Anuradhapura was the first real capital of Sri Lanka over two thousand two hundred years ago. The road network was in a highly developed stated during this era, with major roads leading to Trincomalee, Mannar, Jaffna and the southern kingdoms from Anuradhapura. These roads were not only used for foot traffic but carts carrying goods traveling on trade and commercial activities. With the development of the road network, the ancient kings built sturdy bridges out of granite slabs and pillars. Ruins in various bridges around Anuradhapura can be found across Malwathu Oya, Hal Pan Ela, Kandara Oya, Yan Oya, Kala Oya and Deduru Oya.
Outside the more popular stone bridges over Malwathu Oya and Halpan Oya, ruins of few other bridges have been discovered. There may be many more still undiscovered stone bridges across the unknown ancient routes.
As you travel along the Yodha Ela originating from Kala Wewa Reservoir towards the famous Avukana Buddha Statue, you will come across the Hondungama four way junction after passing the Avukana Statue. Turning right at this small roundabout leads to the small town of Hiripitiyagama. Traveling a little over an kilometer along this road will bring you to the bridge over Kala Oya also originating from Kala Wewa. Taking the gravel road to right just before the bridge and traveling about 800 meters upstream from the bridge lies indications of an ancient stone bridge across Kala Oya. This bridge had connected Alubedda and Palugaswewa across Kala Oya.
These ruins lies in the left bank belong to the Aluth Udagama in Alubedda GS division belonging to Galnewa PS division which in turn belongs to Anuradhapura district.
The bridge is built using a flat rock plain which lie across the river. Deep cavities has been carved in to the rock to fit large rock pillars. These holes are approx 45 centimeters in length and width. Its about 52 cm in depth which is more than over 1/2 meter. There are two rows of cavities running to a distance of about 66.5 meters across the rock surface. The distance between the rows are 2.8 meters and the cavities has been carved at 3.14 – 3.47 meter gaps.
The bridge had been connected to a natural rock surface on the southern bank. A 170 cm long 60 cm wide and 27 cm deep cavitiy has been caved on the vertical surface of this natural rock. The rock pillars and slabs for the bridge has been provided by a close by rock. Evidence of rock quarrying still can be seen on these places.
Since the the Kala Oya is quite wide at this location, the bridge doesn’t seems to have survived for long. No rock pillars or slabs which was part of the bridge are not found in the vicinity either. However ruins of another stone bridge and a amuna are found 200 meters downstream. It is most probable that the remains of this bridge had been re purposed to build the Palugaswewa Stone Bridge 200 meters away.
The same author discusses a existence of a ancient Amuna (weir / anicut) called Palugaswewa Gal Palama in another published paper. This amuna was used to divert water to a canal which on the left bank 200 meters above the dam.
“This canal which starts from the left bank, about 200 meters above the Alubedda old dam built in Kala oya, irrigates a large area. The breadth at the bottom of the canal is almost 5 meters. It is in folklore that, this canal, runs westward and had been constructed up to Puttalama, viapresent Parakramapura and Rajanganaya.”
According the authors notes the stone bridge / amuna lies at the GPS location 8°4’50.02″, 80°20’29.31″. However this points to location far off the possible area and is possibly and publishing mistake. The marker on the Google Map below is the possible area of this amuna based on the directions given.
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.
- Stone Bridge over Malwathu Oya (Anuradhapura)
- Stone Bridge over Halpan Ela (Anuradhapura)
- Stone Bridge close to Mahakanadarawa Reservoir (Mihintale)
- Stone Bridge at the Girihandu Seya (Tiriyaya)
- Kayankerni Stone Bridge (Eastern Province)
- Habagama Stone Bridge
- Yanoya Stone Bridge
- Weliela Mankada Stone Bridge
- Palamgala Stone Bridge
- Alubedda Stone Bridge
- Palugaswewa Stone Bridge
- Thirappane Stone Bridge
- Ebawalapitiya Stone Bridge
- Thulawelliya Stone Bridge
- පුරාණ ශ්රී ලංකාවේ ශෛලමය පාලම් නිර්මාණ කිහිපයක් සහ එහි තාක්ෂණය පිලිබඳ මූලික විමසුමක් – ආචාර්ය චන්දන රෝහණ විතානාච්චි
- Ancient Irrigation System of Dry and Intermediate Zones as Revealed from Ancient Canals – Dr. C.R. Withanachchi
- Hydro Heritage of Sri Lanka
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of the Ruins of Alubedda Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Kala Oya
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 Ruins of Alubedda Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Kala Oya
Route from Kekirawa to Ruins of Alubedda Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Kala Oya
|Through : Kalawewa – Avukana|
Distance : 26 km
Travel time :1 hour
Time to spend : 30 mins to 1 hour
Driving directions : see on google maps