Vannadі Brіdge – The Ancient Stone Bridge at Kayankerni – කයන්කේනි පුරාණ ගල් පාලම

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Remains of the ancient Kayyankerni stone bridge
Remains of the ancient Kayyankerni stone bridge
Image courtesy of Dr. Ashan Geeganage

This stone bridge is located west of the Kayankenі Junction and it has fallen across the Kayankenі Lagoon. The bridge belonged to the Kayankenі Grama Niladhari Division of Vakare Secretariat zone. The bridge has extended from east to west and the existing length of this stone bridge is about 200m when looked at from eye level. Some pillars had fall across the lagoon. The bottom of the pillars were built vertically covered with water to some extent.

This bridge is known as “Vannadі bridge” to the people who live in the area. “Vannadі” is a Tamil term that means “butterfly”. About 2km to east of the Kayankenі stone bridge and about 200m towards land from the Kayankenі coast, there are lots of ruins spread over land of covering few kilometers.

We succeed in discovering lot of architectural items like different sized stone pillars, Kοrawak Gal and Sandakada Pahana (mοοnstοnes) from this place and the above mentioned Kayankenі bridge also appears to lead toward this land.

Local sources informed us that in the past there was a Royal School in this ruined area and they believe this road was the way used by the ancient royal princes and princesses to reach this school (Interview: S. H.Tіlakaratna, Ranjіth Bandara on 15. 08. 2012). While observing the geographical background of this Kayankenі area, we saw this place could have been a sea bay. Therefore it can be identified as a suitable location for a harbour.

These factors may suggest a new historical story regarding the polonnaruwa kingdom, where we would have an ancient harbour and an ancient religious place that was connected to the harbour. But this sit requires further study.

Extracted from : New Maritime Archaeological discoveries in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka with special emphasis on Trincomalee to Pothuvil
by A. M. A. Dayananda and Mahinda Karunarathna
Maritime Archaeology Unit, Central Cultural Fund, Ministry of Culture and the Arts
Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

To view the remains of the Vannadі bridge, you will need to take a ride on a fishing boat on the lagoon. For a trip report to this site by Dr. Ashan Geeganage who contributed the above photos can be found here.

There are at number of stone bridges discovered  in Sri Lanka. These are in various states while some have been conserved to an extent. The most popular is the bridge over the Malwathu Oya.

  1. Stone Bridge over Malwathu Oya (Anuradhapura)
  2. Stone Bridge over Halpan Ela (Anuradhapura)
  3. Stone Bridge close to Mahakanadarawa Reservoir (Mihintale)
  4. Stone Bridge at the Girihandu Seya  (Tiriyaya)
  5. Kayankerni Stone Bridge  (Eastern Province)
  6. Habagama Stone Bridge
  7. Yanoya Stone Bridge
  8. Weliela Mankada Stone Bridge
  9. Palamgala Stone Bridge
  10. Alubedda Stone Bridge
  11. Palugaswewa Stone Bridge
  12. Thirappane Stone Bridge
  13. Ebawalapitiya Stone Bridge
  14. Thulawelliya Stone Bridge

Also See

Map of the The Ancient Stone Bridge at Kayankerni

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Traveling Directions to the The Ancient Stone Bridge at Kayankerni

Route from Trincomalee to The Ancient Stone Bridge at Kayankerni Route from Batticaloa to The Ancient Stone Bridge at Kayankerni
Through : Kinniya – Mutur – Serunuwara – Verugal – Kathiraveli – Vakare
Distance : 95 km
Travel time : 2.15  hours
Driving directions : see on google maps
Through : Chenkaladi – Kalkuda
Distance : 43 km
Travel time : 1.15  hours
Driving directions : see on google maps


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