Kurukuttala Ambalama

Kurukuttala Ambalama
Kurukuttala Ambalama (Photo credit: Google Street View)

Kurukuttala Ambalama, also known as Aladuwaka Ambalama, Rammalaka Ambalama or Mathgamuwa Ambalama (Sinhala: කුරුකුත්තල, අලදූවක, රම්මලක, මාත්ගමුව අම්බලම), is an old wayside rest situated in Mathgamuwa village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.

Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were travelling to distant places. They were also used as a place for people to gather, hold meetings and serve as a public place in society. During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Ambalamas were spread all over the country. 

The Kurukuttala Ambalama is one such structure constructed during the Kandyan Period for the usage of passengers who travelled along the Tumpane-Gampola road that fell through Kadugannawa (Dasanayaka, 2018; Rajapakse, 2016).

The structure
The square-shaped (6.55 m in length and width) Kurukuttala Ambalama shows the architectural features of the Kandyan Period (Rajapakse, 2016). The roof which is paved with flat Kandyan-type clay tiles is supported by the four and twenty pillars fixed in two concentric tiers. The four pillars which are in the inner tier are made of stone and their capitals are decorated with wooden Pekadas showing lotuses. The four pillars are fixed on the floor making a square room of about 3.5 ft. in length and width and they hold the middle portion (Keni Madala) of the roof (Dasanayaka, 2018). The twenty pillars along the outer tier are round and made of brick covered with lime plaster. At the four corners, there are twelve pillars (a cluster of three pillars on each side) and more eight pillars (two on each side) between the four corners provide support to hold the roof. These pillars are about 2.4 m in height (from the ground) and connecting them, a short wall 0.66 m in height runs along the perimeter of the structure (Rajapakse, 2016).

1) Dasanayaka, R., 2018. Ambalama saha samajaya (In Sinhala). S. Godage & Brothers.  pp.79-80.
2) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. p.70.
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This page was last updated on 28 April 2023

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