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

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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 the 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 fallen across the lagoon. The bottom of the pillars was built vertically and covered with water to some extent.

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

We succeeded in discovering a 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 site 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. A trip report to this site by Dr. Ashan Geeganage who contributed the above photos can be found here.

Other Stone Bridges of Sri Lanka

There are many 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. Alubedda Stone Bridge
  2. Angammedilla National Park Stone Bridge (Polonnaruwa)
  3. Ebawalapitiya Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Deduru Oya
  4. Girihandu Seya Stone Bridge (Tiriyaya)
  5. Habagama Stone Bridge
  6. Halpan Ela Stone Bridge (Anuradhapura)
  7. Kayankerni Stone Bridge  (Eastern Province)
  8. Mahakanadarawa Wewa Stone Bridge (Mihintale)
  9. Nirawiya Farm Gal Palama (Thambuttegama)
  10. Palugaswewa Stone Bridge
  11. Pavakkulam Stone Bridge (Vavuniya)
  12. Perimiyankulama Gal Palama over Malwathu Oya (Anuradhapura)
  13. Ritigala Gal Palama (Anuradhapura)
  14. Sukara Nijjara Gal Amuna and Stone Bridge
  15. Thimbiripokuna Palamgala Gal Palama
  16. Thirappane Stone Bridge
  17. Thulawelliya Stone Bridge
  18. Ullukkulama Stone Bridge
  19. Vannadi Palama (Vannadi Stone Bridge) and Amuna
  20. Weliela Mankada Stone Bridge
  21. Yanoya 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.

Travelling Directions to 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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