The British, who were the last colonial rulers of Sri Lanka, are credited with the development of most of the highways and railways which are even today used in Sri Lanka. The construction of these transportation networks by the British played a pivotal role in fostering the economic growth of the country, serving administrative functions, and expediting the transportation of economic goods.
During the initial phase, roads were constructed to create links between major cities such as Galle, Colombo, Matara, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Negombo, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota, Nuwara Eliya, and various others. Strategically placed mileposts were installed to measure the distances between these destinations.
In the present day, the unit of measurement for distance has shifted from miles to kilometres. Furthermore, the conventional mileposts have been substituted with kilometre posts, constructed from uniform concrete, making them indistinguishable.
Among the historical mileposts installed by the British Public Works Department, only a few remain scattered around the country. They are carved in stone, and some are unique in their own way.
A milestone carved out of stone is found at Dam Street in Colombo 12. This stone is about 2½ feet in height. The top of the pillar is arched and number 1 is carved at the center. No other special characteristics are found on this pillar.
- Manathunga, S.B. (2020) පෞරාණික ස්ථාන හා ස්මාරක : කොළඹ දිස්ත්රික්කය . 3rd edn. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Department of Archaeology.
Map of 1st Mile Post at Dam Street Colombo 12
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Travelling Directions to 1st Mile Post at Dam Street Colombo 12
|Route from Colombo to the 1st Mile Post at Dam Street Colombo 12
Distance : 3.5 km
Travel time : 10 minutes
Driving Directions : see on Google map