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.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Kotalawala Walawwa (Hindagoda)

Kotalawala Walawwa
Kotalawala Walawwa (Sinhala: හිඳගොඩ කොතලාවල වලව්ව) is a Walawwa building located in Hindagoda village on the wayside of Passara-Badulla road in Badulla District, Sri Lanka.

History
Kotalawala Walawwa, Hindagoda
This is the residence of Muhandiram Don Carolis Kotalawala who is considered the largest land proprietor in the Uva Province at the beginning of the 20th century (Wright, 1999). Born in 1847 at Undugoda in Raigam Korale, Katalawala's early life was spent at Kalutara where he was educated (Wright, 1999). In 1864 he bought the Uva and Central Province toll rents and continued to hold them until 1894 (Wright, 1999).
 
Kotalawala was married to Sudu Menika Wijekoon by whom he had four sons and two daughters (Wright, 1999). The stately house put up at Hindagoda off Badulla became their family residence. A photograph of this house under the title "Piya Niwasa" was depicted in Arnold Wright's book the "Twentieth century impressions of Ceylon: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources" published in 1907 (Wright, 1999). 

A protected monument
The Kotalawala Walawwa situated on the wayside of Badulla-Passara road in 78-K Hindagoda Grama Niladhari Division in the Divisional Secretariat Division of Badulla is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.
 
Kotalawala Walawwa
.
References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.
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.853-854.
 
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This page was last updated on 31 May 2022
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Gorakana Kande Purana Viharaya

Not to be confused with Kande Purana Viharaya, Opanayaka and Kande Viharaya, Alutgama

Gorakana Purana Kande Viharaya
Gorakana Purana Kande Viharaya (Photo credit: Google Street View)

Kande Purana Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: ගොරකාන කන්දේ පුරාණ රජ මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Gorakana village in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
According to folklore, this place was an aristocratic house before it became a temple. As mentioned in the inscriptions in situ, the temple has a history running back to the 18th century. The inscription engraved on the stone door frame of the image house of this temple mentions the year 1796 A.D. (the Buddhist year 2339).
Text: සුගතාබ්දම් ධීගගෝත්‍රම් ගොරකාන කන්දෙ විහාරය
Translation: Buddhist Year 2339 Gorakana Kande Viharaya.
Note: This inscription has been written following the ancient Katapaya system.
Also, a boundary stone around the Pohoya-ge (the chapter house) has the year 1845 A.D. (the Buddhist year 2388).
Text: සුගතාබ්දම් දූ දීගෝත්‍රම් මකර රවි නුජගා ගබුද දින
Translation: Buddhist year 2388...>>
The Gorakana Slab Inscription located near Kande Purana Viharaya premises records a pious woman's donation of a plot of land to the cause of Buddhism in the year 1848. Wadduwe Dhammananda Thera is said to be the first Buddhist monk of this temple.

A protected site
The Vahalkada, Pohoya house, preaching hall, dwelling house, image house, lavatory house, and the Stupa belonging to the Gorakana Kande Purana Raja Maha Vihara situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Gorakana South in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Panadura are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 8 July 2005.

References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1401. 8 July 2005. p.1024.
 
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Monday, 30 May 2022

Beruwala Lighthouse

Beruwala Lighthouse
Beruwala Lighthouse (Photo credit: ibrahim shareef, Google Street View)

Beruwala Lighthouse (also known as Barberyn Lighthouse) is one of the lighthouses in Sri Lanka. It is located on 3 hectares Barberyn Island located about 500 m offshore from the Maradana fish jetty near Beruwala town.

History
During the Period of British Ceylon (1815-1948 A.D.), this lighthouse was erected (probably in 1928). It was operated by the Imperial Lighthouse Service until 1972, even after Sri Lanka gained independence from the British in 1948. The Sri Lanka Navy took over the control of the lighthouse in 1972 and in 1984, it was assigned to the supervision of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

The lighthouse tower
The white cylindrical tower is 110 ft. (33.52 m) tall and made out of granite. It has five stories and each contains two windows for ventilation. There are about 140 steps to the top of the tower. The embossed stones on the exterior wall of the tower have given it an appearance similar to the stone structure at Dondra Head Lighthouse in Matara.

A protected monument
The lighthouse at Beruwala belonging to Maradana village situated in Grama Niladhari Division No. 754, Maradana in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Beruwala is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 24 March 2016.

References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1960. 24 March 2016. p.1749.

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Sunday, 29 May 2022

Sugarcane Research Institute, Sri Lanka

Sugarcane Research Institute (Sinhala:ශ්‍රී ලංකා උක් පර්යේෂණ ආයතනය) is located in Udawalawe in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka.

History
The Sugarcane Research Institute was established by the Act of Parliament no. 75 of 1981 (ratified on 29 December 1981) for the purpose of conducting research on the cultivation and processing of sugarcane to cater to technological needs for the development of the sugar industry of Sri Lanka. 

The institute was formally inaugurated on 29 April 1983 and started to function as an independent research institute on 1 January 1984 (Abeyawardana, 2002; Perera, 2009). Initially, the activities of the institute were funded by the levy of a cess on locally produced sugar (Abeyawardana, 2002). However, with the expansion of the scope, a cess on sugar imports was authorized in 1991 to generate an additional fund for the institute (Abeyawardana, 2002).

Branches
The Institute has four regional offices at Buttala, Siyambalanduwa, Badulla, and Hingurana. It also has a liaison office at Battaramulla, a quarantine farm at Hantana, an arrowing station at Deniyaya and a pathology farm at Siyambalanduwa.

See also

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.34.
3) Perera, M. S., 2009. Extension service of the Sri Lankan sugar industry. Proceedings of the Agricultural Extension Conference. pp.235-251.

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Saturday, 28 May 2022

Bo Ella Falls

Not to be confused with Bopath Ella Falls

Bo Ella Falls
Bo Ella Falls (Photo credit: Dulantha Sanjeewaka, Google Street View)

Bo Ella Falls (Sinhala: බෝ ඇල්ල) is a waterfall located below the town of Mawanella in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka. It is formed by the Maha Oya river (Abeyawardana, 2002). Before the falls, the water flows through rocks to form two distinct streams. The place is not much suitable for swimming and bathing.

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.54.

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Friday, 27 May 2022

Batamullakanda International Buddhist Center

Batamullakanda Buddha Statue
Batamullakanda International Buddhist Center (Sinhala: බටමුල්ලකන්ද ජාත්‍යන්තර බෞද්ධ මධ්‍යස්ථානය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Matugama town in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka. The temple is popular among devotees for its gigantic standing statue of Buddha unveiled on 23 April 2016 with the presence of then Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena. The statue is 135 ft. (41.1 m) in height and is claimed to be the tallest standing statue of the Buddha in South Asia.







Attribution

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This page was last updated on 27 May 2022
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Thursday, 26 May 2022

Mudalidu Amarasekara

Mudalidu Amarasekara
Mudaliyar Abraham Christopher Gregory Sooriarachchi Amarasekara or A.C.G.S. Amarasekara (1883-1983) was a well known Sri Lankan painter and amateur magician (Gunawardena, 2003).

Life events
Born on 2 March 1883 in South Sri Lanka, as the son of Rev. Abraham Sooriyarachchi Amarasekera, a scholarly minister of the Church, Amarasekara completed his education at the Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa and St. Thomas’ College, Mutwal. In 1903, his watercolour painting named Kitten won the first prize at the Ceylon Society of Arts Annual Exhibition.

In 1907, after completing his schooling, Amarasekara joined H.W. Cave & Co. to study Commercial Art while serving at St. Joseph’s College and later Ladies College as an Art Master. He then joined the staff of the Ceylon Technical College, Maradana as a lecturer in fine arts. Later, he established Atelier, the first private art school in Sri Lanka to teach the western style of painting (Dharmasiri, 1990). Several pupils of this school such as Justin Deraniyagala and Harry Pieris later became renowned painters (Dharmasiri, 1990; Gunawardena, 2003). In 1959, Amarasekara became the President of the Ceylon Society of Arts. He also served as the President of the Ceylon Association of Magicians until his death in 1983.

Amarasekara has exhibited his works at the Royal Academy, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in London. He was awarded the fellowship of the British Empire in 1924 and was honoured with the title Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1939 for his services for the arts in Ceylon. He was appointed Gate Mudaliyar in 1952. 

Amarasekara married Mable Beatrice Pereira in 1908 and they had one son, Douglas Amarasekara.

Paintings
Some of the paintings by Amarasekara are listed below (Dharmasiri, 1990);
1) Kitten (1903) - Watercolour.
2) The Storm - Copper-plate etching.
3) Bullers Road, Colombo - Watercolour.
4) A Colombo Road - A watercolour painting exhibited at the Royal Academy and in Paris.
5) Bathers (1925) - A watercolour painting exhibited in London and Paris.
6) Steps to Shrine (1932) - A watercolour painting depicting the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy.
7) Unemployed (1932) - Oil on canvas.
8) Devil Dancer's Daughter (or Yakeduru Diyaniya: 1936) - Oil on canvas. This painting is considered to be his most renowned pictorial composition. Exhibited in 1939 at the Royal Empire Society, London and between 1940 and 1942 at the Royal Academy. Now preserved in the National Art Gallery.

Amarasekara was also a popular portrait painter (Dharmasiri, 1990). Some of the personalities he painted include (Dharmasiri, 1990);
#) Sir James P. Obeysekara, J.P. (1925)
#) Mrs. D.S. Senanayaka (1926) - The wife of D.S. Senanayaka, the first Prime Minister of Ceylon (1948-1952).
#) Sir James Pieris (1929) - Member of Legislative Council.
#) Rev. A.S. Amarasekara (1930) - Father of Amarasekara.
#) Anagarika Dharmapala (1930) - Buddhist revivalist and a writer.
#) Sir Baron Jayatilaka (1931) - Member of Legislative Council from 1924 to 1931 and President of National Congress.
#) G.A. Willie (1935) - Member of Legislative Council and President of Ceylon Society of Arts from 1929 to 1942.
#) Sir Andrew Caldecott (1939) - 28th Governor of Ceylon (1937-1944).
#) Sir Francis Molamure (1950) - Speaker of State Council (1931) and House of Representatives (1947-1951).
#) Ven. Baddegama Piyarathana Nayaka Thera (1957) - Principal of Vidyodaya Pirivena from 1936 to 1958.
#) Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan - Member of Legislative Council from 1911 to 1924.
#) Ananda Samarakoon - Musician and author of Sri Lanka National Anthem.
#) A lady in red - This painting was discovered on 12 December 2021 by the curators of the National Art Gallery and conservation expert Jennifer Myers, hidden behind the portrait of "Ananda Samarakoon" during a conservation project.

References
1) Dharmasiri, A., 1990. Section V: Painting Modern Period (1815-1950). Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative series; Vol. V. Painting. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). pp.133-134.
2) Gunawardena, C.A., 2003. Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers Pvt Ltd. ISBN: 81-207-2536-0. p.14.

Disclaimer
By accessing this website, we hope that you are accepting the following disclaimer notice.
The information published in this biography has been extracted from reliable sources but we, Lanka Pradeepa (lankapradeepa.com) assume no responsibility or liability for any inaccurate or outdated content on this page.
This page was last updated on 30 June 2022

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Gunadasa Amarasekara

Gunadasa Amarasekara (b. 1929) is a Sri Lankan poet, novelist, critic and short story writer (Dharmadasa, 1987; Gunawardena, 2003). He is considered one of the founding fathers of modern Sinhalese literature.

Life events
Born in 1929, Amarasekara grew up in Yatalamatta village in Galle (Gunawardena, 2003). He had his education at Nalanda College in Colombo and graduated from the Medical School at Peradeniya (Gunawardena, 2003). He did his postgraduate studies in Britain (Gunawardena, 2003).

Amarasekara served as a director, at the Institute of Dentistry from 1971 to 1987 (Gunawardena, 2003). In the 1980s, he entered the arena of political philosophy as a proponent of Jathika Chintanaya [(loosely translated as National Consciousness) Gunawardena, 2003; Kestler, 2014].

Publications
Novels
# Karumakkarayo (The Wretched, 1955: this novel was made into a film by Tissa Abeysekara in 1980)
# Yali Upannemi (I was born again, 1960)
# Gandhabba Apadanaya (1969)
# Asathya Kathawak (1981)
# Premaye Sathya Kathawa (1983)
# Gamanaka Mula (1988)
# Gamdorin Eliyata (1990)
# Vanka Giriyaka (1992) 
# Inimaga ihalata (Up the Ladder, 1992)
# Yali Maga Vetha (1993)
# Duru Rataka Dukata Kiriyaka (1999)

"Out of the Darkness", the English version of two of Amarasekara's novels, "Asathya Kathawak" (1981) and "Premaye Sathya Kathawa" (1983), won the Gratiaen Prize (The Gratiaen Prize is an annual literary prize for the best work of literary writing in English by a resident of Sri Lanka) for creative writing in English for 2002 for Vijitha Fernando, the translator and the author (Gunawardena, 2003).

Short stories
# Rathu Rosa Mala (The Red Rose, 1953)
# Jeewana Suwanda (1957)
# Ekama Kathawa (1972)
# Katha Pahak (1975)
# Gal Pilimaya saha Bol Pilimaya (The Stone Statue and the Hollow Statue, 1989)
# Marana Manchakaye Dutu Sihinaya (1993)

Amarasekara's short story Soma was selected to represent Sri Lanka in a world short story competition organized by the New York Herald Tribune. 

Poems
Bhavagita (Songs of Sentiment, 1955)
Uyanaka Hinda Litu Kavi (1957)
Amalbiso (1958)
Gurulu Watha (1972)
Avarjana (1972)
Asakda Kava (2003)
Mathakawatha (2014)

Plays
Pavuru Padanam (1970)
Kavandhayaka Kathandaraya (1991)

Literary criticism
# Vinodaya saha Vicharaya (Enjoyment and Criticism, 1955)
# Aliya Saha Andayo (1966)
Abuddassa Yugayak (A Topsy-Turvy Time, 1976)
# Anagarika Dharmapala Marxvaadida? (Is Anagarika Dharmapala Marxist?, 1980)
# Ganaduru Mediyama Dakinemi Arunalu (1988)
# Arunaluseren Arunodhyata (1991)
# Jathika Chinthanaya saha Jaathika Aarthikaya (National Ideology and National Economy, 1993)
# Sinhala Kawya Sampradaya (1996)

Awards
#  Honorary Doctor of Literature degree by the University of Peradeniya (2021)
 
References
1) Dharmadasa, K.N.O., 1987. Two faces of elitism: The changing critical stances of Gunadasa Amarasekara. Journal of South Asian Literature, 22(1), pp.75-84.
2) Gunawardena, C.A., 2003. Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers Pvt Ltd. ISBN: 81-207-2536-0. pp.12-13.
3) Kestler, R., 2014. Jātika Cintanaya und Sozialcharakter–Zum Einfl uss Erich Fromms auf Guṇadāsa Amarasēkara. pp.1-11.


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The information published in this biography has been extracted from reliable sources but we, Lanka Pradeepa (lankapradeepa.com) assume no responsibility or liability for any inaccurate or outdated content on this page.
This page was last updated on 25 May 2022
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Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Sapugoda Sri Maha Viharaya

Sapugoda Sri Maha Viharaya
Sapugoda Sri Maha Viharaya (Photo credit: Google Street View)

Sapugoda Sri Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: සපුගොඩ ශ්‍රී මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Massalgoda village near Beruwala in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
This temple was established by the Buddhist monk named Sapugoda Ananda Thera who moved to Massalgoda in Beruwala during the reign of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (1798-1815 A.D.). As a make of respect for the Thera, this temple is named Sapugoda Viharaya. 

Image house
The image house is the main monument of this temple with an archaeological value. As is mentioned on the wall, it has been constructed in the latter part of the 19th century. Buddha statues and paintings showing the features of the low-country art tradition of the Kandyan Period are found in this image house.

An old Vahalkada (entrance gate) and the remains of a dilapidated Kabok (laterite) wall are also found within the temple premises.

A protected site
The ancient image house of Sapugoda Sri Maha Viharaya in Massalgoda in Beruwala Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 8 July 2005.

References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1401. 8 July 2005.
 
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Monday, 23 May 2022

Makandawa Forest Reserve

Makandawa Forest Reserve (Sinhala: මාකන්දාව රක්ෂිතය) is an evergreen lowland rainforest situated in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka. Extending in an area of about 195 ha., it is located in close proximity to the Kitulgala town which is a major ecotourism destination in the country (see: Adventure Sports in Kitulgala) and also near the Kelani Ganga river. 

The rainforest was declared in 1903 as a reserve (Gunawardena et al., 2020). Presently, it is maintained by the Forest Department of Sri Lanka as a part of the Kelani Valley Forest Reserve System which was established to protect the Kelani Ganga watershed (Gunawardena et al., 2020). The average annual rainfall of the forest area is around 3,698 mm (Gunawardena et al., 2020).

References
1) Gunawardena, M.P., Peeris, M.K.P., Karunananda, H.T.A.R., Dharmarathna, R.D.C.C.A., Dias, S.N.C.L., Ariyawansha, K.A.T.D., Wijerathne, A.E.W.M.D.V.B. and Weerakkody, W.A.G.K., 2020. Plant diversity in Makandawa Forest Reserve, Kithulgala, Sri Lanka. pp.52-58.

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Sunday, 22 May 2022

Sri Pali College

Sri Pali College (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී පාලී විද්‍යාලය) is a government mixed school situated in Horana town in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
The school was established by Wilmot A. Perera, a well-known planter, philanthropist and politician, by following the model of Shanti Niketan, the great Indian institution of Oriental Studies (Abeyawardana, 2002). The foundation stone for the school was laid in 1934 by the great Indian poet and Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) who also named the institution "Sri Palee" (Abeyawardana, 2002). The Tamarind tree planted by him on this occasion is still found on the premises of the school (Abeyawardana, 2002).

Sri Palee was registered as a government-assisted school in 1936 (Abeyawardana, 2002). Dancing, music, painting, drumming, textile, carpentry, and metalwork were some of the subjects taught at the school. The government took over the control of the school later (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.  pp.113-114.
 
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Saturday, 21 May 2022

Ratnapura St. Aloysius College

St. Aloysius College (Sinhala: ශාන්ත ඇලෝසියස් විද්‍යාලය, රත්නපුර) is a government boys' school situated in the middle of Ratnapura town, Sri Lanka.

History
The school was established in 1888 as St. Peters Bilingual School by Father Pierre Bolin of the Ratnapura Catholic Mission (Abeyawardana, 2002). By 1893, the academic activities of the school had been stopped but in 1898, a new school named St. Peters & St. Pauls was commenced (Abeyawardana, 2002). However, that school was registered in 1900 as a bilingual school by the name St. Aloysius (Abeyawardana, 2002). The government took over the school in 1960 (Abeyawardana, 2002).

Facilities
At present, the school has common facilities such as classrooms, laboratories, libraries, playground etc. The Annual Big Match of the school is held every year against Sivali Central College, Ratnapura.

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.  pp.18-19.
 
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Friday, 20 May 2022

Bees of Sri Lanka

Bees in Sri Lanka
Being pollinators, bees have become the most useful group of insects and there are over 20,000 species of described bees in the world (Karunaratne & Edirisinghe, 2012). Of them, about 152 species belonging to four (of the seven) families Colletidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae and Apidae are found in Sri Lanka (Karunaratne et al., 2005; Wijesekara, 2001).

Dalla Torre (1896) is considered the first one who recorded bees in the country (Karunaratne & Edirisinghe, 2012). He was followed by C.T. Bingham (1897) who documented the keys for 42 species of bees in 15 genera from Sri Lanka (Karunaratne & Edirisinghe, 2008; Wijesekara, 2001). Thereafter, investigations made by Smithsonian Institution, Washington during the 1978-1998 period and by several other taxonomists in the modern period resulted in the identification and documentation of 152 bee species in 38 genera and four families (Karunaratne & Edirisinghe, 2012; Karunaratne et al., 2005). 

Attribution

References
1) Karunaratne, W.I.P. and Edirisinghe, J.P., 2012. The Taxonomy and Conservation Status of the Bees  (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)  in Sri Lanka. The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka. Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Weerakoon, D.K. & S. Wijesundara Eds., Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka. pp.65-99.
2) Karunaratne, W.I.P. and Edirisinghe, J.P., 2008. Keys for the identification of common bees of Sri Lanka. J.Natn.Sci.Foundation Sri Lanka 2008 36 (1). pp.69-89.
3) Karunaratne, W.A.I.P., Edirisinghe, J.P. and Gunatilleke, C.S., 2005. Floral relationships of bees in selected areas of Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science, 34, pp.27-45.
4) Wijesekara, A., 2001. An annotated list of bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apiformis) of Sri Lanka. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie, 144(1), pp.145-158.


This page was last updated on 20 May 2022
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Thursday, 19 May 2022

Land Snails of Sri Lanka

Land Snails of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is situated in one of the world’s 34 "biodiversity hotspots". Its land snail fauna is very diverse and at least 80% of the 253 recorded species are endemic (Raheem et al., 2008; Ranawana, 2006; Ranawana & Priyadarshana, 2012). These include 5 endemic and relict land snail genera (Ranawana, 2006). Land snails are not a monophyletic group and they comprise about 65% of the snail fauna in the country (Naggs & Raheem, 2005).

The highest diversity and endemism of land snails are recorded in the rainforests of the southwestern part of the country,  the so-called wet zone (Naggs et al., 2005). Many are confined to the mostly small remaining areas of fragmented rainforest where snail endemism is close to 100% (Naggs & Raheem, 2005).

Samuel Woodward (1856) is considered the first to recognise the distinctive composition of Sri Lanka's snail fauna (Naggs & Raheem, 2005).

Classification
Snails along with slugs are a part of the phyla Molluscs, the second most diverse animal phyla after Arthropods (Ranawana & Priyadarshana, 2012). Class Gastropoda is the largest class of Molluscs and it is divided into subclasses Prosobranchia, Opisthobranchia and Pulmonata.

Of the 253 species of the land snails of Sri Lanka, 166 belong to the subclass of Pulmonata and are represented by 28 families (Ranawana & Priyadarshana, 2012). The remaining 87 species belong to the subclass Prosobranchia which is further represented by 4 families (Ranawana & Priyadarshana, 2012). The families Ariophantidae with 50 species and Glessulidae with 22 species are the largest of Pulmonata while the family Cyclophoridae with 54 species is the largest of the Prosobranchia (Ranawana & Priyadarshana, 2012).

Attribution
1) A snail family by Jestin peter is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

References
1) Naggs, F. and Raheem, D., 2005. Sri Lankan snail diversity: faunal origins and future prospects. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement, 68, pp.11-29.
3) Naggs, F., Raheem, D., Ranawana, K. and Mapatuna, Y., 2005. The Darwin Initiative project on Sri Lankan land snails: patterns of diversity in Sri Lankan forests. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 12, pp.23-29.
4) Raheem, D.C., Naggs, F., Preece, R.C., Mapatuna, Y., Kariyawasam, L. and Eggleton, P., 2008. Structure and conservation of Sri Lankan land‐snail assemblages in fragmented lowland rainforest and village home gardens. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45(4), pp.1019-1028.
5) Ranawana, K.B., 2006. Land snails in Sri Lanka. CNB Bambaradeniya, ed, pp.84-99.
6) Ranawana, K.B., Priyadarshana, T.G.M., 2012. The Taxonomy and Conservation Status of the Land snails in Sri Lanka. The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka. Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Weerakoon, D.K. & S. Wijesundara Eds., Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka. pp.65-99.


This page was last updated on 19 May 2022
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Wednesday, 18 May 2022

National War Heroes’ Monument

National War Heroes’ Monument
National War Heroes’ Monument or Jathika Ranaviru Smarakaya (Sinhala: ජාතික රණවිරු ස්මාරකය) is a war monument located near the Parliament Complex in Battaramulla in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. It was erected in memory of war heroes of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and the Civil Security Department who sacrificed their lives for the protection of the unity and territorial integrity of the country. An annual ceremony to commemorate the velour and gallantry of war heroes is held at the site in May.

Walls engraved with the names of 28,619 war heroes of the Army (23,962), Navy (1160), Air Force (443), Police (2,598) and Civil Security Department (456) who had sacrificed their lives in the fight against the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) organization before May 2009 are also found erected near the monument.

See also

Location Map
This page was last updated on 17 July 2022

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Kilinochchi War Memorial

The Kilinochchi War Memorial (Sinhala: කිලිනොච්චි යුද ස්මාරකය) has been set up in the middle of Kilinochchi town, Sri Lanka. 

The monument was erected as a war hero cenotaph to mark the capturing of Kilinochchi town on 2 January 2009 from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant group designated as a terrorist organization by 32 countries. LTTE was defeated by the government forces in May 2009 ending the 26 years long Sri Lanka Civil War.

The monument is a massive concrete cuboid (30 x 20 ft.) pierced by a torpedo and crowned by a lotus blossom (Pieris, 2014).

See also

References
1) Pieris, A., 2014. Southern invasions: post-war tourism in Sri Lanka. Postcolonial studies, 17(3), pp.266-285.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 14 July 2022

Monday, 16 May 2022

Elephant Pass War Memorial

Elephant Pass War Memorial
The Elephant Pass War Memorial (Sinhala: අලිමංකඩ යුද ස්මාරකය) has been set up on the wayside of the Kandy-Jaffna highway (A9), near the Elephant Pass in Kilinochchi District, Sri Lanka. It was unveiled in the presence of the then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in December 2010 (Hyndman & Amarasingam, 2014). 

The monument
The 42 ft. high monument, designed by the National Design Center of Sri Lanka was erected at Elephant Pass to mark the unification of the A9 highway on 9 January 2009 that was under the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) occupation since 20 April 2000 (Hyndman & Amarasingam, 2014; Pieris, 2014). LTTE was a militant group designated as a terrorist organization by 32 countries and it was defeated by the government forces in May 2009 ending the 26 years long Sri Lanka Civil War.

The monument depicts four outstretched arms of four main communities hoisting a (unified) Sri Lanka as the Sri Lanka national flag flutters high above (Hyndman & Amarasingam, 2014; Pieris, 2014). The blooming flowers symbolize the defeat of terrorism and the birth of peace (Hyndman & Amarasingam, 2014). The monument is surrounded by four lions at the cardinal points.

See also

Attribution

References
1) Hyndman, J. and Amarasingam, A., 2014. Touring “Terrorism”: Landscapes of Memory in Post‐War Sri Lanka. Geography Compass, 8(8), pp.560-575. 
2) Pieris, A., 2014. Southern invasions: post-war tourism in Sri Lanka. Postcolonial studies, 17(3), pp.266-285.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 14 July 2022

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Puthukkudiyiruppu Victory Monument and War Museum

Puthukkudiyiruppu Victory Monument
The Victory Monument of Puthukkudiyiruppu & War Museum (Sinhala: පුදුකුඩිඉරුප්පු ස්මාරකය සහ යුධ කෞතුකාගාරය) have been set up on the wayside of the Parantan-Mullaitivu road, near the Nanthi Kadal lagoon in Mullaitivu District, Sri Lanka. It was unveiled in the presence of the then president Mahinda Rajapaksa on 12 October 2019 (McCargo & Senaratne, 2020).

The Victory Monument
The monument which represents a soldier carrying the Sri Lankan lion flag and a weapon was erected to symbolize the success of the Wanni Humanitarian Operation, an operation carried out during the final phase of the 26 years long Sri Lanka Civil War that ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, a militant group designated as a terrorist organization by 32 countries. The pond around the monument symbolizes the ocean surrounding the country and the national flower lilies which bloom in it symbolize the Sri Lankan nation. The granite boulders laden at the base of the monument represent the soil and the four lions standing at the four cardinal points portray the warriors who came from all directions to protect the country by sacrificing their lives. The soldier who emerges from the ground holding a weapon symbolizes the heroic troops while the lion flag on his hand depicts the pride of the country. The pigeon taking wings symbolized the conspicuous peace to the nation.

The War Museum
The war museum is located next to the Victory Monument. It displays several weapons and assault vehicles/ships used by the LTTE rebels during the civil war (Hyndman & Amarasingam, 2014). 

See also

References
1) Hyndman, J. and Amarasingam, A., 2014. Touring “Terrorism”: Landscapes of Memory in Post‐War Sri Lanka. Geography Compass, 8(8), pp.560-575. 
2) McCargo, D. and Senaratne, D., 2020. Victor’s memory: Sri Lanka’s post-war memoryscape in comparative perspective. Conflict, Security & Development, 20(1), pp.97-113.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 18 May 2022

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Yapahuwa Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum of Yapahuwa, Sri Lanka is one of the Regional Museums Administered by the Department of Archaeology

History
The museum was first established in the premises of Yapahuwa Raja Maha Viharaya in 1986 and later on, it was moved to the present building (Rambukwella, 2014).

Museum
The museum preserves a collection of items discovered from the Yapahuwa Ancient City as well as from the surrounding areas. Artefacts such as Buddhist monuments and inscriptions are displayed in two gallery rooms.

References
1) Rambukwella, M.W.C.N.K., 2014. Heritage representation in culturally diverse societies: a case study of the Colombo National Museum in Sri Lanka (Doctoral dissertation, School of Museum Studies). p.410.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 14 May 2022
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Friday, 13 May 2022

Panduwasnuwara Archaeological Museum

Panduwasnuwara Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum of Panduwasnuwara, Sri Lanka is one of the Regional Museums Administered by the Department of Archaeology

History
A small museum was first established in Panduwasnuwara in 1970 and it was refurbished in 1983 (Rambukwella, 2014). The present museum was opened to the public in 1993 (Rambukwella, 2014).

Museum
The museum preserves a collection of items discovered from the Panduwasnuwara Ancient City as well as from surrounding sites. Artefacts include Buddhist statues, stone, wooden and metal objects, terracotta items, coins, glass items, carvings, ornaments, writing instruments, various types of bricks and tiles and other monumental remains (Rambukwella, 2014). Objects are displayed in five gallery rooms while open spaces are also used.

Attribution
1) Panduwasnuwara Museum by L Manju is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

References
1) Rambukwella, M.W.C.N.K., 2014. Heritage representation in culturally diverse societies: a case study of the Colombo National Museum in Sri Lanka (Doctoral dissertation, School of Museum Studies). pp.409-410.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 13 May 2022
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Thursday, 12 May 2022

Wasgamuwa National Park

Wasgamuwa National Park
Wasgamuwa National Park is a national park that spans Central and North Central Provinces, Sri Lanka. It is considered an important habitat in the country for swamp elephants (Elephas maximus ceylonensis), a subspecies of Sri Lankan elephants (Elephas maximus maximus).

History
This area was originally a gaming sanctuary in about 1907 and was protected from February 1938 as a reserve (Green, 1990; Padmalal et al, 1998). It was then founded as a national park in two phases, with Lots I and II notified on 7 August 1984 and Lot III on 25 January 1980 (Green, 1990). 

Physical features
The total area of the park is 37,063 ha and it is bounded by the Mahaweli Ganga river to the east, by Amban Ganga to the west and north and by Dunuwila Oya to the south (Green, 1990). Flood Plain National Park lies immediately to the northeast downstream from Wasgamuwa. 

The climate of the park area is tropical, with a dry season extending from March to September and a rainy season from October to February (Fernando et al., 2017). The mean temperature is 32˚C and the mean annual rainfall is 2,250 mm, which occurs mostly during the northeast monsoon (Fernando et al., 2017). Vegetation is dominated by lowland dry semi-evergreen forests (Padmalal et al, 1998).

See also

Attribution

References
1) Green, M.J.B. ed., 1990. IUCN directory of South Asian protected areas. IUCN. pp.267-271.
2) Fernando, C., Corea, R., Weerasinghe, C. and Fernando, P., 2017. Puddling in elephant dung by Lepidopterans in Wasgamuwa, Sri Lanka. Gajah, pp.14-20.
3) Padmalal, U.K.G.K., Ratnayake, H.D., Weerasinghe, U.R. and Takatsuki, S., 1998. Ecological studies on mammals and birds in Sri Lanka.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 12 May 2022
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Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Maduru Oya

Maduru Oya
Maduru Oya is a river in eastern Sri Lanka. It originates in Mahiyangana and flows through Badulla, Monaragala, Ampara, Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa districts (Kirupacaran, 2020). It is the 8th longest river in the country (Withanage et al., ?).

History
The remains of an old sluice were discovered at the site in September 1982, during the preparatory work for the construction of the Maduru Oya Dam (Gunawardana, 1987). 

River basin
Extending in an area of about 1,541 km2, the Maduru Oya river basin is located with the Mahaweli Ganga basin in the West, Gal Oya basin in the South, and Mundeni Aru and Miyangoda Ela basins in the East (Kirupacaran, 2020).

Reservoirs & anicuts in the Kirindi Oya river basin

See also

Attribution
1) 20200203 175204 lakeview by Nisakya 21 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

References
1) Gunawardana, R.A.L., 1987. The Ancient sluice at the Maduru Oya Reservoir: Experimentation in Sri Lankan Traditions of Hydraulic Engineering. pp.1-20.
2) Kirupacaran, S., 2020. Analysis of precipitation trend and streamflow sensitivity to precipitation in Maduru oya river basin with HEC-HMS model simulations (Doctoral dissertation). p.28.
3) Withanage, N.S., Dayawansa, D.K., De Silva, R.P. and Rathnayake, C.W., ?. Assessment of morphological characteristics of Maduru Oya river basin of Sri Lanka using GIS.  

Location Map
This page was last updated on 11 May 2022
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Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Hora (Tree)

Dipterocarpus zeylanicus
Dipterocarpus zeylanicus is an evergreen perennial plant endemic to the island of Sri Lanka. It grows as a tree of about 170 ft. high and produces timber that can be used for bent works, plywood, boats, planks, casks and piles (Worthington, 1959). The bark is pale-grey in colour with swirl marks (Worthington, 1959). The fruit is purple in colour when young. Trees are majorly found in the southwestern wet zone of the country, below 3,000 ft. (Worthington, 1959). 

Vernacular names
Sinhala: හොර (Hora)                                            Tamil: ?

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales
Family: Dipterocarpaceae
Genus: Dipterocarpus
Species: Dipterocarpus zeylanicus

References
1) Worthington, T.B., 1959. Ceylon trees. Ceylon trees. p.49.

This page was last updated on 10 May 2022
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Monday, 9 May 2022

Bu Hora (Tree)

Dipterocarpus hispidus
Dipterocarpus hispidus is an evergreen perennial plant endemic to the island of Sri Lanka. It grows as a tree of about 170 ft. high and produces timber that can be used for casks, boats, and floors (Worthington, 1959). The bark is muddy-grey in colour with thin vertical raised wrinkles (Worthington, 1959). Trees are majorly found in rainforests and in the wettest districts in the southwestern part of the country, below 1,500 ft. (Worthington, 1959). 

Vernacular names
Sinhala: බූ හොර (Bu-hora)                                            Tamil: ?

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales
Family: Dipterocarpaceae
Genus: Dipterocarpus
Species: Dipterocarpus hispidus

Attribution
1) Dipterocarpus hispidus by AntanO is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

References
1) Worthington, T.B., 1959. Ceylon trees. Ceylon trees. p.48.

This page was last updated on 9 May 2022
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