Balana Fort – බලන බලකොටුව

balana fort

After the Portuguese landed in Sri Lanka in 1505, their aim was to acquire more territory. But, the Balana rock fortress that served as an observation post stood against an invasion of the Kandyan kingdom. At that time the Portuguese were in control of the kingdoms of Kotte, Sitawaka and Jaffna. But despite their attempts to capture Kandy in 1594, 1603 and 1630 they failed.

After the Portuguese landed in Sri Lanka in 1505, their aim was to acquire more territory. But, the Balana rock fortress that served as an observation post stood against an invasion of the Kandyan kingdom. At that time the Portuguese were in control of the kingdoms of Kotte, Sitawaka and Jaffna. But despite their attempts to capture Kandy in 1594, 1603 and 1630 they failed. The Balanna ‘look out’ post was the main obstacle.

After the death of King Senerat, his son Rajasinghe II and his cousins, Wijayapala and Kumarasingha took control of Uva and Matale. Rajasinghe had experience in war, having fought side by side with his father Senarath and his two cousins at Randeniwa.

Rajasinghe negotiated with the Dutch to help him out to rid of the Portuguese. However the Portuguese, who had an excellent spy system, got to know of the negotiations and hastened in their attempts to capture Kandy.

Rajasinghe too knew of the superior strength of the Portuguese Captain General in Colombo, Dego de Mello Castro’s and his forces. So he tried to negotiate with the Portuguese to come to some terms to ensure that his men and the people would not suffer in their hands. But, the arrogant Castro rebuffed Rajasinghe who left the city of Kandy. Consequently when the Portuguese arrived at the city they found it empty.

Rajasinghe had other plans and took his troops into the hills in the interior regions of the country and waited for the return of the Portuguese. The Portuguese failed in their attack of the Sinhala army. And finally, on March 28, 1638 the Portuguese tried to retreat to Balana, but were killed by Rajasinghe’s army.

Balana has been the watch tower of the Kandyan kingdom. But today although it is in the hands of the Archaeological Department, the Balana rock fortress is badly in need of restoration.

The Daily Mirror
by BY L.B. SENARATNE

Also See

Map of  Balana Fort

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Travel Directions to Balana Fort

To reach Balana you need to travel about 5 kms on the poththapitiya (පොත්තපිටිය) Road which begins near the Kadugannawa Railway station. Then turn left in to the road which leads to Balana which is approx. 3km away. To reach the fort, you need to hike about 500 metres from the main road through a tea estate.

Route from Kandy to Balana

Route from Kadugannawa to Balana

Though : Kandy Colombo Road – Kadugannawa
distance :28 km
Travel time : 1 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
distance : 9 km
Travel time : 30 mins
Driving directions : see on google map

 

© www.amazinglanka.com
first published : July 14, 2012
Posted in Heritage Tagged with: ,
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