Kalubowila et al., 2020). It consists of approximately 384 ha. and is the largest forest reserve in Gampaha District (Kalubowila et al., 2020). The small tributaries flow within the forest reserve finally draining into the Kelani Ganga river. 

A Buddhist monastery has been established in the forest reserve since 1968 (Kalubowila et al., 2020). A public bus route runs across the reserve dividing it into two large portions. 

References
1) Kalubowila, J.D., Singhakumara, B.M.P. and Rajathewa, R.A.M.P.M., 2020. Floristic Survey of Meethirigala Forest Reserve in Gampaha District. Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment, 10(1). pp.63-74
2) Moonasinghe, E.M. and Amarasinghe, M.D., 2001. A vegetation study in two selected sites of Meethirigala Forest Reserve. In Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium. p.11.

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Iluppakadavai Padavuthurai Old Survey Tower

Iluppakadavai Padavuthurai Old Survey Tower
Iluppakadavai Padavuthurai Old Survey Tower (Photo credit: Google street view)

Iluppakadavai Padavuthurai Old Survey Tower is a colonial period survey tower located in Mannar District, Sri Lanka. 

History
According to folklore, this tower is a construction of Portuguese who arrived in Sri Lanka at the beginning of the 16th century (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018). However, observing its architectural features, it can be assumed that this tower was built by the British after the establishment of the Survey Department in 1800.

The tower
The square-shaped tower is about 12-13 m in height (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018). It has five representative stories and they get smaller as the tower rises from the bottom to the top. The bottom story is made of cubic shape cut limestone rocks while other stories are built using bricks (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018). An arch-shaped passage along the east-west direction is found at the bottom story of the tower. The entrance of this passage is 1.7 m tall and 0.78 wide (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018). A square-shaped small opening can be seen running from bottom to top of the tower along with its central point (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018).

There is said to be a wall around this tower, but it is no more available (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018).

A protected monument
The survey tower at Iluppakadavai Padavuthurai belonging to Iluppakadavai village situated in Grama Niladhari Division, No. 04, Iluppakadavai, in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Manthai South is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 24 March 2016.

References
1) Asanga, M. V. G. K.; Nishantha, I. P. S., 2018. Mannarama Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-10-9. pp.113-114.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1960. 24 March 2016. p.229.

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Sunday, 24 April 2022

Sandakada Pahana

Sandakada Pahana
Sandakada Pahana (Moonstones), or Chandra-pasana, Padi-gala, Padi-puwaruwa is a semi-circular slab (plain or decorated) placed at the foot of the flights of steps leading to Buddhist edifices in Sri Lanka. As per the view of scholars, it acquires a unique and high position among the other elements of the ancient Sinhalese Buddhist architecture in the country. It is also one of an association of three aspects of sculpture that adorned the entrance to buildings in ancient times; the other two being the Muragala (guard stone) and Korawakgala (wingstone).

History
Originated in the Anuradhapura Period, the moonstone continued its function of decorating the entrances to almost all the important temples built during the Kandyan Period (Senadheera, 1990). In the beginning, it was a plain slab of stone and later developed into an artefact of semi-circular shape containing a multitude of carved decorations. Its design has undergone many changes over time and shows a higher level of complexity and creativity towards the end of the Anuradhapura Period. 

As is revealed by Samanthapasadika Vinaya Commentary, the term Patika (Pali equivalent of moonstone) was in the use in Sri Lanka in the 5th century A.D. (Vanarathana, 1990). The famous Indian Theravada Buddhist scholar Buddhagosha Thera (5th century A.D.) who interpreted the work Patika in the Mahavagga has said "Patikaya Nibbu Sopanassa Hetta Adda Chanda Pasana Nibbujithva" which means that "Patika" is the moonstone at the foot of the flight of steps (Vanarathana, 1990). The chronicle Mahavamsa also mentions that "Lamkadipamhi samale sabbani ratanani pi Sopanante patikam pi nugghant annesu ku katha?" which means "Nay, but all the jewels in the whole island of Lanka are not of so great worth, as the stone-slab at the foot of the steps" (Devendra, 1965). 

Besides Sri Lanka, two examples of moonstones have been recorded in Buddhist ruins in Nagarjunakonada in India where they are found at the entrance to two apsidal temples (Paranavitana, 1954).

Types of moonstones and their cultural features
The moonstones discovered across Sri Lanka are mainly divided into four types (Vanarathana, 1990);
i) The moonstone in the shape of a complete semi-circle with typical cultural features.
ii) Moonstone with various carvings.
iii) Simple moonstone without any carvings.
iv) Elongated moonstone which is not perfectly semi-circular.

Out of these four types of moonstones, the first one is considered the complete type according to the accepted tradition (Vanarathana, 1990). This moonstone contains the cultural features, namely, flames or petal design (on the outer edge), the line of four animals (elephant, horse, lion, and bull), the creeper (with a wavy stem with foliage), the row of geese (Hamsa), the narrow creeper and the half-lotus in the centre (Vanarathana, 1990). Examples of this type of moonstones are found at a number of Buddhist sites in Anuradhapura including Ratnaprasadaya.

Interpretations
Anuradhapura Period moonstones
Scholars have given many interpretations to the carvings appearing on the moonstones. The first academic who introduced the opinion that they were built to communicate an idea was H.C.P. Bell (Paranavitana, 1954). He with his assistant D.M.de Z. Wickremasingha excavated the Vijayarama Monastery in 1891 and unearthed bronze figurines of animals (elephant, horse, lion, and bull) along with the guardian deities of the quarters (Dik-palas) buried under the floor of each of the four porches at the cardinal points of the edifice (Paranavitana, 1954). Judging from several facts, Bell concluded that these four animals symbolize the quarters: elephant, east; horse, south; lion, north and bull, west (Paranavitana, 1954). He further inferred that the purpose of representing the four animals on moonstones at the entrance to edifices was to indicate that those buildings were open to all Buddhist worshippers of the four quarters (Paranavitana, 1954; Senadheera, 1999). 

The opinion of Bell with regard to the significance of the four animals on the moonstone was accepted by V.A. Smith, J.Ph. Vogel and Benjamin Rowland. According to the view of Rowland, the geese (Hamsa) line on the moonstone represents the fifth direction, the sky (Senadheera, 1999). The open lotus that fills the inner half-moon area, as per the belief of William E. Ward, is a symbolical offering of oneself when entering a sacred place (Paranavitana, 1954).

Eminent scholar Senarath Paranavitana also made a wide theory regarding the symbols present on the moonstone (Paranavitana, 1954; Senadheera, 1999). According to him, the outer ring of the moonstone that contains a stripe of flames represents the world in the flames of desire (Jayasuriya, 2016; Paranavitana, 1954; Wikramagamage, 2004). The next stripe containing the figures of four animals symbolizes the four states of life (birth, decay, disease and death) or the circle of existence (Jayasuriya, 2016; Paranavitana, 1954; Wikramagamage, 1990). The thick creeper in the next ring represents the craving or desire (Tanha) and the line of swans in the next inner ring symbolizes purification or differentiating the good and evil (Paranavitana, 1954; Wikramagamage, 2004). After that is another stripe showing a small and less-thick creeper which indicates the diminishing of craving. The half lotus in the inner part of the stone represents Nirvana or the supreme bliss (Wikramagamage, 1990). However, this interpretation by Paranavitana has been rejected by certain other scholars such as D.T. Devendra and G. Senadheera (Devendra, 1965; Senadheera, 1999; Wikramagamage, 1990; Wikramagamage, 2004).

Vinne Vitana who pointed out that the theory of Paranavitana regarding the moonstone is confined to some older specimens gave a new interpretation (Wikramagamage, 1990). He suggested that the moonstone is a composition of symbols associated with the sun and moon worship (Wikramagamage, 1990). Meanwhile, Gunapala Senadheera believed that the moonstone is a complex of symbols arranged to represent an aesthetic meaning (Senadheera, 1999). According to him, the half-circle of the lotus is the world while its petals represent the sun (Senadheera, 1999). The water is denoted by the line of geese and the rumbling creeper in the next stripe is the combination of the earth, sunlight and water (Senadheera, 1999). The four animals in the next line represent some aspects of human life such as strength, speed, growth, physical power, nutrition etc. (Senadheera, 1999).

Moonstones in each historical period
Anuradhapura Period
Anuradhapura Period moonstones
The early moonstone in the Anuradhapura Period was a plain square one but later its two front sides were carved in order to give it the shape of a half-moon (Vanarathana, 1990). However, it didn't show a perfect semi-circle shape but became nearly so (Vanarathana, 1990). Then at the third stage of its evolution, simple moonstones with a semi-circular shape were created.

Over time, simple carvings started to gradually appear on the moonstones. Before the decorative motifs were added, the moonstones have been established by the use of lines and two examples of that are found in the northeastern section of Abhayagiri Viharaya and the northwestern section of the Mirisaweti Viharaya (Wikramagamage, 1990). Also, a moonstone belonging to its first stage of carvings (which has only half of the lotus) has been discovered from Tissamaharama (Vanarathana, 1990). A moonstone at Abhayagiri Viharaya has a bloomed lotus with a row of geese and a broad festoon indicating an improved state than the one in Tissamaharama (Vanarathana, 1990).

Moonstones made of plain stone splinters
Although it is difficult to ascertain when the four animal figures were added to the moonstone, an example of such a moonstone with the figures of elephant, horse and bull (without lion) has been found on the same Abhayagiri Viharaya premises (Vanarathana, 1990). There are also moonstones made of plain stone splinters (Vanarathana, 1990). Examples of this kind are found at Yatala Vehera, Maligawila, Dighavapi, Rajagala and Somawathi.

By the 9th century, the art of stone carving had reached an acme in its development (Wikramagamage, 1990). The moonstones at Abhayagiri Panchawasa Complex, Dalada Maligawa, and the place near the Basawakkulama at the Maha Viharaya bear sharp and more sophisticated stone carvings indicating flames, the row of four animals, twin creepers, geese and the fully blossomed lotus (Wikramagamage, 1990).

Polonnaruwa Period moonstones
The moonstones of the Polonnaruwa Period differ much in decorative content and composition (Basnayake, 1990). Due to the infiltration of ideals of Hinduism and Tantrism, ideological changes occurred in the sphere of religion as well as art (Basnayake, 1990). The slab used for the moonstone became larger than a semi-circle and a decorative band was newly added between the step of the stairway and the moonstone slab (Basnayake, 1990). The line of geese was shifted to an outer band and two animals, the bull and lion, were removed from the traditional four animal squad found in Anuradhapura moonstones (Basnayake, 1990). Instead of decorating a single line with those two animals, the craftsmen of the Polonnaruwa Period tended to decorate a single band with one animal (Basnayake, 1990). Hence there are two different bands with the elephant and horse only (Basnayake, 1990). According to the view of Paranavitana, the omission of the bull from the moonstone may happen due to the Hindu sentiments which held this animal in veneration (Basnayake, 1990). However, the reason for the omission of the lion is unknown but it may be due to the fact that the lion is given a more elevated position in Polonnaruwa buildings (Basnayake, 1990).

The moonstone at the northern entrance to the upper terrace of the Vatadage is considered the best specimen of this kind found in Polonnaruwa (Basnayake, 1990). Also, a special type of moonstone has been found at Alahana Pirivena. It is a square stone containing a lotus symbol in the centre (Vanarathana, 1990). A row of geese is carved on three sides of it running one after the other (Vanarathana, 1990). It is believed that this moonstone has been created during the Anuradhapura Period.

Kandyan Period moonstones
The basic half-circle shape of the moonstone gradually approached a circular form or triangular form by the 15th century (Senadheera, 1990). The central semi-circle representing the lotus became a full circle in Kandyan moonstones and in some cases, an additional circular step, much smaller in size, is seen connected with the full lotus by a band of stone (Senadheera, 1990). The two extremes of the base of most of the Kandyan moonstones, whether it be of circular or triangular, are decorated with Tiringitale of Vaka-deka style while the apex of the triangular body is occupied either with a stylized trefoil or with a vase issuing folios and flowers (Senadheera, 1990).

The usual concentric bands in the moonstones of the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods are not found in the Kandyan counterpart and a high priority has been given to the vegetable motifs (such as vine-scrolls, floral friezes, styled trefoils and torines) while giving less or no attention to the animal motifs (Senadheera, 1990). Two examples of moonstones containing animal figures are found at Dalada Maligawa in Kandy and Horana Raja Maha Viharaya (Senadheera, 1990).

Sandakada Pahana
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References
1) Basnayake, H.T., 1990. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)] Section III: 1000-1400 A.D. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. IV: Sculpture. p.101.
2) Devendra, D.T., 1965. Moonstone Motifs. The Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 9(2), pp.221-228.
3) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. p.26.
4) Senadheera, G., 1990. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)] Section IV: Kandyan Period 1400-1815. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. IV: Sculpture. pp.142-143.
5) Senadheera, G., 1999. Sandakadapahane sankethavalin adahas vana kaarya pilibanda nava mathayak (In Sinhala). Puravidya, Issue 8. ISSN: 1391-3360. p.70-76
6) Paranavitana, S., 1954. The Significance of Sinhalese'Moonstones'. Artibus Asiae, 17(3/4), pp.197-231.
7) Vanarathana, K. (Mahanayaka Thera), 1990. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)] Section I: Sculpture and carvings of Sri Lanka from the 1st to 5th century A.D. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. IV: Sculpture. pp.18-20.
8) Wikramagamage, C., 1990. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)] Section II: 500-100 A.D. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. IV: Sculpture. pp.74-76.
9) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.104-105.


This page was last updated on 4 October 2022

Sylvester Douglas Wilson Memorial

Sylvester Douglas Wilson Memorial
Sylvester Douglas Wilson Memorial (Photo credit: Pasindu Chathurange, Google Street View)

Memorial of Sylvester Douglas Wilson (Sinhala: සිල්වෙස්ටර් ඩග්ලස් විල්සන් ස්මාරකය) is a monument on Bibile-Passara road near Yalkumbura in Badulla District, Sri Lanka. It has been erected for the remembrance of Sylvester Douglas Wilson, the Assistant Resident and Agent of the British Government in Badulla, who was killed in 1817 at Hewilwela (or Etanawatta) in Yalkumbura Wasama. 

S.D. Wilson began his career in Sri Lanka as an Extra Assistant in the Secretariat. From that position, he was promoted to the Third Assistant to the Resident and Judicial Agent at Kandy and Magistrate of Kandy on 12 June 1816 and then to the position of Second Assistant to the Resident Secretary to the Residency and Sitting Magistrate of Kandy on 1 October 1816 (Lewis, 1913). He finally succeeded Henry Wright at Badulla as the First Assistant to the Resident and Magistrate (Lewis, 1913). 

In September 1817, S.D. Wilson received word that a person of Malabar origin who arrived in the Uva Wellassa region had declared himself the king. He dispatched Hadji Mohandiram, the chief of the Moors in Wellassa, on 10 September 1817 to inquire into the suspected Malabar (Lewis, 1913). However, Hadji was captured by Butawe Rate Rala and taken before the Malabar and was killed upon his orders (Lewis, 1913). On 16 September 1817, after Wilson received information of Haji Marikkar's death, he set out from Badulla with a small detachment of troops to ascertain the real circumstances. At Etanawatta he met with an armed party, who demanded a conference (Lewis, 1913). Wilson advanced to meet them but was killed by arrows fired by Hitihami Mudiyanse Rate Rala and his men. According to tradition, he was killed close to the stream near Unagolla Viharaya and buried where he fell (Lewis, 1913).

The monument commemorating Sylvester Douglas Wilson was erected in 1912 on the spot where he died. The English inscription on it can be read as follows;
In memory of Sylvester Douglas Wilson Assistant Resident and Agent of the British Government in the Province of Uva who was killed near this spot at the outbreak of the Kandyan Rebellion 16th Sept 1817. This monument was erected by the Government of  Ceylon 1912.
Above the English inscription is a plaque with a Sinhala inscription (a later addition);
වෙල්ලස්ස කැරැල්ල 1817 සැතැ 16 දින හිටිහාමි මුදියන්සේ රටේ රාල විරැවාගේ ඊ පහරින් මියගිය සිල්වෙස්ට ඩග්ලස් විල්සන් ගේ ස්මාරකයයි මේ.
References
1) 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.290,423.

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This page was last updated on 2 July 2022

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Ferguson High School, Ratnapura

Ferguson High School (Sinhala: ෆර්ගසන් උසස් විද්‍යාලය) is a government girls school situated in the middle of Ratnapura town, Sri Lanka. 

History
The school that established in 1917 as a Baptist Missionary English School was renamed Ferguson High School in 1924 in recognition of Yeoman services provided to education (Abeyawardana, 2002). It was maintained under the missionary administration till the school was taken over by the government in 1960 (Abeyawardana, 2002). Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike, the first female Prime Minister of the world, had her early education in this school (Abeyawardana, 2002).

Facilities
At present, the school has common facilities such as classrooms, laboratories, libraries, playground etc. Classes are conducted in two sections, viz: the Primary Section, which serves students from Grade 1 to 5, and the Secondary Section, which serves students from Grade 6 to 13.

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.18.
 
Location Map
This page was last updated on 23 April 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Angamedilla Anicut

Angammedilla Anicut
Angammedilla Anicut (Photo credit: Charitha Dasun, Google street view)

Angamedilla Gal Amuna (Sinhala: අංගමැඩිල්ල ගල් අමුණ) is an ancient anicut (presently a dam) that lies on the edge of the Angamedilla National Park in Polonnaruwa District, Sri Lanka.

History
The anicut and its conveyance channel were constructed by King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.) to bring the waters of the Amban Ganga river (ancient Kara Ganga) to Parakrama Samudraya, a great reservoir built by Parakramabahu by connecting three original reservoirs, viz: Topa Wewa, Eramudu Wewa, and Dumbutulu Wewa (Arumugam, 1969; Nicholas, 1963). The channel was originally known as Akasa Ganga but is presently called the Angamedilla Yodha Ela (Arumugam, 1969; Nicholas, 1963). 

The modern dam
A new dam was constructed later on the same spot on which the ancient anicut stood (Wikramagamage, 2004). As a result of that, the original anicut is no more visible, but a part of the protective wall along the right bank built with massive blocks of stone still can be identified. The present dam is 90 ft. long and 45 ft. high and was restored during the period between 1948-1952 (Arumugam, 1969; Wikramagamage, 2004).

Angamedilla Yodha Ela
The entire length of the Angamedilla Yodha Ela is 3 miles and 42 chains (Arumugam, 1969; Wikramagamage, 2004). The bed width of the channel is 40-50 ft. and has a depth of 6 ft. (Arumugam, 1969; Wikramagamage, 2004).

See also
#) Thekkama Amuna

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. pp.246-247.
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). pp.183,185.
3) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.269.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 3 June 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Friday, 22 April 2022

Bolgoda Lake

Bolgoda Lake
Bolgoda Lake (Sinhala: බොල්ගොඩ වැව, Tamil: போல்கோடா ஏரி), also known as Bolgoda Estuary, is a large lagoonal estuary situated in lowlands in the wet zone of southwestern Sri Lanka. It is identified as one of the largest quaternary sedimentary basins in the southwest coast of Sri Lanka (Ratnayake et al., 2018).

Located between the southern border of the Kalu Ganga basin and the northern border of the Kelani Ganga basin, the Bolgoda watershed consists of two shallow brackish water bodies called North Bolgoda Lake and South Bolgoda Lake (Ratnayake et al., 2018; Senarathne & Pathiratne, 2007). A narrow stream called Bolgoda Ganga connects these two lakes (Senarathne & Pathiratne, 2007). The lake opens to the Indian Ocean via two separate points located in the western edges of Bolgoda North Lake (via Panadura Ganga) and South Lake (Pathiratne et al., 2009). The extreme north end of the North Bolgoda Lake is known as Weras Ganga (Ratnayake et al., 2018; Senarathne & Pathiratne, 2007). The coast adjacent to the lake contains extensive wetlands, including marshes, mangrove swamps and peat bogs (Ratnayake et al., 2017).

The average annual rainfall of the lake is about 2,500 mm and is mainly fed by the southwest monsoon and freshwater inflows (Ratnayake et al., 2018). The mean annual temperature is around 27°C (Ratnayake et al., 2017). The lake is used by locals for various purposes including irrigation and commercial fishing (Senarathne & Pathiratne, 2007). Presently, the Bolgoda lake and its surrounding area [12.45 km2 (1245 ha)] have been gazetted as an environmental protected area.

Attribution
1) Bolgoda Lake and Bolgoda Lake (2) by Briandemel are licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

References
1) Pathiratne, A., Chandrasekera, L.W.H.U. and Pathiratne, K.A.S., 2009. Use of biomarkers in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) to assess the impacts of pollution in Bolgoda Lake, an urban water body in Sri Lanka. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 156(1), pp.361-375.
2) Ratnayake, A.S., Ratnayake, N.P., Sampei, Y., Vijitha, A.V.P. and Jayamali, S.D., 2018. Seasonal and tidal influence for water quality changes in coastal Bolgoda Lake system, Sri Lanka. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 22(6), pp.1191-1199.
3) Ratnayake, A.S., Sampei, Y., Ratnayake, N.P. and Roser, B.P., 2017. Middle to late Holocene environmental changes in the depositional system of the tropical brackish Bolgoda Lake, coastal southwest Sri Lanka. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 465, pp.4-5.
4) Senarathne, P. and Pathiratne, K.A.S., 2007. Accumulation of heavy metals in a food fish, Mystus gulio inhabiting Bolgoda Lake, Sri Lanka. pp.61-75.
5) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1634/23. 30 December 2009.

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This page was last updated on 1 May 2022

Weniyarawela Ambalama

Weniyarawela Ambalama
Weniyarawela Ambalama (Photo credit: Google street view)

Weniyarawela Ambalama (Sinhala: වෑනියරවෙල අම්බලම) is a wayside rest located at Weniyarawela junction in Galle District, Sri Lanka.

History
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 structure
The Weniyarawela Ambalama is a rectangular-shaped single-room structure built of brick and mortar. Three sides of the building are fully covered by the walls while the front side is open to the road. The roof which is covered with calicut clay tiles is held by high walls. Presently, it is used as a bus stop.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 17 September 2022

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Mahaweli Development Project

Mahaweli Development Project
Mahaweli Development Project (Sinhala: මහවැලි සංවර්ධන ව්‍යාපෘතිය) is the largest irrigation-based multipurpose development program in Sri Lanka to date and one of the largest agriculture-related programs in the world (Gunatilake, 1991; Paranage, 2019). Carried out on water resources of the Mahaweli Ganga and allied six river basins, the project was mainly implemented in North-Central Sri Lanka, covering a large part of the country's dry zone (Azmi, 2007; Mahaweli Statistical Hand Book, 2021). The project's main purposes included reducing rural unemployment, decreasing population pressure in the wet zone, providing land for landless farmers, achieving self-sufficiency in paddy production, reducing poverty, and generating hydropower.

The Master Plan
Mahaweli Ganga is the longest river in the country and it conveys the largest volume of water in Sri Lanka amounting to one-seventh of the total runoff (Hewavisenthi, 1992). Its basin which extends in an area of about 10,320 km2 is equivalent to 15% of the country’s land area and is the largest river basin (Hewavisenthi, 1992).

The step to develop the resources of Mahaweli Ganga was taken place when the Government of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and the United States Operation Mission to Ceylon entered into a project agreement on 7 February 1958 which provided for a joint program in water resource planning with special emphasis on the preparation of a plan for the total development of the water resources of the Mahaweli Ganga Basin (Gunatilake, 1991). This was followed by a comprehensive study of the Mahaweli Ganga basin by a team of UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and Sri Lanka who successfully identified several sites suitable for irrigation and building dams including hydropower generation (Gunatilake, 1991). The Master Plan prepared by them was released under the title "Mahaweli Ganga Irrigation and Hydro-power Survey of 1969" (Gunatilake, 1991).

Mahaweli Development Project (MDP)
The purposed period of the project, as in the Master Plan, was 30 years and at the time, it was known as the largest national development project ever to be undertaken in the country (Azmi, 2007; Gunatilake, 1991; Paranage, 2019). The plan included the construction of a series of reservoirs on the Mahaweli Ganga and its tributaries and neighbours such as Amban Ganga, Maduru Oya, Kala Oya and Malwathu Oya (Gunatilake, 1991).

The first phase of the plan consisted of the construction of the Polgolla-Bowatenna Complex, the Victoria-Minipe Diversion and the Moragahakanda Reservoir and the generation of hydropower (Gunatilake, 1991). The second phase proposed the development of land using the waters of Victoria and Moragahakanda reservoirs and the installation of hydropower. The third phase included the construction of the Kotmale and Randenigala reservoirs and the development of other tributaries of the Amban Ganga and the generation of hydropower (Gunatilake, 1991).

The work of the first project of the plan was inaugurated on 28 February 1970 with Polgolla-Bowatenna Diversion by Prime Minister Dudley Senanayaka (Gunatilake, 1991). The project was completed by 1976, giving its benefits to the people of the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee districts (Gunatilake, 1991). The development of the Kandalama and Kalawewa areas (Area H) was also carried out during this period by establishing new townships, villages, hamlets, hospitals and schools (Gunatilake, 1991).

Accelerated Mahaweli Development Project (AMDP)
Due to the high unemployment rate, rolling power cuts and other factors, the Sri Lankan economy had ground to a virtual standstill by 1977 (Gunatilake, 1991). The new government that came to power in 1977 decided on 12 October 1977 to accelerate the project to find immediate solutions to the socio-economic problems that were prevailing in the country at that time (Azmi, 2007; Hewavisenthi, 1992).  The project was renamed the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Project (AMDP) and it included only the major projects of the Master Plan to be completed within 6 years (Gunatilake, 1991). Accordingly, the Ministry of Mahaweli Development was set up to implement the decisions of the government to accelerate the Mahaweli Programme (Gunatilake, 1991).

Mahaweli Authority, which was set up by the Ministry of the Mahaweli Development in 1979, was responsible for planning and implementing the project. The chief agencies executing the programme were the Mahaweli Development Board and the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (Gunatilake, 1991). The other organizations involved in the project included the Department of Irrigation, the Survey Department, and the River Valleys Development Board (Gunatilake, 1991). 

The AMDP began with the intention of completing three main components; i) the headworks of Victoria, Kotmale, Maduru Oya and Randenigala reservoirs, ii) the downstream engineering works dealing with diversion works and, iii) the irrigation and development of downstream areas which included the lands in System B, C, A, D, H,  and G (Gunatilake, 1991). More than 140,000 families were resettled under the AMDP by giving them a certain amount of irrigated lowland for cultivation and land for a home garden (Azmi, 2007).

Mahaweli irrigation systems: The Mahaweli system supplies water to several existing and new irrigation areas within the Mahaweli and Amban Ganga basins and adjacent basins of Maduru Oya, Kala Oya, Malwatu Oya, and Yan Oya (Hewavisenthi, 1992). These irrigation areas are designated by alphabetic letters, A to H (Hewavisenthi, 1992).

Foreign assistance
Nearly 70% of the funding for the headworks of the project was through foreign sources (Gunatilake, 1991). The Government of the United Kingdom supported the Victoria Project while the Canadian Government financed the Maduru Oya Project (Gunatilake, 1991). The Randenigala Project was supported by the Government of Germany and Sweden Government helped the Kotmale Project (Gunatilake, 1991). The United State Government, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and several international agencies financed the development works of the downstream areas (Gunatilake, 1991).

Mahaweli major dams and reservoirs

No. The Dam Specifications Remarks
1 Victoria Dam
(Kandy/Nuwara Eliya districts)
Dam type: Double curvature concrete arch of 122 m high & 520 m long (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 722 MCM.
Generating capacity: 70x3 MW.
The construction work of the project was commenced on 23 March 1980. Works on the dam & tunnel were begun on 10 April 1980. The project was commissioned on 12 April 1985.
2 Randenigala Dam
(Kandy District)
Dam type: Rockfill with a central rock impervious earth core. 94 m in height & 485 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 802 MCM.
Generating capacity: 63x2 MW.
The reservoir was impounded on 23 March 1986.
3 Rantembe Dam
(Kandy/Badulla districts)
Dam type: Concrete-gravity dam of 42 m high and 415 m long (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 6 MCM.
Generating capacity: 24.5x2 MW.
The work of the project was commissioned on 23 March 1986. The power complex was commissioned on 26 May 1990.
4 Kotmale Dam
(Nuwara Eliya District)
Dam type: Rockfill with upstream concrete membrane. 87 m in height & 600 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 171 MCM.
Generating capacity: 67x3 MW.
The feasibility study commenced in May 1973. Construction work was started on 4 February 1979. The reservoir was impounded on 17 November 1984. The project was commissioned on 23 August 1985.
5 Polgolla Dam
(Kandy District)
Dam type: Low concrete weir with gated spillway & bridge. 15 m in height & 144 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 4 MCM.
Generating capacity: 20x2 MW.
The Mahaweli Ganga diversion at Polgolla was commissioned on 30 September 1968. The Project was inaugurated on 28 February 1970. Construction work on the complex started on 10 May 1970.
6 Bowatenna Dam
(Matale District)
Dam type: Earth & concrete. 29 m in height & 327 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 4 MCM.
Generating capacity: 20x2 MW.
The project was inaugurated on 30 March 1973. 
7 Ulhitiya/Rathkinda
(Ampara/Badulla districts)
Dam type: Earth fill. 25 m in height & 282 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 145 MCM.
Construction work of Ulhitiya commenced on 30 January 1978.
8Maduru Oya Dam
(Polonnaruwa District)
Dam type: Rockfill with a centre core. 40 m in height & 1,090 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 597 MCM.
Generating capacity: 2.5x2 MW.
The project was commissioned on 14 August 1978.
9 Dambulu Oya Dam
(Matale District)
Dam type: Homogeneous earth fill. 12 m in height & 1,600 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 12 MCM.
Generating capacity: 2 MW.

10 Kandalama Wewa
(Matale District)
Dam type: Homogeneous earth fill. 21 m in height & 1,700 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 34 MCM.

11 Kala Wewa
(Anuradhapura District)
Dam type: Homogeneous earth fill. 15 m in height & 6,800 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 104 MCM.
Jaya Ganga sluice was opened on 30 October 1979.
12 Minipe Anicut
(Badulla District)
Dam type: concrete gravity-ogee. 9 m in height & 226 m in length (crest).

13 Loggal Oya Dam
(Badulla District)
Dam type: Earth fill. 28 m in height & 2,250 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 48 MCM.

14 Heppola Oya Dam
(Badulla District)
Dam type: Earth fill. 19 m in height & 1,632 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 13 MCM.
Generating capacity: 4.775 MW.

15 Diyabana Oya Dam
(Badulla District)
Dam type: Earth fill. 8 m in height & 825 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 1 MCM.

16Chandrika Wewa
(Ratnapura District)
Dam type: Earth fill. 19 m in height & 2,500 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 28 MCM.

17 Moragahakanda Dam (main)
(Matale District)
Dam type: Earth core rock fill. 59 m in height & 471 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 558 MCM.
Generating capacity: (2x7.5) + (2x5) MW.
The project was inaugurated on 25 January 2007. Opened for the reservoir to the public on 8 January 2018.
18 Udawalawa Dam
(Ratnapura/Monaragala districts)
Dam type: Earth fill. 37 m in height & 4,000 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 269 MCM.
Generating capacity: 2x3 MW.
Uda Walawa Left Bank Phase II was commissioned in 1999. The Left Bank Phase II was completed on 31 December 2008.
19 Kalu Ganga Dam (main)
(Matale District)
Dam type: Earth core rock fill. 68 m in height & 659 m in length (crest).
Gross storage capacity: 248 MCM.
The construction work of the main dam commenced in April 2015.
.
References
1) Azmi, F., 2007. Changing livelihoods among the second and third generations of settlers in System H of the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Project (AMDP) in Sri Lanka. Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift–Norwegian Journal of Geography, 61(1), pp.1-12.
2) Gunatilake, K.H.S., 1991. The Mahaweli development project-an overview. Prof. E.O.E. Pereira Commemoration Lecture 1991. Engineer. pp.16-28.
3) Hewavisenthi, A.C. De S., 1992. Mahaweli water resources project. Water international, 17(1), pp.33-43.
4) Mahaweli Statistical Hand Book, 2021. Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka. pp.6-8.
5) Paranage, K., 2019. The Mahaweli Development Project and the ‘rendering technical agrarian development in Sri Lanka. Heliyon, 5(6). p.e01811.


This page was last updated on 16 September 2022

Weththewa Ambalama

Weththewa Ambalama
Weththewa Ambalama (Photo credit: Google street view)

Weththewa Ambalama (Sinhala: වැත්තෑව අම්බලම) is a wayside rest near Hingula in Kagelle District, Sri Lanka.

History
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 structure
The Weththewa Ambalama is roughly a square-shaped structure built of brick and mortar. The roof which is covered with flat clay tiles is held by 4 round pillars at the corners. Connecting these pillars, a short wall goes around the structure with an opening for the entrance at the front.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 21 April 2022