Ambalama Heritage of Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ පුරාණ අම්බලම්)

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Karagahagedara Ambalama
Karagahagedara Ambalama

In ancient times, when there were no proper roadways or transport facilities other than narrow footpaths through dense jungles. Infested with wild animals and for transport only bullock carts were available, the villagers very seldom opted to leave their villages for Pilgrimages or to visit their friends and relatives who stayed in other areas. With the greatest difficulties and one hundred and one risks, one journey, they dared to take was to go to Sri Pada once a year to worship. It is said that since this was a very dangerous journey, the villagers, were in the habit of transferring their belongings and properties to next of kin as they were doubtful of their safe return.

Since this journey takes a number of days, they had to spend the nights in some safe place and relax. The main purpose of building ambalams was to help these travelers rest their weary limbs, prepare meals, and spend the night. Very often these ambalams were erected near a stream. Also by the side of it, they placed a big pitcher of water called “pinthaaliya” molded either in clay or stone.

The Sri Lankan-born art historian and philosopher Ananda K Coomaraswamy in an open letter to the Kandyan chiefs published in the Ceylon Observer on 17th February 1905, referring to ambalams says “Of the latter, I know but few really fine and ancient examples; of these, one is at Mangalama near Kegalle; this Ambalama was rebuilt so late as the middle of the last century from the materials of the earlier one, and is, even so, a very fine specimen of Kandyan architecture especially as regards the timbering of the roof and the beautiful gones or drooping lotus capitals, so different from careless modern copies that are sometimes seen, as for example in the new ambalama at Ratnapura, which is indeed built in a real Kandyan style, but much degraded in the details of its wood-work”.

In addition to using ambalams as resting places for weary travelers, they were used as centers to exchange news and to chew betel in leisure. Also, it was the place where village committees met. Robert Knox in his book on Ceylon says: “At their leisure when their affairs will permit, they commonly meet at places built for strangers and way-faring men to lodge in, in their language called Amblomb, where they sit chewing betel and looking one upon the other very gravely and solidly, discoursing concerning the affairs of court between the king and the great men; and what employment the people of the city are busied about. For as it is the chief of their business to serve the King, so the chief of their discourse is concerning such matters. Also, they talk of their own affairs, about cattle and husbandry. And when they meet with outlandish men they inquire about the laws and government of their country, and if it be like theirs; and what taxes and duties we are bound to pay, and perform to our king, &c” Thus we could see, the ambalams had played a very intimate and vital role in the lives of the villagers.

Davy in his book on Ceylon says that at Rambukwella, in Teldeniya, there was a small ambalama in close proximity to a beautiful temple custody of which was under four Buddhist monks.

In the Sinhalese encyclopedia (Volume 1, Page 696-1963 First Edition) ambalama is defined as a kind of hall erected by the side of the road for the benefit of wayfarers to relax on the way, as vehicles were rare in ancient times.

It was believed that to build these Ambalamas for the use of travelers is a meritorious deed and to pollute them is an unpardonable sin. On this belief, people of means did not hesitate to construct these resting places in suitable locations. They tried their best to keep- them spick and span.

In some of these ambalams, there had been planks erected as seats on different levels. It was said, especially when there were discussions on matters relating to the village with the elders and the chiefs of the village, that those who gathered there were expected to occupy the seats according to their age, status, and sometimes according to their castes as well.

Even in our Sandeesha poems (Messenger Poems) reference had been made to ambalams. For example, verse number 110 of Selalihini Sandeeshaya and verse number 166 of Gira Sandeeshaya request their ‘Messengers’ to enjoy the beautiful vista of the surroundings and to rest at the ambalama before proceeding.

Due to carelessness, ignorance, or lack of patriotism most of these Ambalams are no more and what is left is in a dilapidated condition that needs early attention for the benefit of our descendants.

In addition to the famous ambalama at Kadugannawa which was recently renovated by the archeological department at a cost of Rs. 300,000.00, some of the ambalams in the central province are at Siridigana, close proximity to Teldeniya-Rangala road, at Teldeniya close to the police station by the side of Kandy-Mahiyangana road, at Kengalle on the Kandy-Digana road via Kundasale, at Makuldeniya close to the Sub Post Office, Makuldeniya, on Teldeniya-Rangala road and at Dunhinna on Teldeniya-Werapitiya road close to Dunhinna Rural Hospital. On the Old Victoria road about 1 1/2 km. from Digana Junction there are remnants of a Gal Ambalama. It is revealed that most of the stone pillars and slabs have been removed by unscrupulous people to construct houses or to beautify their gardens.

Other than the above, there are several ambalams and remnants of ambalams strewn in most parts of the country. Just a few of them are at Daulugala and Embekke in Kandy district, Panavitiya on the Dambadeniya-Anuradhapura road, Walawala – along Beliatte-Hakmana road, Werahera, Pita Kotte and on the Bellanwila road.

Before long, since there’s a possibility of these buildings of archeological value to disappear, for the sake of posterity it’s the bounden duty of those in authority to take immediate precautionary measures to protect and maintain these Ambalams – our architectural heritage.

Lionel de silva
Katugastota
The Island

Ancient Ambalam of Sri Lanka

NoNameLocationProvinceDistrictNotes
001Vijayapura AmbalamayesEasternAmparaThe Vijayapura Amblama is a square structure with short walls. These walls serve as benches as well. Two openings in the front and rear serve as entrances. Four pillars on the corners support the roof. The complete structure is built of brick and mortar and lacks any artistic value. This ambalama primarily serves as a gathering place for the villagers.
002Alapatwewa AmbalamanoNorth CentralAnuradhapuraArcheologists mapping the ancient road network from Anuradhapura found remains of ambalamas at Vijayarama and Alapatwewa. At Alapatwewa the ambalama was placed at a junction where several roads met. It was about 48 feet long, rectangular and constructed on a natural bed rock.
003Maha Elagamuwa AmbalamayesNorth CentralAnuradhapuraA bana maduwa built in 18th century has been relocated to this location in 1904 and currently being used as a ambalama. The pillars have been built with brick and plaster but the wooden beams on the roof have been reused and still the ancient carvings can be seen on these.
004Ambagasdowa Thotupala Arawa AmbalamayesUvaBadullaA 300 year old open square ambalama made with four stone pillars hidden in the village of Thotupola Arawa
005Ambalanpotha AmbalamayesUvaBadullaBuilt in a elephant infested forest long time ago, this Ambalama is built on a 8 foot high brick platform to protect the vary travelers from elephant attacks in the night.
006Badulla Kachcheriya AmbalamayesUvaBadullaLies inside the Kachcheri land in the middle of the Badulla town. The ambalama has been built during early 19th century with finely carved wooden pillars, arches and pillar tops.
007Bambarapana Medipokuna Bandara Kandura AmbalamayesUvaBadullaThere are 2 short stone pillars at the entrance to the Ambalama. One pillar is inscribed with the date and the donor of the Ambalama. Accordingly, it has been constructed in Buddhist Era 2464 (1920 CE). The rest of the inscription is not clear.
008Dehikindayaya Ambalamaapprox. locationUvaBadullaAn ambalama going back to the time of king Walagamba. However this has been re constructed many times. The current brick stucture is in a dilapidated state.
009Ettampitiya AmbalamayesUvaBadullaStands on Welimada- Badulla road on the junction at the turn off to the Ketawala road. This is a small brick and mortar building tiled with sinhala ulu.
010Haldummulla AmbalamayesUvaBadullaThis building was built in the form of a Ambalama with the unique features of Ambalama (way side rests) since the ancient kings. Subsequently the village courts were transferred to Bandarawela and this building was used as a Ambalama by the wairy travellers passing this area.
011Kahaththewela AmbalamayesUvaBadullaLies in Bandarawela. In 2013, this ambalama was completely reconstructed and what is seen today is this re constructed building. How much of its original design and architecture had been preserved is not known.
012Ketawala AmbalamayesUvaBadullaa small brick and mortar structure with no special decoration built on the ancient route to Kandyan kingdom to Muthiyangana Viharaya in Badulla
013Kirioruwa Ambalamaapprox. locationUvaBadullaA small brick and mortar hidden away from popular road network between Bandarawela and Attempitiya.
014Kolongahamaditta Ambalamaapprox. locationUvaBadullaThe ambalama is a brick and mortar square structure with four huge cylindrical pillars rising from the half height walls. The half walls of the ambalama served as a benches for the travelers.
015Moragolla AmbalamayesUvaBadullaA small ambalama in the middle of Downside estate just 2.5 km off Welimada town. Made of brick and mortar this ambalama has been recently renovated and the clay tiles have been replaced by galvanized roofing sheets.
016Potawa AmbalamanoUvaBadullaNot much information. Has been renovated around 2009-10 by the department of archaeology
017Rideemaliyadda AmbalamayesUvaBadullaMahiyanganaya is 25 kilometres away from the Ambalama, while Bibile town is 15 kilometers away. From Mahiyanganaya, use the Badulla route for 13 kilometres before turning into the Bibile road. To get to the little intersection and the turnoff towards Rideemaliyadda Rajamaha Viharaya, continue on this route for another 12 kilometres. Just at this intersection, the Ambalama is located in some tree shade.
018Wattekele Ambalamaapprox. locationUvaBadullaProtected as a designated archaeological monument in 2013. No other information available
019Athurugiriya AmbalamayesWesternColomboThis Ambalama is a comparatively large brick and mortar structure with a large verandah on 2 sides lying close to a paddy field.
020Bellanwila AmbalamayesWesternColomboDoes not exisit. Only the name remains as Ambalama Junction
021Gelanigama AmbalamayesWesternColomboLie close to the Southern Expressway entrance at Gelanigama on the Panadura - Horana road.
022Pitakotte Gal AmbalamayesWesternColomboLying at the Pitakotte junction this ancient ambalama is over looked by many and has become home to street vendors.
023Baddegama AmbalamayesSouthernGalleAn ambalama built in 1911 to commemorate the coronation of King George V on 22 June 1911 by a local. The commemoration plaque carved in to a stone pillar still can be seen at the site.
024Galle Fort AmbalamayesSouthernGalleLies at the far end of the fort in the open space known as the Courthouse Square. This is a simple brick and mortar structure with with four cylindrical pillars.
025Habaraduwa Meepe AmbalamayesSouthernGalleA 200 year old Ambalama constructed in the middle of a picturesque paddy field. The dilapidated ambalama has been restored and conserved in 2016 by the department of archaeology.
026Thawalama Batahena AmbalamayesSouthernGalleAm ambalama built in 1915 near Gin Ganga to help the goods carrying bullock cart owners as well as the boatmen to rest safety during the night. Has been restored in 2019.
027Weniyarawela AmbalamayesSouthernGalleAncient Ambalama which has been rebuilt in 1967 in a different shape. The associated well has been filled with earth around 2019 and cannot be seen anymore.
028Yakkalamulla Polpagoda AmbalamayesSouthernGalleThe Yakkalamulla Polpagoda Ambalama is made of brick and mortar with a half wall traversing around the building. Nine brick walls supports the roof the building. The roof is tiled using Gam-Ulu, Semi Cylindrical Clay Tiles.
029Ahugammana AmbalamayesWesternGampahaA large ambalama made of brick and mortar in Ahugammana village in Gampaha District. Recently outer wall has been painted with drawings.
030Ambagaspitiya AmbalamayesWesternGampahaA 18th century wayside rest built on granite pillars situated on the Yakkala-Radawana road, 4.7 km from Yakkala. The ambalama is built with 12 granite pillars with a design similar to the Gallindawatta Ambalama few kilometers away.
031Ambagaspitiya Gallindawatta AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThe ambalama is built on a small square granite platform. The roof is held by four granite pillars with alternating 4 sided and 8 sided shape,
032Amunugoda AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama is a brick and mortar structure with seven brick pillars holding the roof lying by a paddy field.
033Apalawatta Ambalama (Yatawaka Ambalama)yesWesternGampahaNine brick pillars hold the roof of the building and a half height wall is built around the building. Out of the nine pillars, four pillars at the corners are square and the others are cylindrical. All the pillars are plain and carries no artwork.
034Awariyawala AmbalamayesWesternGampahabelieved to be built by king Wattagamini Abaya aka king Walagamba (89-77 BC). The ambalama lies in a picturesque landscape on a flat rock adjoining a small pond.
035Balabowa AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama is a brick and mortar structure with four brick pillars holding the roof lying in the middle of a paddy field.
036Bogahawaththa AmbalamayesWesternGampahalying close the the Kirindiwela police station, the ambalama is rectangular in shape and built on 10 granite pillars.
037Bollatha AmbalamayesWesternGampahaLies at the 5th mile post on Kandana – Ganemulla Road. The Ambalama has been restored recently with brick and cement. It is quite small and has a single entrance from the Walpola Road.
038Bothale Welameda AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThe history of the Bothale village goes back to times of King Gothabaya (253-266 AD) of Anuradhapura kingdom. Lies in the middle of a paddy field.
039Bulugahagoda AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama is a brick and mortar structure with four brick pillars hold the roof of the building supported by five wooden pillars believed to be built about 100 years ago.
040Daranagama AmbalamayesWesternGampahaA square ambalama made of cement adjoing a paddy field in Daranagama area. No historical records are available. This has been recently restored and renovated.
041Horagolla AmbalamayesWesternGampahaHoragolla Ambalama is a brick and mortar structure with six brick pillars holding the roof. The rear of the ambalama is a full height while the other 3 sides have half-height walls. The pillars are plain and carry no artwork. A half height wall is built around the building with an opening for the entrance at the front.  The roof is tiled with semi cylindrical Sinhala Ulu clay tiles.
042Kehelella AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama at Kehelella is made of brick and mortar. Although this design is not unique in artistic quality, it is unique as an Ambalama, a part of the extended ancient ambalama network across the country and a record of ancient hospitality extended to unknown visitors traveling through the village.
043Kossinna AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama is a brick and mortar structure with seven brick pillars holding the roof lying in the middle of a paddy field.
044Kottunna AmbalamayesWesternGampahaLies in on the Biyagama - Kottunna road in Kaduwela. A square ambalama made in the recent past using brick and mortar. Has no artistic value. However the roof has been built using the typical Kandyan era ambalam architecture using a Madol Kurupawa and connecting all the wooden beeams to a central wooden nail.
045Kuttivila AmbalamayesWesternGampahaGampaha Kuttivila Ambalama stands out as a significant resting spot, situated alongside a green paddy field and the Kirindiwela-Batuwita road in Gampaha. Crafted from durable brick and mortar, this Ambalama presents itself as a sturdy rectangular structure. Positioned with its entrance facing the main road, it is embraced by a half-height protective wall.
046Mattagoda Galekade AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama is a comparatively large brick and mortar structure with a large verandah on 2 sides lying close to a paddy field.
047Narangaspitiya AmbalamayesWesternGampahaNarangaspitiya Ambalama is a notable resting place nestled adjacent to a lush paddy field in Gampaha. Constructed from sturdy brick and mortar, this Ambalama stands as a substantial square structure. Positioned with its entrance oriented towards the serene expanse of the paddy fields, it is encircled by a protective half-height wall.
048Putupagala AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThe ambalama lies in the village of Putupagala in the Gampaha District. This ambalama is believed to be built by king Weeraparakrama (1477 – 1489) of Kotte kingdom.However this has been demolished and some stones have been used to build a small shrine at the same location.
049Thibbotugoda AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThibbotugoda Ambalama is a brick and mortar structure with six brick pillars holding the roof. Half of the Ambalama has full hight walls to protect the occupants from rain. The pillars are plain and carry no artwork. The roof is tiled with Calicut tiles.
050Udammita Ambalama - VeyangodayesWesternGampahaThis is an ancient brick and mortar wayside rest built in 1829 on the Nittambuwa – Veyangoda road. This ambalama is a comparatively large building, size of a small house with 2 rooms.
051Wathumulla Ketawala AmbalamyesWesternGampahaThe Ketawala Ambalama in Wathumulla is an ancient wayside rest now lying in surrounded by paddy fields. The ambalama lies close to the Daraluwa Railway Station.
052Wegowwa Ambalama - MinuwangodayesWesternGampahaLacking the typical architectural features of ambalama buildings of Kandyan era, this is a brick and mortar house with a single room and a half height wall going around the building.
053Walawela AmbalamayesSouthernHambantotaAncient wayside rest made in 1895. A unique stone water tank which is decorated with elaborated carvings on the sides can be found at the site.
054Aru Kaal Madam (Ambalama)yesNorthernJaffnaThis Six Pillar Choultry is built on a 70cm high platform with six pillars holding the roof and open from all sides. The other components of this building lies left to this structure.
055Keeramale Sirappar Madam (Ambalama)yesNorthernJaffnaConsidered the largest if not one the largest Ambalama in Sri Lanka, Sirappar Madam (ambalama) would have been built for pilgrims to Nakuleswaram Kovil in the ancient past.
056Point Pedro Theru Moodi Madam (Ambalama)yesNorthernJaffnaThe Ambalama structure at Theru Moodi Madam is another little gem in Jaffna which very few even knows of its existence. Ambalam (madam) in Jaffna Peninsula is generally different to the such structures in other areas.
057Santhaiyaar Madam (Ambalama)yesNorthernJaffnaThe most significant item at this site is the ancient pond which is built with the coral stone. The pond is about 12 meters long and slants towards the bottom of the tank from the side of the road. Steps has been built for easy access to the water when the water levels are low.
058Kirigala AmbalamayesWesternKalutaraA brick and mortar wayside rest but built similar to a small house lying on the Meepe – Ingiriya Road inside the Sagara Palansuriya Maha Vidyalaya premises.
059Ambagasthanne Kurukuttala AmbalamayesCentralKandyKurukuttala Ambalama is an ancient wayside rest now lying in surrounded by paddy fields on the road to Ambagasthanne from Illukwatte close to Kadugannawa. This is also known by the names of Aladuwaka Ambalama and Rammatha Ambalama.
060Amunugama AmbalamayesCentralKandyOver 100 years old now dilapidated small ambalama made of brick and mortar lies deserted at a edge of a paddy field.
061Appallagoda AmbalamayesCentralKandyBuilt in 1922 this ambalama has a floor area of approximately 80 square meters and it measures 5.6 meters from floor to pinnacle. The roof is supported by two sets of stone columns, 12 externally and 4 internally.
062Aththaragama AmbalamayesCentralKandyAncient Ambalama on the Katugastota - Medawala road. Still maintains in its original design and the stone cut panthaliya (water container). Wooden pillars contains simple simple designs such as flowers, elephants and floral designs. The pekada's (pillar heads) too are caved in a simple spiral design.
063Bowala Ratu AmbalamayesCentralKandyThis Ambalama has been built and completed on 9th July 1937 in memory of Uduwaralle H. M. Kiribanda Loku Nilame who died in 1937. The Building is a square structure built using brick and mortar with 2 pillars in front. The rear is wall with curved top creating space for ventilation.
064Daskara Galkona AmbalamayesCentralKandyRecently restored beautiful Ambalama with typical old Kandyan architecture. Made of stone blocks and a majestic roof structure.
065Daulagala AmbalamayesCentralKandyTha Ambalama lies on the junction where Watadeniya road meets Peradeniya – Gadoladeniya Road (B116) at Daulagala Town.
066Dehalkada AmbalamayesCentralKandyA large ambalama made of kabook and mortar in the Dehalkada junction in Marassana. The design of this ambalama is unique with the walls gradually angling upwards towards the four corners. In addition 3 more towers rising from 3 sides of the wall hold the roof. The roof is covered with of galvanized roofing sheets.
067Digana Gal AmbalamayesCentralKandyLie on the Old Victoria road about 1 1/2 km. from Digana Junction there are remnants of a Gal Ambalama. It is revealed that most of the stone pillars and slabs have been removed by unscrupulous people to construct houses or to beautify their gardens.
068Dodanwala AmbalamayesCentralKandyAn ambalama built 1875 with brick and mortar with typical Kandyan architecture hidden away on a by-lane among houses.
069Dunhinna Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyLie on the Teldeniya-Werapitiya road close to Dunhinna Rural Hospital. No further information available. (source : http://www.island.lk/2009/10/18/leisure1.html).
070Dunuwila AmbalamanoCentralKandyDunuwila Ambalama in Walagedaragama village situated in the Grama Niladhari Division, Sandasiridunuwila in the
Divisional Secretary's Division, Medadumabara in Kandy District in Central Province was declared as an protected archaeological site on 30 Sep 2022.
071Elikewala Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyA small wooden ambalama built to the Kandyan tradition with caved wooden pillars. However the designs are not clear due to aging.
072Embekke AmbalamayesCentralKandyLies on the route to Embekke Devalaya. It is generally accepted that this Ambalama is much older than the Embekke Devalaya and was probably built by king Buvanekabahu IV (1341-1351) of Gampola kingdom.
073Getakulawa Ambalama at RikillagaskadayesCentralKandyLies at the Getakulama junction. The building is square in its plan and four large pillars hold the roof of the building. The pillars are built using granite blocks held together by cement.
074Godamunne AmbalamayesCentralKandyIt is said that the wooden pillars of the Hanguranketa palace destroyed by fire by the Dutch in the 17th century were used for the construction of this wayside resting house.
075Godamunne Gal AmbalamayesCentralKandylittle known Ambalama in Godamunne hidden by the butiques near the Godamunna Ella.
076Guralawela AmbalamayesCentralKandyhe Ambalama at Guralawela is situated amidst a scenic paddy field. In close proximity, at a distance of 50 meters, there lies an ancient Uraketa well. These wells are characterized by a sturdy outer casing made from the trunk of a sizable tree such as Kumbuk, Milla, or Jackfruit. This casing serves the purpose of preventing sand from entering the well.
077Halloluwa Pallegama AmbalamayesCentralKandyPallegama is located in the Harispattuwa Divisional Secretariat. Pallegama Ambalama is located adjacent to the Pallegama Thalawa paddy fields. This fertile field of more than 60 acres has been cultivated for two seasons since the time of the ancient kings but today these fields have become barren due to lack of water.
078Hanguranketha Udalumada Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyThis small Ambalama which belongs to the Kandyan period is located in Udalumada village in Hanguranketha. The ambalama is square in shape and is built near a stream of cool water stream under a large shade. The roof rests on four pillars made of blocks of granite. The short wall around the four sides have been designed to be seated.
079Hewawissa AmbalamayesCentralKandyThe building is built upon 8 cylindrical pillars with a shape typical on most brick and mortar Ambalams of this era. Four pillars marks the outside corners of the building. Eight more wooden pillars between the brick and mortar pillars provides additional support.
080Ilukthenna AmbalamayesCentralKandylie on the route to famous Suriyagoda Rajamaha Viharaya about 8 km from Kandy city. Unfortunately the Ambalama seems to have been renovated without much consideration to its antiquity some time ago.
081Kadugannawa AmbalamayesCentralKandyOne of the most known and seen ambalama in the country. Said to have built during the reign of King Sri Wickremerajasinghe and must have been a popular stopover for the merchants traveling on the arduous route between ancient hill capital and the lowlands.
082Kaiwadanthenna AmbalamayesCentralKandyA large ambalama made of brick and mortar in the Kaiwadanthenna junction on the Amunugama - Walala road. Roof is built with a gradually increasing slope in the center. Roof is tiles with calicut tiles. Not well maintained.
083Kandekumbura AmbalamayesCentralKandyThis ambalama has been built on 1st March 1938 by a person called Galpatigedhara Kiripuncha. Even though this structure lies just beside a main road, its roof and the structure is crumbling and weeds cover the surrounding area.
084Kandewela Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyFour large pillars with carvings carry the main weight of the roof of this building supported by 12 wooden pillars on the outer square. The inner pillars carry carved designs.
085Karalliyadda AmbalamayesCentralKandyAncient wayside rest made of wood belonging to the Kandyan era lying hidden inside a private property among cement buildings.
086Kathpela AmbalamanoCentralKandyKathpela Ambalama in Hathiyalwela village situated in the Grama Niladhari Division, Metideniya in the Divisional Secretary's Division, Medadumabara in Kandy District in Central Province was declared as an protected archaeological site on 30 Sep 2022.
087Kengalla AmbalamayesCentralKandyBuilt in 1907 by a Tamil planter from Tanjur, Tamil Nadu and member of Nayak dynasty who ruled the Kandyan Kingdom from 1739 to 1815, this 100-year-old ambalama has an interesting story combined with historical facts.
088Kevulgama AmbalamayesCentralKandyA tiny ambalama made of wood in Madamahanuwara area. The base of the structure is made of four large wooden beams raised from the ground. Four finely carved wooden pillars rising from the base holds the roof.
089Kohanga AmbalamanoCentralKandyThe ancient doss house (Kohanga Ambalama) located in the Grama Niladhari Division of Kohonga in Udunuwara Divisional Secretary’s Division in Kandy District, Central Province has been declared as an ancient monument on 16th August 2013 by an extraordinary gazette.
090Konakalagala AmbalamayesCentralKandyA tiny ambalama made of wood in Madamahanuwara area. The base of the structure is made of four large wooden beams raised from the ground. Four finely carved wooden pillars rising from the base holds the roof.
091Konhange AmbalamanoCentralKandyKonhange with traditional carvings was built by a villager in 1800 for those travelling from Kadugannawa to Kurukuththala. No further information available. (source : http://www.island.lk/2009/10/18/leisure1.html). Possibly this the Kurukuththala Ambalama?
092Kumburadeniya AmbalamanoCentralKandyLies in Kamburadeniya village in Daulagala area. Travel 2 miles on the road left to Handessa Vidyalaya to reach the ambalama. Ambalama is built on 4 granite pillars. One of the wooden cross beams in the roof has 2469 BE and 1925 BC caved. Initially had a hay covered roof which was replaced with a tile roof in 1962. (from the publication : Ambalama ha Samajaya by Rohitha Dasanayake.)
093Kumburegama Welamada AmbalamayesCentralKandyAncient Ambalama in Galadedara area. Made of Brick and mortar, this is a well maintained small wayside rest. According to the carving on a wooden beam on the roof, this building has been built in 1912 as a remembrance to Kumburegama Loku Korale who died in 19896 by his son.
094Makuldeniya Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyThe ambalama lie close to the Sub Post Office at Makuldeniya on Teldeniya - Rangala road. No further information available. (source : http://www.island.lk/2009/10/18/leisure1.html).
095Malgamandeniya Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyThis wooden Ambalama at Malgamandeniya lies on the edge of a paddy field interior to the main road. The structure stands on 4 huge raised wooden beams. The roof is held by another four pillars connected to the floor beams.
096Marassana Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyThe Ambalama is believed to be built in the 18th or 19th centuries. The complete ambalama is made of wood from the “Mee” tree. The outer square is 6 feet 20 inches in length and the inner square 4 feet 17 inches in length. The wooden beams rest on 8 granite stumps to protect the wood from rotting.
097Megoda Kalugamuwa AmbalamayesCentralKandyAn ancient wayside rest on the route to to Gampola through Hindagala, about 13 km from Kandy city. The ambalama sits in the middle of a picturesque paddy field on the banks of Mahaweli River in the Kalugamuwa area.
098Muruthalawa AmbalamanoCentralKandyThe ancient doss house (Muruthalawa Ambalama) located in Muruthalawa village, situated in the Grama Niladhari
Division of Sooriyagoda in Yatinuwara Divisional Secretary’s Division in Kandy District, Central Province has been declared as an ancient monument on 16th August 2013 by an extraordinary gazette.
099Nagolla AmbalamanoCentralKandyNagolla Ambalama and inscription situated in the Grama Niladhari Division, Nagolla in the Divisional Secretary's Division, Medadumbara in Kandy District in Central Province was declared an protected archaeological site on 30 Sep 2022.
100Narampanawa AmbalamayesCentralKandyNarampanawa is a small town in Kandy just above Theldeniya on the banks of Hulu Ganga. The Narampanawa Ambalama lies underneath a temple tree on the edge of a picturesque paddy field along the road from Oruthota.
101Naranwala AmbalamayesCentralKandyAn exquisitely built building with typical Kandyan architecture lying 12 kilometers away from Kandy towards Gampola.
102New Kamburadeniya AmbalamayesCentralKandyThis Ambalama is a new structure built in 2021. However this is different from the more recent Ambalama's which were more utilitarian structures compared to works of art in the past. This is a replica of a traditional Sri Lankan timber Ambalama design popular during the Kandyan Era. It was designed by renowned architects to showcase the ancient architectural designs.
103Old Teldeniya AmbalamayesCentralKandyTeldeniya Ambalama had been built on stone pillars with handsomely carved timber beams in a picturesque location in Teldeniya. Since 1985 this area has been submerged under Victoria Reservoir. Stone pillars and beams of wood with carvings are said to be stored at Bambaragala Ministry as per one source and at Balagolla Kali Kovil.
104Palle Degala AmbalamayesCentralKandyThe roof of Palle Digala Ambalama is supported by four pillars made of large cylindrical bricks and mortar. The height of the original footing is not visible due to the elevation of the road here. Thick walls and short walls are used as seat rafts.
105Pattiyawatta AmbalamayesCentralKandyProtected as a designated archaeological monument in 2013. Made of Brick and mortar and none of the kandian architecture is present in the building.Possibly lost during renovations.
106Pitawala Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyA small wooden ambalama built to the Kandyan tradition with exquisitely caved wooden pillars hidden in the ancient Kandy Mahiyangana route in Ududumbara, You need to travel 4-5 km in the mountains from the Kandy Mahiyangana Road to reach this ambalama.
107Poramadulla AmbalamayesCentralKandyHidden behind a large cement arch of the entrance to the Poramadulla Vidyakara Maha Vidyalaya you will find the dilapidated Poramadulla Ambalama neglected and forgotten.
108Pujapitiya Dolapihilla AmbalamayesCentralKandyPujapitiya is a small town 14 km away from Kandy towards Matale. Dolapihilla Ambalama lie close to the Pujapitiya town.Not much information is available on this Ambalama.
109Pujapitiya Dombagammana AmbalamayesCentralKandyPujapitiya is a small town 14 km away from Kandy towards Matale. The Ambalama is made of brick and mortar and is in a dilapidated state. There is no artistic value here other than being part of the ancient Ambalam network in the country.
110Rikillagaskada AmbalamayesCentralKandyUnfortunately being at the center of the town, it has lost its ancient glory and turned in a another building to do a business. The ambalama is dilapidated and the roof has been patched haphazardly with tin roof sheets without any consideration to the antiquity of the building.
111Siridigana Ambalamaapprox. areaCentralKandySiridigana Ambalama situated in the Grama Niladhari Division, Siridigana in the Divisional Secretary's Division,
Medadumbara in Kandy District in Central Province was declared an protected archaeological site on 30 Sep 2022.

This ambalama lies in close proximity to Teldeniya-Rangala road. No further information available. (source : http://www.island.lk/2009/10/18/leisure1.html)
112Teldeniya Putuhapuwa AmbalamayesCentralKandyThe ambalama was delipadated with the part of the roof and and walls caved in until beginning of 2017. The Archaeology department has now carried out a complete restoration of this ambalama while maintaining its ancient design features.
113Udunuwara Wattappola Ambalamaapprox. areaCentralKandyAn ambalama built in 1918 by a pious donor. This is still annually repaired by the relations of the donor. The Ambalama lies in the village of Wattappola which was on the ancient Kandy - Gampola route. Originally made by stone but during repairs a cement layer has been applied on the stone and painted over.
114Uduwawala Ambalama - KatugastotayesCentralKandy A small ancient Ambalama (wayside rest) lies on the Uduwawala Junction on the Katuagastota – Medawala road partly functioning as a Bus Stop.
115Wahugapitiya Purana Gal AmbalamayesCentralKandyAn Ambalama built in 1929 using stone blocks and pillars. Two exquisitely carved Load Ganesh and another deity can be found on the two front pillars.
116Wathupola AmbalamayesCentralKandyThe ancient Wathupola Ambalama (wayside rest) is situated in middle of a paddy field in the Wathupola Grama Niladhari Division, Udunuwara Divisional Secretary’s Division, Kandy District in the Central Province.
117Wathurakumbura Ambalapitiya Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyA small wooden ambalama now in ruins. Only the wooden beams used as the base was intact and the pillars and the roof has collapsed on to the base. However its not known even if colapsed structure remains today or altogether destroyed.
118Wegiriya AmbalamayesCentralKandyThis typical Kandyan style Ambalama is built using 4 huge granite pillars and the roof is built from Jack wood. four sides of the walls are made to used as seats and is built at three heights for different class of people common in during that time. This ambalama has been built in 1925.
119Yakgahapitiya Sirimalwatta AmbalamayesCentralKandyLies on the route to the popular Degaldoruwa Rajamaha Viharaya about 5km from Kandy. A 1995 article describes this ambalama as being built on a rough stone base though now the floor is made of cement.
120Yatawara Gal AmbalamayesCentralKandyYatawara Gal Ambalama is an ancient wayside shelter hidden and unknown in the Yatawara area in Kandy district. The ambalama is built on 4 granite pillars and during renovations, the roof has been made in concrete.
121Yatiwawala AmbalamayesCentralKandyAncient Ambalama in Galadedara area. Made of Brick and mortar, this is a well maintained small wayside rest. Although lacking artistic artifacts, this perfectly represents the accepted social class separation by building seating walls at 3 levels for different social classes.
122Alagalla AmbalamanoSabaragamuwaKegalleA small ambalama in Aranayake, Madiliya in a paddy field. Was reported that this was in a dilapidated state in 2018. No further information available.
123Alawala AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleThis Ambalama is built with 4 pillars holding the roof and 2 wooden pillars at the entrance. The structure stands alone a land covered in tall grass and weed growing all over.
124Algama Mahawaththa AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleLies on the Algama – Horagasmankada road. Made of brick and mortar, the ambalama is rectangular in shape and built on seven square pillars and 2 cylindrical pillars which acts at the entrance pillars.
125Aluthnuwara Giruwa AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA historic wayside rest close to the Aluthnuwara Dedimunda Devalaya in Kegalle District.This site has been built by Queen Sunethradevi, chief consort of King Parakramabahu II (A.D 1236-1276) and mother of King Bhuvanekabahu I.
126Ambulugala AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleThe Amblama lying close to the Ambulugala Viharaya could be old as the temple. Seven pillars hold roof of the structure. Out of which five are stone pillars and other two concrete. In 2019, this ambalama was completely disassembled and the repaired. Parts of stone pillars which had damages has been removed and completed in concrete.
127Godigamuwa AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA dilapidated ambalama made of granite blocks now lies deserted at the center of a paddy field.
128Kegalle Jubilee AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA large building size of a small house lying in the center of the Kagalle City. It has been built in 1887 in parallel to the visit by Queen Victoria of England to then Ceylon.
129Kiuldeniya AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleKiuldeniya Ambalama is a square building made of brick and mortar. This has been built in 1930 as per the engraving on the front wall. The roof is held by four brick pillars and a half height wall is built around the structure. The seating bench built with cement is found only on the rear wall of the ambalama.
130Makadawara AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleLying just 3.5 kilometers away from Colombo Kandy road in Mawanella, this 150 year old ambalama still haven't lost its original charm. A 20x20 feet Ambalama made of Brick. This ambalama has been refereed to as Udamakadawara Ambalama.
131Makehelwala AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleThis is a large the size of a brick and mortar. The roof is made of two layers. The pillars around the ambalama and the place where the two layers join support the large roof. The roof is tiled with flat clay tiles popular in the Kandyan period.
132Makura Ambalamaapprox. locationSabaragamuwaKegalleThis is a unique from all the ambalam in the country since this is built on a granite slab laid across a water canal. The ambalama is located between Hettimulla and Deewala in Kegalle District
133Mangalagama AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleIs situated on the Colombo – Kandy road 85 km away from Colombo. The Ambalama you see today was re-built in 1970 by the Department of Archaeology. By that time only one wooden pillar with the cap and 8 granite pillars had been remaining of the building. The new building had been reconstructed with additional 8 concrete pillars shaped similar to the ancient granite pillars and wooden pillars carved based on the original remaining pillar.
134Mawanella Nepalana AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA brick and mortar way side rest in the Nepalana area in Kegalle District. The ambalama lies along the Mawanella Thalagolla Road adjoining a picturesque paddy field. The history of this Ambalama is not known.
135Molligoda AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA stone Ambalama built close to a ancient Bodhi tree hidden deep inside Mawanella. Built using stone blocks, roof and one pillar is missing in this structure. Pilgrims possibly used the road through Molligoda to reach Aluthnuwara Devalaya and came to make offering to this Bodhi tree.
136Molligoda Pinkumbura AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA stone Ambalama built on the edge of a paddy field by a individual donor with typical Kandyan architecture. Roof is dilapidated without maintenance. Other than this, this is still a grand structure.
137Nilwakka AmbalamanoSabaragamuwaKegallelies about 3 kms from Kegalle on the Nilwakka Road which starts near the Kegalle Police station.
138Parambe AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleNestled within the picturesque paddy fields of Parambe, a quaint ambalama stands as a charming refuge in Kegalle District. This delightful structure, adorned with simplicity, boasts a square design with short walls. Providing convenient seating, the ledges along the walls offer respite for weary travellers.
139Rukula Ambalamaapprox. areaSabaragamuwaKegalleThis ambalama is said to belonging to 13th century, built for travelers to the Devalaya.The Rukula Ambalama is built with brick and motar. 12 large columns carry the weight of the roof. The roof is tiled with semi cylindrical clay tiles (sinhala ulu)
140Ruwanwella AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleThe ambalama lies in the center of the crowded, traffic – congested Ruwanwella town close to the ancient fort. This is said to be the largest ambalama found in the county. Today it is used as a ayurvedic medicine sales outlet for the local government.
141Tholangamuwa AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleTholangamuwa Ambalama is a brick and mortar rectangular structure with 4 brick pillars holding the roof and 2 wooden pillars at the entrance. A short wall is built around the ambalama and the top half is exposed. The roof is tiled with clay calicut tiles (Rata Ulu). The ambalama is built at the road elevation.
142Udumahana Ambalama - MawanellayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA small ambalama made out of brick and mortar. The building is square in its plan and four large pillars hold the roof of the building.
143Wakirigala AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA fairly large ambalama built with 10 granite pillars on the outer square and 4 granite pillars of 20 feet on the inner square. The Northern Entrance of the ambalama is made out of a large granite door frame which is believed to be part of the ancient Wakirigala temple.
144Walalgoda AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleWalalgoda Ambalama is located in Rambukkana 4.5 km away from the town surrounded by lush paddyfields overlooking mountains. This is a simple square structure built of brick and mortar. The four half walls on the four sides are thick, suitable to seat on the wall. There is one opening to enter the Ambalama.
145Waththewa AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA small ambalama built to the Kandyan tradition in front of a picturesque paddy field in Waththewa. Current structure is newly built with cement. Where it was built to replace and older Ambalama is unknown.
146Yatimahana Banagegoda Ancient AmbalamanoSabaragamuwaKegalleA historic wayside rest in the Mawanella DS division declared as an protected archaeological building by the gazette issued on 6th June 2008.
147Ihala Kotuwella AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaIhala Kotuwella Ambalama in Pannala is a simple ambalama lying near a large paddy field by a water steam adjoining the Kotuwella road. Its a brick and mortar square building with half walls. The half walls would have been used as benches as there is no seating inside the Ambalama.
148Karagahagedara AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaIs celebrated for its scenic setting among the local paddy fields. This is built on 4 boulders on a rocky plain.
149Kelimune AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaA delapidated ambalama on the Kurunegala - Wariyapola road.
150Kumarapeliya AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaThe Ambalama at Kumarapeliya is built of stone and cemented with the mix of clay. The history of this Ambalama is not known but this lies underneath a massive Bakmee Tree which is 20-25 feet in Hight. The tree has unusually large knots all over its trunk. It is said such knots develop only after 450-500 years of a Bakmee tree.
151Maspotha AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaMaspotha Ambalama is located at a distance of 4.5 km from Alawwa town and 5.7 km from Nelumdeniya on the Beligala road. Located in the edge of a beautiful paddy field, this ambalama is made of kabok stone and plaster. There is also a well nearby for Ambalama users.
152Panavitiya AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaOne of the most popular ambalama due to its exquisite wood carvings of the Kandyan Era.
153Paramaulla AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaAmbalama lies beside an old Geta Kumbuk tree. According to the the Central Environmental Authority this tree has been lying on a bund of the irrigation reservoir built by king Vijayabahu III (1232-1236) of Dambadeniya kingdom.
154Ranagala AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaRanagala (Renagala) has been a popular ancient cross road connecting Siriwardhanapura, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Kandy. One proof of the importance of this is the ancient Ambalama at Ranagala. This Ambalama lies on the edge of a large paddy field in Ranagala and about 500 meters before the popular Rangala Rajamaha Viharaya.
155Moonrampiddi Madama (Ambalama)yesNorthernMannarOne of the few ambalams built during the British era in the Northern province which are built with Hindu cultural influence. The roof has been destroyed and only the walls remain in this Ambalama which lies 38 km off Mannar on the Jaffna Road
156Vidataltivu Madam (Ambalama)approx. locationNorthernMannarOne of the few ambalams built during the British era in the Northern province which are built with Hindu cultural influence. The roof has been destroyed and only the walls remain in this Ambalama which lies 19 km off Mannar on the Jaffna Road
157Ambokka Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralMataleA small stone ambalama in good conditions hidden in the hills off Matale. The ambalama is said to be about 300 years old. It is built on 4 square stone pillars and the pillars are joint by 4 other horizontal stone pillars which act as seats for the traveler.
158Arambepola AmbalamayesCentralMataleArambepola Ambalama is a small Ambalama lying between Akurana and Alawathugoda on the main road to Matale from Kandy.Made out of clay/cement the the roof is covered with a tin roof today.
159Deevilla AmbalamayesCentralMataleAmbalama stands on 18 massive cement pillars and is a comparatively large ambalama located at the Deevilla Junction.
160Godapola AmbalamayesCentralMataleThis Ambalama stands on a square platform with half walls surrounding the building near a paddy field underneath a patch of large trees. Four octagonal pillars hold the roof of the Ambalama. These pillars are decorated with simple pillar heads (Pekada) with floral designs.
161Katuaththamada AmbalamayesCentralMataleA small ambalama made out of rock and mortar. The building is square in its plan and four large pillars hold the roof made of Calicut clay tiles (Rata Ulu). The pillars are plain and carries no artwork.
162Makuletenna AmbalamayesCentralMataleThe Ambalama at Makulethenna lies just 100 meters away from the Makulethenna Rajamaha Viharaya in Matale. To reach this building from Matale, take the Harrison Jones Road and travel 3.5 km along this narrow road. The ambalama lies near the road surrounded by lush paddy fields.
163Naula AmbalamayesCentralMataleAn ambalama going back to the time of king Devanampiyathissa. However this has been re constructed many times, the last time around 2015. Now only a brick and mortar structure losing all its original glory.
164Nugapitiya AmbalamayesCentralMataleNugapitya Ambalama lies next to a picturesque paddy field in the village of Nugapitiya lying between Kandy and Matale. It is a square brick and mortar building with its roof resting on four pillars. A short wall travels around the Ambalama.
165Padiwita AmbalamayesCentralMataleLies in middle of a paddy field in the Matale District. History of this Ambalama is not known but it can be presumed that this has been built during the Kandyan kingdom, before the British invasion.
166Lenabatuwa AmbalamayesSouthernMataraA brick and mortar wayside rest in front of the Lenabatuwa Wewa also known as Wilpita Wewa. The Ambalama is rectangular in shape and three sides other than the front is fully covered.
167Nelumwewa AmbalamayesSouthernMataraThe Nelumwewa Ambalama, which is now destroyed, is situated along the Ratmale-Dikwella road. It is positioned 900 meters away from the Ratmale junction and approximately 4.5 kilometers from the town of Dikwella. Around 250 years in the past, local villagers collaborated to construct this Ambalama in proximity to a Mara tree.
168Parawahera AmbalamayesSouthernMataraA brick and motar plain wayside rest on the lying 9 kms from Matara on the Ratmale Road built during the 19th century.
169Rathmale AmbalamayesSouthernMataraThe unique Rathmale Ambalama is the only two storied ambalama found in the country. The upper floor of the ambalama is said to be used by the priests and the lower floor by the laymen.
170Uduwaka AmbalamayesSouthernMataraUduwaka Ambalama is a somewhat recent resting place in Matara District lying 8km off Weligama (2.7 km off Thelijjawila) on the Weligama Thelijawila road. The Ambalama lies by the main road, next to a lush paddy field.
171Wellamadama Ganadevi AmbalamayesSouthernMataraOne of the most ancient ambalamas with at least a 500 years old history. Only ruins remain today due to neglect.
172Weragampita AmbalamayesSouthernMataraAn ambalama built during 18th or 19th century centered around the ancient Navinna ferry port across Nilwala Ganga.
173Hanguranketha AmbalamayesCentralNuwara EliyaLie between the Pothgul Rajamaha Viharaya and the Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya. Believed to be built around 150 years ago.
174Kotagapitiya Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralNuwara EliyaA small Ambalama lying on the narrow road to Kotagapitiya which is believed to be built by the prince Dutugemunu. It is built on a square platform made of granite blocks. The roof is held by four finely cut granite pillars.
175Kothmale Hadunuwewa AmbalamayesCentralNuwara EliyaOne of the 5 ancient Ambalama in Kothmale area now in a dilapidated state. Made of granite blocks, this is a small square structure.
176Madanwala AmbalamayesCentralNuwara EliyaAn ambalama built in 1901 by a donor during the times when this was a trade route carrying goods on bullock carts. During these days, it has been popular among the cart drivers and sales men. Today this building is used as a pre-school and a self employment training center.
177Morapaya AmbalamayesCentralNuwara EliyaLies about 2 kms on the road to Mandaram Nuwara from Padiyapellela. Even through lying right next to the road, this Ambalama doesn’t seems to have been caught the eye of the authorities.
178Ranamune AmbalamayesCentralNuwara EliyaAssociated with the time prince Dutugemunu hid away from his father in Kothmale. Lies atop a paddy field close to a water sprout which is also believed to be a bathing place of the prince.
179Batadura AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaRatnapuraUnknown Ambalama located 7 km off Opanayake on the Galkanda road. No photos or description available.
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