Monday, 18 April 2022

Menikkadawara Fort

Menikkadawara Fort (Sinhala: මැනික්කඩවර බලකොටුව; Tamil: மெனிக்கடவரைக் கோட்டைை) is an ancient fort situated in Menikkadawara village in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka (Mandawala, 2012). 
The fort was built at Menikkadawara between Sath Korale and Sathara Korale as a two-storied construction during the reign of King Wimaladharmasuriya I (1592-1627 A.D.) by Portuguese Commander Jeranimodha Asawedu in 1598 using clay, granite and bricks (Bell, 1904). It is said that the construction of the fortress was entrusted by Asawedu to a Portuguese named Salvador Pereira De Silva. The main purpose of building the fort was to fight against the Kingdom of Kandy.

The fort was destroyed within 30 years due to the clashes that occurred several times between the Portuguese and Sinhalese (Bell, 1904). In 1627, the fortress was renovated under the supervision of the Portuguese Governor, Constantino de Sá de Noronha (Bell, 1904). However, it was abandoned by the Portuguese around 1642 (Bell, 1904). 
The fort
Presently, the fort remains as a hillock and the slope of it is 8-10 ft in height. The remaining ruins indicate that the fort had four bastions projecting towards the cardinal points (Bell, 1904). In its centre was a room or a magazine, 16 ft. by 15 ft. and 3 ft. deep (Bell, 1904).

A stone plaque, 4 ft. by 3ft. 6 in. by 8 in., containing a Portuguese emblem was discovered in the adjoining Menikkadawara Viharaya premises and it is now preserved in the Colombo National Museum (Bell, 1904).
1) Bell, H.C.P., 1904. Report on the Kegalle District of the Province of Sabaragamuwa. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: XIX-1892. Government Press, Sri Lanka. pp.8-9,30-32.
2) Mandawala, P.B., 2012. Sri Lanka: Defending the military heritage; legal, administrative and financial challenges. Defending the military heritage; legal, financial, and administrative issues. Reports from the Seminar 16 – 17 May, 2011, in Karlskrona, Sweden, organised by ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Legal, Financial and Administrative Issues (ICLAFI) and the Swedish Fortifications Agency of Sweden. p.103.

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This page was last updated on 18 September 2022


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