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CATEGORY

History

Truth behind the Prison cell of the last King in Colombo Fort

The Prison cell of the last King of Kandy, King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha in Colombo fort is a somewhat well-known monument. Although most individuals working in the Fort area do not notice it, it is a famous destination for tourists. It is situated within the premises of the Ceylinco House building down Janadipathi Mawatha (Queen’s Street) at the turn off to Bank of Ceylon Mawatha. The aim of this article is to see if this is really the prison cell of the last King or something else; as there appear currently two traditions to this story, a common tradition and an academic tradition.

Important Inscriptions of Sri Lanka: Part 01

Inscriptions are an important source of information of the past in any civilization, and in that, Sri Lanka is fortunate to have a very large number of inscriptions from the earliest years of the Sinhalese civilization down to the Kandyan times. These various inscriptions, inscribed on stone and metal have aided the historian well, in complimenting and supplementing the already voluminous literature works. Sri Lanka’s inscriptions vary from scribbling of few words, to donations to clergy and to royal edicts and charters.

Archaeological Sites around Dimbulagala: Part 02

By Chryshane Mendis Pulligoda Pulligoda is a small cave containing paintings of the Anuradhapura period situated on a small rock outcrop several hundred meters from the...

Whatever happened to the King’s mother?

By Somasiri Devendra and Prof. Sarath Edirisinghe Questions, and an Answer   Like so many good things, what follows is a spin-off  from the “Ceylankan”. Last year Devendra...

Archaeological Sites around Dimbulagala: Part 01

Dimbulagala is a large isolated mountain situated in the North Central Province, east of Polonnaruwa. Its history dates back to the early historical period of Sri Lanka and was home to a Monastic complex during the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods. Dimbulagala is presently most famous for the Dimbulagala Rajamaha Viharaya and its late chief incumbent the Ven. Sri Seelalankara Thero who had served the people of Dimbulagala for decades but was murdered in 1995 by the LTTE.

The depository of Tooth Relic during the Cōḷa Occupation of Anuradhapura?

During the period of Cōḷa occupation in the early eleventh century, it is likely that the two Relics, namely the Tooth Relic and the Bowl Relic were permanently kept in the Uttaramūla Vihāra of the Abhayagiri Monastery. Perhaps during the Anuradhapura Period, the Relics were more respected and were not considered as objects, to legitimize kingship as suggested by some scholars. As a result, they were removed by the monks from the Temple of Tooth Relic only when there was no security. Perhaps during the early part of Anuradhapura Period when there was a threat, the Relics which were kept near the palace were taken to Abhayagiri Vihāra. During the latter part of Anuradhapura Period, the Relics appear to have been kept permanently at Uttaramūla of the Abhayagiri Vihāra, protected by hired guards.

The Gates of Kandy: An Archaeo-historical Perspective of Balana

The Balana pass, the key to the Kandyan Kingdom was a pass on the southern edge of the Alagalla Mountain range from which ran the old Colombo Kandy road giving access to the mountain kingdom. This was the most important pass in the Kingdom with the other being at Galagedara, as the road coming from the lower plains climbs over a thousand feet in less than a mile over the pass to the plateau of the central highlands. The hill of Balana, being over 600m (GPS - N 7° 16.18116 & E 80° 29.77146) above sea level, fell under the ancient administrative division of the Four Korale (Sathara Korale) in the Galboda pattuwa. Balana is mentioned in the Trisinhale Kadaim Potha as being the boundary line which separated the Four Korales from the Uda Rata, and the maintenance of this post fell onto the Dissave of the Four Korales. Today Balana falls under the Central Province and is the also the boundary line between the Sabaragamuwa and the Central Provinces. Balana was a key point in the old road to Kandy (From Colombo via Kotte and Kaduwela to Sitavaka, Ruwanwella, Arandara, Attapitiya, Ganetanna and over Balana to Gannoruwa) which many a foreigner had written about its difficult climb.

Pilikkuththuwa: a love story between nature and history

By Chryshane Mendis There are only few places that have had human associations from the prehistoric times and throughout all the ages up to the...

Sinhalese Influence on Laos: From its Beginning to Consolidation – Part II – The regional context

  Hema Goonatilake PhD (Lond) Visiting Professor, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia Published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, New Series,...

Sinhalese Influence on Laos: From its Beginning to Consolidation – Part I – Sources

  how to get my ex back Hema Goonatilake PhD (Lond) Visiting Professor, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia Published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society...

Ramba(Rambha) Viharaya and its connection with Myanmar

Hema Goonatilake PhD (Lond) Visiting Professor, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia Introduction   The intensive relations between Sri Lanka and Myanmar span over a period of 1000...

Latest news

Book Review: Anubudhu Mihindu Mahimi – Mihindhu High Priest-The Second Buddha

Anubudhu Mihidhu Mahahimi is a much-awaited biography on the Arahath Mahinda who was instrumental in introducing Buddhism to our island.

Annaikoṭṭai Seal: Is it Tamil Brāhmī? – By Prasad Fonseka

A team of researchers from the Jaffna University launched archaeological excavation of a megalithic burial site at Annaikoṭṭai in Jaffna Peninsula which commenced in 1980. In 1981 the discoverer of a steatite seal with a Brāhmī inscription and some other symbols was a significant milestone. The first attempt to decipher was done by Dr Kartigesu Indrapala of the Jaffna University. His reading was kovetem, which denotes the chief or king. However, overall it was considered as a Tamil Inscription and furthermore a Tamil Brāhmī inscription.

Fortifications and the Landscape: A GIS Inventory and Mapping of Kandyan and Dutch Fortifications in Sri Lanka

Fortifications and the Landscape: A GIS Inventory and Mapping of Kandyan and Dutch Fortifications in Sri Lanka Extended Abstract H.M. Chryshane Mendis Master’s thesis MA Landscape and Heritage...

In loving memory of Dr. Roland Silva, a pillar of Sri Lankan Archaeology

Deshamanya Vidya Jyothi Dr. Roland Silva is one of the foremost Asian experts in the conservation of historical monuments and sites and one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent archaeologists. He was the former Commissioner of Archaeology (1983-1990) and the Founder Director General of the Central Cultural Fund that implemented the UNESCO-Sri Lanka Project of the Cultural Triangle, former Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, former President of the World Body of Conservators, the first international president of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) from Asia (1990-1999) and UNESCO Chair and the founder President of The National Trust Sri Lanka.

New Light on The Decline of Polonnaruwa (1196-1215): The Tamil Pillar Inscription from Rankot Vihara

The Tamil Pillar Inscription at the premises of the Rankot Vihara was discovered during the course of an archaeological survey conducted by the Cultural...
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