The second largest town in the Puttalam district is Chilaw. It is one of the few towns in all of Sri Lanka to be known by three names; “Halāvata” in Sinhala, “Cilāpam” in Tamil and of course “Chilaw” in English. Travel Guides introduce Chilaw as the city famous for its three C’s – Coconuts, Crabs and Coreas!
December 26th 2004, a day forever etched in our memories as the day the sea swallowed the coastline. The amount of destruction caused by the rampaging sea was a phenomenon that was beyond comprehension. I remember sitting at home, watching the Boxing Day Cricket match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand when the breaking news interrupted the live telecast; Sri Lanka was hit by a devastating Tsunami.
According to the “Great Chronicle”, popularly referred to as the Mahavamsa, a similar phenomenon had occurred during the reign of King Kelani Tissa. The ancient scripture mentions that King Kelani Tissa sentenced a monk to death by immersing him in a cauldron of oil. This act of cruelty angered the gods who unleashed their wrath by making the sea flow inland submerging Kelaniya. Soothsayers, who advised the king during times of distress, asked his royal highness to sacrifice his daughter to the sea. Thus, the King’s daughter Devi, was cast in to the sea in a beautifully decorated Golden vessel.
The vessel with Princess Devi aboard washed ashore on to the beach near the area which is today known as Pottuvil. The Princess later became the main consort of King Kavan Tissa of Ruhuna, Vihara Mahadevi. She was the mother of King Dutugamunu and Saddhatissa.
Kind Dhatusena was the first King of the Moriyan Dynasty to rule our island nation from 455 AD to 473 AD. He defeated the South Indian invaders who ruled the country for twenty six years and proclaimed Anuradhapura as his Capital. According to the Chronicles of the Chulawansa, Dhatusena was raised by his Uncle, a Buddhist Monk named Mahanama, who ordained him as a Buddhist Monk in order to hide him from the invaders.
Like the many great Kings who ruled Sri Lanka during ancient times, Kind Dhatusena contributed immensely towards agriculture. He constructed 10 irrigation tanks during his reign; the flagship of which is the “Kala Wewa”.Continue reading
Kurunegala is an ancient city in the North Western region of Sri Lanka that was once the capital city used by four different Kings who ruled over our island nation for around 50 years. Today, the city has become the Administrative Capital of the North Western Province. Located about 94 km away from Colombo, 54 km away from Kandy, 54 km away from Puttalam and 121 km away from Anuradhapura; Kurunegala is a transportation hub that connects many roads leading to all parts of the country.
It was King Charles IX, popularly known as the King on the Stallion (Kopparmärra) at Kungsportsplatsen, who decided to build the city of Gothenburg in 1607. Unfortunately, the city was burnt to the ground by the Danes in 1611. Then in the year 1619, King Gustavus Adolphus rebuilt the city in its current location. A statue of King Gustavus Adolphus, by artist Bengt Erland Fogelberg, has been erected at the Gustaf Adolf Square forever immortalizing the moment that His Highness pointed at the ground and proclaimed “Here, the city shall lie!”
Kataragama is considered to be a sacred place of worship by Buddhists, Hindus and the Vedda people of Sri Lanka. The Kataragama Temple, a shrine dedicated to the God Kataragama, is also visited by pilgrims from South India. Many of the pilgrims who visit Katharagama also visit Kirivehera, Sella Kataragama, and Vedihiti Kanda. Yet, there is an ancient Buddhist monastery that many visitors miss due to its remote location. Thus, during our last visit to Kataragama, we made it a point visit Sithulpawwa.
Kandy, the Hill Capital of Sri Lanka, a busy and compact city situated in the midst of the hills in the Kandy plateau is a booming tourist destination. Kandy is home to many historically and culturally significant locations, but today, we look at some of the lesser known, easily overlooked architecturally significant constructions that dot the greater Kandy area.
The City of Kandy is surrounded by hills. It also happens to be encircled by the Mahaveli River on three sides. Thus, if you’re on one of the main roads that lead to Kandy, you must cross the Mahaweli River at Peradeniya, Katugasthota or Tennekumbura. Don’t believe me? Take a look at an old motor map, or Google maps! The Peradeniya, Katugasthota and Tennekumbura bridges are quite popular, but did you know that there are three Suspension bridges that span the Mahaveli River as well?