Moat and Ramparts of Kotte Kingdom

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Current Status of the moat of the Kotte Kingdom

Current Status of the moat of the Kotte Kingdom
Photo licensed under CC BY 2.0 by Indi Samarajiva

“It is common that a kingdom would have moats around it and also forts for protection,” said Hatharasinghe. “Many of the said locations of the moats and forts cannot be seen today due to the fact that plenty of the ruins of the kingdom were destroyed by both the Dutch and the Portuguese. Many historic and religious sites were brought down to the ground by these invaders and instead, new developments made way. Even today, it is hard to find some of the existing moats and forts, purely because a lot has changed in the area. Homes, stores and roads have been built with much negligence to the history of the last kingdom of this nation.”

Of what little can be seen from certain pathways in the area, there were inner and outer fortifications. The thickness between the two fortifications roughly measures to about nine feet wide and each fortification measures to about nine feet in height.

Remnants An ancient Kabook, or iron-stone clay wall

Remnants An ancient Kabook, or iron-stone clay wall
Photo licensed under CC BY 2.0 by Indi Samarajiva

Although the people in the area are not allowed to build their homes close to or around the ruins of the Kotte Kingdom, this law is not respected. The said gazetted law which was implemented last in the year 2007 is that no structure can be built five feet from and ten feet away from the fortifications. Unfortunately, houses that exist today have been built and families have been living in the vicinities for many years.

This tunnel was built with the use of kabok stone. Partial views of a lion-head gateway can also be seen. Regardless, the site of the tunnel is unkempt and overgrown with weeds. Tales about the tunnel goes to say that this was the escape route of Veediya Bandara, when he was running for cover from enemy attacks.

source : Ceylon Today

 

Very little exists of the Kotte Ramparts. A small section of the ramparts can be seen on the Rampart Road, Kotte. To access this you need to turn right in to the Rampart Road near the Kotte Museum from Kotte Road. Again turn right at the “T” junction and right again  on to the 1st lane. This lane leads you to the south Ramparts and the inner moat. The south of the fortified city faced the open land, and was not protected by the rivulets or the swamp. This special moat was built to protect the city from the only side that was vulnerable from a land attack. The southern gate and draw bridge that was built over this inner moat, was the main entrance to the city of Kotte.

To see the rest of the ramparts, go down Rampart road again and turn into Rampart Road – Third Lane. At the end of the lane, you will find parts of the ramparts still in a good state. These were part of the city’s eastern defenses. The road known as “Sri Lanka Nippon Avenue” road skirts the eastern defenses. This road starts near the bridge at Parliament Road, travels along the Diyawanna Oya and connects to Beddagana.  The Rampart road also connects to this road at the other end.  A drive down this road will give a visitor a good view of the eastern flank and some of the remaining pieces of the ramparts and moat.

Also See

Map of Kotte Ramparts

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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.

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Travel Directions to Kotte Ramparts

Route from Colombo to  Kotte Ramparts

Through : Rajagiriya
Distance : 10 km
Travel time : 30 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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