Ambalama Heritage of Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ පුරාණ අම්බලම්)

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Karagahagedara Ambalama
Karagahagedara Ambalama

In the ancient times, when there were no proper roadways or transport facilities other than narrow footpaths through dense jungles. Infested with wild animals and for transport only bullock carts were available, the villagers very seldom opt to leave their villages for Pilgrimages or to visit their friends and relatives who stayed in other areas. With greatest difficulties and hundred and one risks, one journey, they dared to take was to go to Sri Pada once a year to worship. It is said that since this was a very dangerous journey, the villagers, were in the habit of transferring their belongings and properties to next of kin as they were doubtful of their safe return.

Since this journey takes a number of days, they had to spend the nights in some safe place and relax. Main purpose of building ambalams was to help these travelers to rest their weary limbs, prepare meals and to spend the night. Very often these ambalams were erected near a stream. Also by the side of it they placed a big pitcher of water called “pinthaaliya” moulded either in clay or stone.

The Sri Lankan-born art-historian and philosopher Ananda K Coomaraswamy in an open letter to the Kandyan chiefs published in the Ceylon Observer on 17th February 1905, referring to ambalams says “Of the latter I know but few really fine and ancient example; of these, one is at Mangalama near Kegalle; this Ambalama was rebuilt so late as the middle of the last century from the materials of the earlier one, and is, even so, a very fine specimen of Kandyan architecture specially as regards the timbering of the roof and the beautiful gones or drooping lotus capitals, so different from careless modern copies that are sometimes seen, as for example in the new ambalama at Ratnapura, which is indeed built in a real Kandyan style, but much degraded in the details of its wood-work”.

In addition to using ambalams as resting places for the weary travellers, they were used as centres to exchange news and to chew betel in leisure. Also it was the place where village committees met. Robert Knox in his book on Ceylon says: “At their leisure when their affairs will permit, they commonly meet at places built for strangers and way-faring men to lodge in, in their language called Amblomb, where they sit chewing betel and looking one upon the other very gravely and solidly, discoursing concerning the affairs of court between the king and the great men; and what employment the people of the city are busied about. For as it is the chief of their business to serve the King, so the chief of their discourse is concerning such matters. Also they talk of their own affairs, about cattle and husbandry. And when they meet with outlandish men they inquire about the laws and government of their country, and if it be like theirs; and what taxes and duties we are bound to pay, and perform to our king, &c” Thus we could see, the ambalams had played a very intimate and vital role in the lives of the villagers.

Davy in his book on Ceylon says that at Rambukwella, in Teldeniya, there was a small ambalama in close proximity to a beautiful temple custody of which was under four Buddhist monks.

In the Sinhalese encyclopedia (Volume 1, Page 696-1963 First Edition) ambalama is defined as a kind of hall erected by the side of the road for the benefit of wayfarers to relax on the way, as vehicles were rare in ancient times.

It was believed that to build these Ambalamas for the use of travelers is a meritorious deed and to pollute them is an unpardonable sin. On this belief people of means did not hesitate to construct these resting places on suitable locations and. They tried. Their best to keep- them spick and span.

In some of these ambalams there had been planks erected as seats on different levels. It was said, specially when there were discussions on matters relating to the village with the elders and the chiefs of the village, those who gather there are expected to occupy the seats according to their age, status and sometimes according to their castes as well.

Even in our Sandeesha poems (Messenger Poems) reference had been made to ambalams. For example verse number 110 of Selalihini Sandeeshaya and verse number 166 of Gira Sandeeshaya request their ‘Messengers’ to enjoy the beautiful vista of the surrounding and to rest at the ambalama before proceeding.

Due to carelessness, ignorance or lack of patriotism most of these Ambalams are no more and what is left are in a dilapidated condition which need early attention for the benefit of our descendents.

In addition to the famous ambalama at Kadugannawa which was recently renovated by the archeological department at a cost of Rs. 300,000.00, some of the ambalams in the central province are at Siridigana, close proximity to Teldeniya-Rangala road, at Teldeniya close to the police station by the side of Kandy-Mahiyangana road, at Kengalle on the Kandy-Digana road via Kundasale, at Makuldeniya close to the Sub Post Office, Makuldeniya, on Teldeniya-Rangala road and at Dunhinna on Teldeniya-Werapitiya road close to Dunhinna Rural Hospital. On the Old Victoria road about 1 1/2 km. from Digana Junction there are remnants of a Gal Ambalama. It is revealed that most of the stone pillars and slabs have been removed by unscrupulous people to construct houses or to beautify their gardens.

Other than above, there are several ambalams and remnants of ambalams strewn in most parts of the country. Just a few of them are at Daulugala and Embekke in Kandy district, Panavitiya on Dambadeniya-Anuradhapura road, Walawala – along Beliatte-Hakmana road, Werahera, Pita Kotte and on the Bellanwila road.

Before long, since there’s a possibility of these buildings of archeological value to disappear, for the sake of posterity it’s the bounden duty of those in authority to take immediate precautionary measures to protect and maintain these Ambalams – our architectural heritage.

Lionel de silva
The Island

Ancient Ambalam of Sri Lanka

001Alapatwewa AmbalamanoNorth CentralAnuradhapuraArcheologists mapping the ancient road network from Anuradhapura found remains of ambalamas at Vijayarama and Alapatwewa. At Alapatwewa the ambalama was placed at a junction where several roads met. It was about 48 feet long, rectangular and constructed on a natural bed rock.
002Maha Elagamuwa AmbalamayesNorth CentralAnuradhapuraA bana maduwa built in 18th century has been relocated to this location in 1904 and currently being used as a ambalama. The pillars have been built with brick and plaster but the wooden beams on the roof have been reused and still the ancient carvings can be seen on these.
003Ambagasdowa Thotupala Arawa AmbalamayesUvaBadullaA 300 year old open square ambalama made with four stone pillars hidden in the village of Thotupola Arawa
004Ambalanpotha AmbalamayesUvaBadullaBuilt in a elephant infested forest long time ago, this Ambalama is built on a 8 foot high brick platform to protect the vary travelers from elephant attacks in the night.
005Badulla Kachcheriya AmbalamayesUvaBadullaLies inside the Kachcheri land in the middle of the Badulla town. The ambalama has been built during early 19th century with finely carved wooden pillars, arches and pillar tops.
006Dehikindayaya Ambalamaapprox. locationUvaBadullaAn ambalama going back to the time of king Walagamba. However this has been re constructed many times. The current brick stucture is in a dilapidated state.
007Ettampitiya AmbalamayesUvaBadullaStands on Welimada- Badulla road on the junction at the turn off to the Ketawala road. This is a small brick and mortar building tiled with sinhala ulu.
008Kahaththewela AmbalamayesUvaBadullaLies in Bandarawela. In 2013, this ambalama was completely reconstructed and what is seen today is this re constructed building. How much of its original design and architecture had been preserved is not known.
009Ketawala AmbalamayesUvaBadullaa small brick and mortar structure with no special decoration built on the ancient route to Kandyan kingdom to Muthiyangana Viharaya in Badulla
010Kirioruwa Ambalamaapprox. locationUvaBadullaA small brick and mortar hidden away from popular road network between Bandarawela and Attempitiya.
011Kolongahamaditta Ambalamaapprox. locationUvaBadullaThe ambalama is a brick and mortar square structure with four huge cylindrical pillars rising from the half height walls. The half walls of the ambalama served as a benches for the travelers.
012Moragolla AmbalamayesUvaBadullaA small ambalama in the middle of Downside estate just 2.5 km off Welimada town. Made of brick and mortar this ambalama has been recently renovated and the clay tiles have been replaced by galvanized roofing sheets.
013Potawa AmbalamanoUvaBadullaNot much information. Has been renovated around 2009-10 by the department of archaeology
014Wattekele Ambalamaapprox. locationUvaBadullaProtected as a designated archaeological monument in 2013. No other information available
015Athurugiriya AmbalamayesWesternColomboThis Ambalama is a comparatively large brick and mortar structure with a large verandah on 2 sides lying close to a paddy field.
016Bellanwila AmbalamayesWesternColomboDoes not exisit. Only the name remains as Ambalama Junction
017Gelanigama AmbalamayesWesternColomboLie close to the Southern Expressway entrance at Gelanigama on the Panadura - Horana road.
018Pitakotte Gal AmbalamayesWesternColomboLying at the Pitakotte junction this ancient ambalama is over looked by many and has become home to street vendors.
019Baddegama AmbalamayesSouthernGalleAn ambalama built in 1911 to commemorate the coronation of King George V on 22 June 1911 by a local. The commemoration plaque carved in to a stone pillar still can be seen at the site.
020Galle Fort AmbalamayesSouthernGalleLies at the far end of the fort in the open space known as the Courthouse Square. This is a simple brick and mortar structure with with four cylindrical pillars.
021Habaraduwa Meepe AmbalamayesSouthernGalleA 200 year old Ambalama constructed in the middle of a picturesque paddy field. The dilapidated ambalama has been restored and conserved in 2016 by the department of archaeology.
022Thawalama Batahena AmbalamayesSouthernGalleAm ambalama built in 1915 near Gin Ganga to help the goods carrying bullock cart owners as well as the boatmen to rest safety during the night. Has been restored in 2019.
023Weniyarawela AmbalamayesSouthernGalleAncient Ambalama which has been rebuilt in 1967 in a different shape. The associated well has been filled with earth around 2019 and cannot be seen anymore.
024Ahugammana AmbalamayesWesternGampahaA large ambalama made of brick and mortar in Ahugammana village in Gampaha District. Recently outer wall has been painted with drawings.
025Ambagaspitiya AmbalamayesWesternGampahaA 18th century wayside rest built on granite pillars situated on the Yakkala-Radawana road, 4.7 km from Yakkala. The ambalama is built with 12 granite pillars with a design similar to the Gallindawatta Ambalama few kilometers away.
026Ambagaspitiya Gallindawatta AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThe ambalama is built on a small square granite platform. The roof is held by four granite pillars with alternating 4 sided and 8 sided shape,
027Amunugoda AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama is a brick and mortar structure with seven brick pillars holding the roof lying by a paddy field.
028Apalawatta Ambalama (Yatawaka Ambalama)yesWesternGampahaNine brick pillars hold the roof of the building and a half height wall is built around the building. Out of the nine pillars, four pillars at the corners are square and the others are cylindrical. All the pillars are plain and carries no artwork.
029Awariyawala AmbalamayesWesternGampahabelieved to be built by king Wattagamini Abaya aka king Walagamba (89-77 BC). The ambalama lies in a picturesque landscape on a flat rock adjoining a small pond.
030Balabowa AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama is a brick and mortar structure with four brick pillars holding the roof lying in the middle of a paddy field.
031Bogahawaththa AmbalamayesWesternGampahalying close the the Kirindiwela police station, the ambalama is rectangular in shape and built on 10 granite pillars.
032Bollatha AmbalamayesWesternGampahaLies at the 5th mile post on Kandana – Ganemulla Road. The Ambalama has been restored recently with brick and cement. It is quite small and has a single entrance from the Walpola Road.
033Bothale Welameda AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThe history of the Bothale village goes back to times of King Gothabaya (253-266 AD) of Anuradhapura kingdom. Lies in the middle of a paddy field.
034Bulugahagoda AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama is a brick and mortar structure with four brick pillars hold the roof of the building supported by five wooden pillars believed to be built about 100 years ago.
035Daranagama AmbalamayesWesternGampahaA square ambalama made of cement adjoing a paddy field in Daranagama area. No historical records are available. This has been recently restored and renovated.
036Kehelella AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama at Kehelella is made of brick and mortar. Although this design is not unique in artistic quality, it is unique as an Ambalama, a part of the extended ancient ambalama network across the country and a record of ancient hospitality extended to unknown visitors traveling through the village.
037Kossinna AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama is a brick and mortar structure with seven brick pillars holding the roof lying in the middle of a paddy field.
038Kottunna AmbalamayesWesternGampahaLies in on the Biyagama - Kottunna road in Kaduwela. A square ambalama made in the recent past using brick and mortar. Has no artistic value. However the roof has been built using the typical Kandyan era ambalam architecture using a Madol Kurupawa and connecting all the wooden beeams to a central wooden nail.
039Mattagoda Galekade AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThis Ambalama is a comparatively large brick and mortar structure with a large verandah on 2 sides lying close to a paddy field.
040Putupagala AmbalamayesWesternGampahaThe ambalama lies in the village of Putupagala in the Gampaha District. This ambalama is believed to be built by king Weeraparakrama (1477 – 1489) of Kotte kingdom.However this has been demolished and some stones have been used to build a small shrine at the same location.
041Udammita Ambalama - VeyangodayesWesternGampahaThis is an ancient brick and mortar wayside rest built in 1829 on the Nittambuwa – Veyangoda road. This ambalama is a comparatively large building, size of a small house with 2 rooms.
042Wathumulla Ketawala AmbalamyesWesternGampahaThe Ketawala Ambalama in Wathumulla is an ancient wayside rest now lying in surrounded by paddy fields. The ambalama lies close to the Daraluwa Railway Station.
043Wegowwa Ambalama - MinuwangodayesWesternGampahaLacking the typical architectural features of ambalama buildings of Kandyan era, this is a brick and mortar house with a single room and a half height wall going around the building.
044Walawela AmbalamayesSouthernHambantotaAncient wayside rest made in 1895. A unique stone water tank which is decorated with elaborated carvings on the sides can be found at the site.
045Aru Kaal Madam (Ambalama)yesNorthernJaffnaThis Six Pillar Choultry is built on a 70cm high platform with six pillars holding the roof and open from all sides. The other components of this building lies left to this structure.
046Keeramale Sirappar Madam (Ambalama)yesNorthernJaffnaConsidered the largest if not one the largest Ambalama in Sri Lanka, Sirappar Madam (ambalama) would have been built for pilgrims to Nakuleswaram Kovil in the ancient past.
047Point Pedro Theru Moodi Madam (Ambalama)yesNorthernJaffnaThe Ambalama structure at Theru Moodi Madam is another little gem in Jaffna which very few even knows of its existence. Ambalam (madam) in Jaffna Peninsula is generally different to the such structures in other areas.
048Santhaiyaar Madam (Ambalama)yesNorthernJaffnaThe most significant item at this site is the ancient pond which is built with the coral stone. The pond is about 12 meters long and slants towards the bottom of the tank from the side of the road. Steps has been built for easy access to the water when the water levels are low.
049Kirigala AmbalamayesWesternKalutaraA brick and mortar wayside rest but built similar to a small house lying on the Meepe – Ingiriya Road inside the Sagara Palansuriya Maha Vidyalaya premises.
050Ambagasthanne Kurukuttala AmbalamayesCentralKandyKurukuttala Ambalama is an ancient wayside rest now lying in surrounded by paddy fields on the road to Ambagasthanne from Illukwatte close to Kadugannawa. This is also known by the names of Aladuwaka Ambalama and Rammatha Ambalama.
051Amunugama AmbalamayesCentralKandyOver 100 years old now dilapidated small ambalama made of brick and mortar lies deserted at a edge of a paddy field.
052Appallagoda AmbalamayesCentralKandyBuilt in 1922 this ambalama has a floor area of approximately 80 square meters and it measures 5.6 meters from floor to pinnacle. The roof is supported by two sets of stone columns, 12 externally and 4 internally.
053Aththaragama AmbalamayesCentralKandyAncient Ambalama on the Katugastota - Medawala road. Still maintains in its original design and the stone cut panthaliya (water container). Wooden pillars contains simple simple designs such as flowers, elephants and floral designs. The pekada's (pillar heads) too are caved in a simple spiral design.
054Bowala Ratu AmbalamayesCentralKandyThis Ambalama has been built and completed on 9th July 1937 in memory of Uduwaralle H. M. Kiribanda Loku Nilame who died in 1937. The Building is a square structure built using brick and mortar with 2 pillars in front. The rear is wall with curved top creating space for ventilation.
055Daskara Galkona AmbalamayesCentralKandyRecently restored beautiful Ambalama with typical old Kandyan architecture. Made of stone blocks and a majestic roof structure.
056Daulagala AmbalamayesCentralKandyTha Ambalama lies on the junction where Watadeniya road meets Peradeniya – Gadoladeniya Road (B116) at Daulagala Town.
057Dehalkada AmbalamayesCentralKandyA large ambalama made of kabook and mortar in the Dehalkada junction in Marassana. The design of this ambalama is unique with the walls gradually angling upwards towards the four corners. In addition 3 more towers rising from 3 sides of the wall hold the roof. The roof is covered with of galvanized roofing sheets.
058Digana Gal AmbalamayesCentralKandyLie on the Old Victoria road about 1 1/2 km. from Digana Junction there are remnants of a Gal Ambalama. It is revealed that most of the stone pillars and slabs have been removed by unscrupulous people to construct houses or to beautify their gardens.
059Dodanwala AmbalamayesCentralKandyAn ambalama built 1875 with brick and mortar with typical Kandyan architecture hidden away on a by-lane among houses.
060Dunhinna Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyLie on the Teldeniya-Werapitiya road close to Dunhinna Rural Hospital. No further information available. (source :
061Elikewala Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyA small wooden ambalama built to the Kandyan tradition with caved wooden pillars. However the designs are not clear due to aging.
062Embekke AmbalamayesCentralKandyLies on the route to Embekke Devalaya. It is generally accepted that this Ambalama is much older than the Embekke Devalaya and was probably built by king Buvanekabahu IV (1341-1351) of Gampola kingdom.
063Ganewela AmbalamayesCentralKandyAn ambalama which is said to be existing about 1 kilometer after passing the Kevulgama Ambalama. No photo or any other information is available. Location (7.27404380596, 80.8660629919)
064Getakulama Ambalama at RikillagaskadayesCentralKandyLies at the Getakulama junction. The building is square in its plan and four large pillars hold the roof of the building. The pillars are built using granite blocks held together by cement.
065Godamunne AmbalamayesCentralKandyIt is said that the wooden pillars of the Hanguranketa palace destroyed by fire by the Dutch in the 17th century were used for the construction of this wayside resting house.
066Godamunne Gal AmbalamayesCentralKandylittle known Ambalama in Godamunne hidden by the butiques near the Godamunna Ella.
067Halloluwa Pallegama AmbalamayesCentralKandyPallegama is located in the Harispattuwa Divisional Secretariat. Pallegama Ambalama is located adjacent to the Pallegama Thalawa paddy fields. This fertile field of more than 60 acres has been cultivated for two seasons since the time of the ancient kings but today these fields have become barren due to lack of water.
068Hanguranketha Udalumada Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyThis small Ambalama which belongs to the Kandyan period is located in Udalumada village in Hanguranketha. The ambalama is square in shape and is built near a stream of cool water stream under a large shade. The roof rests on four pillars made of blocks of granite. The short wall around the four sides have been designed to be seated.
069Hewawissa AmbalamayesCentralKandyThe building is built upon 8 cylindrical pillars with a shape typical on most brick and mortar Ambalams of this era. Four pillars marks the outside corners of the building. Eight more wooden pillars between the brick and mortar pillars provides additional support.
070Ilukthenna AmbalamayesCentralKandylie on the route to famous Suriyagoda Rajamaha Viharaya about 8 km from Kandy city. Unfortunately the Ambalama seems to have been renovated without much consideration to its antiquity some time ago.
071Kadugannawa AmbalamayesCentralKandyOne of the most known and seen ambalama in the country. Said to have built during the reign of King Sri Wickremerajasinghe and must have been a popular stopover for the merchants traveling on the arduous route between ancient hill capital and the lowlands.
072Kaiwadanthenna AmbalamayesCentralKandyA large ambalama made of brick and mortar in the Kaiwadanthenna junction on the Amunugama - Walala road. Roof is built with a gradually increasing slope in the center. Roof is tiles with calicut tiles. Not well maintained.
073Kandekumbura AmbalamayesCentralKandyThis ambalama has been built on 1st March 1938 by a person called Galpatigedhara Kiripuncha. Even though this structure lies just beside a main road, its roof and the structure is crumbling and weeds cover the surrounding area.
074Kandewela Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyFour large pillars with carvings carry the main weight of the roof of this building supported by 12 wooden pillars on the outer square. The inner pillars carry carved designs.
075Karalliyadda AmbalamayesCentralKandyAncient wayside rest made of wood belonging to the Kandyan era lying hidden inside a private property among cement buildings.
076Kengalla AmbalamayesCentralKandyBuilt in 1907 by a Tamil planter from Tanjur, Tamil Nadu and member of Nayak dynasty who ruled the Kandyan Kingdom from 1739 to 1815, this 100-year-old ambalama has an interesting story combined with historical facts.
077Kevulgama AmbalamayesCentralKandyA tiny ambalama made of wood in Madamahanuwara area. The base of the structure is made of four large wooden beams raised from the ground. Four finely carved wooden pillars rising from the base holds the roof.
078Kohanga AmbalamanoCentralKandyThe ancient doss house (Kohanga Ambalama) located in the Grama Niladhari Division of Kohonga in Udunuwara Divisional Secretary’s Division in Kandy District, Central Province has been declared as an ancient monument on 16th August 2013 by an extraordinary gazette.
079Konakalagala AmbalamayesCentralKandyA tiny ambalama made of wood in Madamahanuwara area. The base of the structure is made of four large wooden beams raised from the ground. Four finely carved wooden pillars rising from the base holds the roof.
080Konhange AmbalamanoCentralKandyKonhange with traditional carvings was built by a villager in 1800 for those travelling from Kadugannawa to Kurukuththala. No further information available. (source : Possibly this the Kurukuththala Ambalama?
081Kumburadeniya AmbalamanoCentralKandyLies in Kamburadeniya village in Daulagala area. Travel 2 miles on the road left to Handessa Vidyalaya to reach the ambalama. Ambalama is built on 4 granite pillars. One of the wooden cross beams in the roof has 2469 BE and 1925 BC caved. Initially had a hay covered roof which was replaced with a tile roof in 1962. (from the publication : Ambalama ha Samajaya by Rohitha Dasanayake.)
082Kumburegama Welamada AmbalamayesCentralKandyAncient Ambalama in Galadedara area. Made of Brick and mortar, this is a well maintained small wayside rest. According to the carving on a wooden beam on the roof, this building has been built in 1912 as a remembrance to Kumburegama Loku Korale who died in 19896 by his son.
083Makuldeniya Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyThe ambalama lie close to the Sub Post Office at Makuldeniya on Teldeniya - Rangala road. No further information available. (source :
084Malgamandeniya Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyThis wooden Ambalama at Malgamandeniya lies on the edge of a paddy field interior to the main road. The structure stands on 4 huge raised wooden beams. The roof is held by another four pillars connected to the floor beams.
085Marassana Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyThe Ambalama is believed to be built in the 18th or 19th centuries. The complete ambalama is made of wood from the “Mee” tree. The outer square is 6 feet 20 inches in length and the inner square 4 feet 17 inches in length. The wooden beams rest on 8 granite stumps to protect the wood from rotting.
086Megoda Kalugamuwa AmbalamayesCentralKandyAn ancient wayside rest on the route to to Gampola through Hindagala, about 13 km from Kandy city. The ambalama sits in the middle of a picturesque paddy field on the banks of Mahaweli River in the Kalugamuwa area.
087Muruthalawa AmbalamanoCentralKandyThe ancient doss house (Muruthalawa Ambalama) located in Muruthalawa village, situated in the Grama Niladhari
Division of Sooriyagoda in Yatinuwara Divisional Secretary’s Division in Kandy District, Central Province has been declared as an ancient monument on 16th August 2013 by an extraordinary gazette.
088Narampanawa AmbalamayesCentralKandyNarampanawa is a small town in Kandy just above Theldeniya on the banks of Hulu Ganga. The Narampanawa Ambalama lies underneath a temple tree on the edge of a picturesque paddy field along the road from Oruthota.
089Naranwala AmbalamayesCentralKandyAn exquisitely built building with typical Kandyan architecture lying 12 kilometers away from Kandy towards Gampola.
090Old Teldeniya AmbalamayesCentralKandyTeldeniya Ambalama had been built on stone pillars with handsomely carved timber beams in a picturesque location in Teldeniya. Since 1985 this area has been submerged under Victoria Reservoir. Stone pillars and beams of wood with carvings are said to be stored at Bambaragala Ministry as per one source and at Balagolla Kali Kovil.
091Palle Degala AmbalamayesCentralKandyThe roof of Palle Digala Ambalama is supported by four pillars made of large cylindrical bricks and mortar. The height of the original footing is not visible due to the elevation of the road here. Thick walls and short walls are used as seat rafts.
092Pattiyawatta AmbalamayesCentralKandyProtected as a designated archaeological monument in 2013. Made of Brick and mortar and none of the kandian architecture is present in the building.Possibly lost during renovations.
093Pitawala Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyA small wooden ambalama built to the Kandyan tradition with exquisitely caved wooden pillars hidden in the ancient Kandy Mahiyangana route in Ududumbara, You need to travel 4-5 km in the mountains from the Kandy Mahiyangana Road to reach this ambalama.
094Poramadulla AmbalamayesCentralKandyHidden behind a large cement arch of the entrance to the Poramadulla Vidyakara Maha Vidyalaya you will find the dilapidated Poramadulla Ambalama neglected and forgotten.
095Pujapitiya Dolapihilla AmbalamayesCentralKandyPujapitiya is a small town 14 km away from Kandy towards Matale. Dolapihilla Ambalama lie close to the Pujapitiya town.Not much information is available on this Ambalama.
096Pujapitiya Dombagammana AmbalamayesCentralKandyPujapitiya is a small town 14 km away from Kandy towards Matale. The Ambalama is made of brick and mortar and is in a dilapidated state. There is no artistic value here other than being part of the ancient Ambalam network in the country.
097Rikillagaskada AmbalamayesCentralKandyUnfortunately being at the center of the town, it has lost its ancient glory and turned in a another building to do a business. The ambalama is dilapidated and the roof has been patched haphazardly with tin roof sheets without any consideration to the antiquity of the building.
098Siridigana Ambalamaapprox. areaCentralKandyThis ambalama lies in close proximity to Teldeniya-Rangala road. No further information available. (source :
099Teldeniya Putuhapuwa AmbalamayesCentralKandyThe ambalama was delipadated with the part of the roof and and walls caved in until beginning of 2017. The Archaeology department has now carried out a complete restoration of this ambalama while maintaining its ancient design features.
100Udunuwara Wattappola Ambalamaapprox. areaCentralKandyAn ambalama built in 1918 by a pious donor. This is still annually repaired by the relations of the donor. The Ambalama lies in the village of Wattappola which was on the ancient Kandy - Gampola route. Originally made by stone but during repairs a cement layer has been applied on the stone and painted over.
101Uduwawala Ambalama - KatugastotayesCentralKandy A small ancient Ambalama (wayside rest) lies on the Uduwawala Junction on the Katuagastota – Medawala road partly functioning as a Bus Stop.
102Wahugapitiya Purana Gal AmbalamayesCentralKandyAn Ambalama built in 1929 using stone blocks and pillars. Two exquisitely carved Load Ganesh and another deity can be found on the two front pillars.
103Wathupola AmbalamayesCentralKandyThe ancient Wathupola Ambalama (wayside rest) is situated in middle of a paddy field in the Wathupola Grama Niladhari Division, Udunuwara Divisional Secretary’s Division, Kandy District in the Central Province.
104Wathurakumbura Ambalapitiya Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralKandyA small wooden ambalama now in ruins. Only the wooden beams used as the base was intact and the pillars and the roof has collapsed on to the base. However its not known even if colapsed structure remains today or altogether destroyed.
105Wegiriya AmbalamayesCentralKandyThis typical Kandyan style Ambalama is built using 4 huge granite pillars and the roof is built from Jack wood. four sides of the walls are made to used as seats and is built at three heights for different class of people common in during that time. This ambalama has been built in 1925.
106Yakgahapitiya Sirimalwatta AmbalamayesCentralKandyLies on the route to the popular Degaldoruwa Rajamaha Viharaya about 5km from Kandy. A 1995 article describes this ambalama as being built on a rough stone base though now the floor is made of cement.
107Yatawara Gal AmbalamayesCentralKandyYatawara Gal Ambalama is an ancient wayside shelter hidden and unknown in the Yatawara area in Kandy district. The ambalama is built on 4 granite pillars and during renovations, the roof has been made in concrete.
108Yatiwawala AmbalamayesCentralKandyAncient Ambalama in Galadedara area. Made of Brick and mortar, this is a well maintained small wayside rest. Although lacking artistic artifacts, this perfectly represents the accepted social class separation by building seating walls at 3 levels for different social classes.
109Alagalla AmbalamanoSabaragamuwaKegalleA small ambalama in Aranayake, Madiliya in a paddy field. Was reported that this was in a dilapidated state in 2018. No further information available.
110Alawala AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleThis Ambalama is built with 4 pillars holding the roof and 2 wooden pillars at the entrance. The structure stands alone a land covered in tall grass and weed growing all over.
111Algama Mahawaththa AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleLies on the Algama – Horagasmankada road. Made of brick and mortar, the ambalama is rectangular in shape and built on seven square pillars and 2 cylindrical pillars which acts at the entrance pillars.
112Aluthnuwara Giruwa AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA historic wayside rest close to the Aluthnuwara Dedimunda Devalaya in Kegalle District.This site has been built by Queen Sunethradevi, chief consort of King Parakramabahu II (A.D 1236-1276) and mother of King Bhuvanekabahu I.
113Ambulugala AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleThe Amblama lying close to the Ambulugala Viharaya could be old as the temple. Seven pillars hold roof of the structure. Out of which five are stone pillars and other two concrete. In 2019, this ambalama was completely disassembled and the repaired. Parts of stone pillars which had damages has been removed and completed in concrete.
114Godigamuwa AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA dilapidated ambalama made of granite blocks now lies deserted at the center of a paddy field.
115Kegalle Jubilee AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA large building size of a small house lying in the center of the Kagalle City. It has been built in 1887 in parallel to the visit by Queen Victoria of England to then Ceylon.
116Kiuldeniya AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleKiuldeniya Ambalama is a square building made of brick and mortar. This has been built in 1930 as per the engraving on the front wall. The roof is held by four brick pillars and a half height wall is built around the structure. The seating bench built with cement is found only on the rear wall of the ambalama.
117Makadawara AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleLying just 3.5 kilometers away from Colombo Kandy road in Mawanella, this 150 year old ambalama still haven't lost its original charm. A 20x20 feet Ambalama made of Brick. This ambalama has been refereed to as Udamakadawara Ambalama.
118Makehelwala AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleThis is a large the size of a brick and mortar. The roof is made of two layers. The pillars around the ambalama and the place where the two layers join support the large roof. The roof is tiled with flat clay tiles popular in the Kandyan period.
119Makura Ambalamaapprox. locationSabaragamuwaKegalleThis is a unique from all the ambalam in the country since this is built on a granite slab laid across a water canal. The ambalama is located between Hettimulla and Deewala in Kegalle District
120Mangalagama AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleIs situated on the Colombo – Kandy road 85 km away from Colombo. The Ambalama you see today was re-built in 1970 by the Department of Archaeology. By that time only one wooden pillar with the cap and 8 granite pillars had been remaining of the building. The new building had been reconstructed with additional 8 concrete pillars shaped similar to the ancient granite pillars and wooden pillars carved based on the original remaining pillar.
121Mawanella Nepalana AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA brick and mortar way side rest in the Nepalana area in Kegalle District. The ambalama lies along the Mawanella Thalagolla Road adjoining a picturesque paddy field. The history of this Ambalama is not known.
122Molligoda AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA stone Ambalama built close to a ancient Bodhi tree hidden deep inside Mawanella. Built using stone blocks, roof and one pillar is missing in this structure. Pilgrims possibly used the road through Molligoda to reach Aluthnuwara Devalaya and came to make offering to this Bodhi tree.
123Molligoda Pinkumbura AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA stone Ambalama built on the edge of a paddy field by a individual donor with typical Kandyan architecture. Roof is dilapidated without maintenance. Other than this, this is still a grand structure.
124Nilwakka AmbalamanoSabaragamuwaKegallelies about 3 kms from Kegalle on the Nilwakka Road which starts near the Kegalle Police station.
125Rukula Ambalamaapprox. areaSabaragamuwaKegalleThis ambalama is said to belonging to 13th century, built for travelers to the Devalaya.The Rukula Ambalama is built with brick and motar. 12 large columns carry the weight of the roof. The roof is tiled with semi cylindrical clay tiles (sinhala ulu)
126Ruwanwella AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleThe ambalama lies in the center of the crowded, traffic – congested Ruwanwella town close to the ancient fort. This is said to be the largest ambalama found in the county. Today it is used as a ayurvedic medicine sales outlet for the local government.
127Tholangamuwa AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleTholangamuwa Ambalama is a brick and mortar rectangular structure with 4 brick pillars holding the roof and 2 wooden pillars at the entrance. A short wall is built around the ambalama and the top half is exposed. The roof is tiled with clay calicut tiles (Rata Ulu). The ambalama is built at the road elevation.
128Udumahana Ambalama - MawanellayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA small ambalama made out of brick and mortar. The building is square in its plan and four large pillars hold the roof of the building.
129Wakirigala AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA fairly large ambalama built with 10 granite pillars on the outer square and 4 granite pillars of 20 feet on the inner square. The Northern Entrance of the ambalama is made out of a large granite door frame which is believed to be part of the ancient Wakirigala temple.
130Waththewa AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaKegalleA small ambalama built to the Kandyan tradition in front of a picturesque paddy field in Waththewa. Current structure is newly built with cement. Where it was built to replace and older Ambalama is unknown.
131Yatimahana Banagegoda Ancient AmbalamanoSabaragamuwaKegalleA historic wayside rest in the Mawanella DS division declared as an protected archaeological building by the gazette issued on 6th June 2008.
132Karagahagedara AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaIs celebrated for its scenic setting among the local paddy fields. This is built on 4 boulders on a rocky plain.
133Kelimune AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaA delapidated ambalama on the Kurunegala - Wariyapola road.
134Maspotha AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaMaspotha Ambalama is located at a distance of 4.5 km from Alawwa town and 5.7 km from Nelumdeniya on the Beligala road. Located in the edge of a beautiful paddy field, this ambalama is made of kabok stone and plaster. There is also a well nearby for Ambalama users.
135Panavitiya AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaOne of the most popular ambalama due to its exquisite wood carvings of the Kandyan Era.
136Paramaulla AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaAmbalama lies beside an old Geta Kumbuk tree. According to the the Central Environmental Authority this tree has been lying on a bund of the irrigation reservoir built by king Vijayabahu III (1232-1236) of Dambadeniya kingdom.
137Ranagala AmbalamayesNorth WesternKurunegalaRanagala (Renagala) has been a popular ancient cross road connecting Siriwardhanapura, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Kandy. One proof of the importance of this is the ancient Ambalama at Ranagala. This Ambalama lies on the edge of a large paddy field in Ranagala and about 500 meters before the popular Rangala Rajamaha Viharaya.
138Moonrampiddi Madama (Ambalama)yesNorthernMannarOne of the few ambalams built during the British era in the Northern province which are built with Hindu cultural influence. The roof has been destroyed and only the walls remain in this Ambalama which lies 38 km off Mannar on the Jaffna Road
139Vidataltivu Madam (Ambalama)approx. locationNorthernMannarOne of the few ambalams built during the British era in the Northern province which are built with Hindu cultural influence. The roof has been destroyed and only the walls remain in this Ambalama which lies 19 km off Mannar on the Jaffna Road
140Ambokka Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralMataleA small stone ambalama in good conditions hidden in the hills off Matale. The ambalama is said to be about 300 years old. It is built on 4 square stone pillars and the pillars are joint by 4 other horizontal stone pillars which act as seats for the traveler.
141Arambepola AmbalamayesCentralMataleArambepola Ambalama is a small Ambalama lying between Akurana and Alawathugoda on the main road to Matale from Kandy.Made out of clay/cement the the roof is covered with a tin roof today.
142Deevilla AmbalamayesCentralMataleAmbalama stands on 18 massive cement pillars and is a comparatively large ambalama located at the Deevilla Junction.
143Katuaththamada AmbalamayesCentralMataleA small ambalama made out of rock and mortar. The building is square in its plan and four large pillars hold the roof made of Calicut clay tiles (Rata Ulu). The pillars are plain and carries no artwork.
144Naula AmbalamayesCentralMataleAn ambalama going back to the time of king Devanampiyathissa. However this has been re constructed many times, the last time around 2015. Now only a brick and mortar structure losing all its original glory.
145Nugapitiya AmbalamayesCentralMataleNugapitya Ambalama lies next to a picturesque paddy field in the village of Nugapitiya lying between Kandy and Matale. It is a square brick and mortar building with its roof resting on four pillars. A short wall travels around the Ambalama.
146Padiwita AmbalamayesCentralMataleLies in middle of a paddy field in the Matale District. History of this Ambalama is not known but it can be presumed that this has been built during the Kandyan kingdom, before the British invasion.
147Lenabatuwa AmbalamayesSouthernMataraA brick and mortar wayside rest in front of the Lenabatuwa Wewa also known as Wilpita Wewa. The Ambalama is rectangular in shape and three sides other than the front is fully covered.
148Nelumwewa AmbalamanoSouthernMataraA 250 year old ambalama in Nelumwewa which was destroyed in 2014. Who destroyed this structure is unknown.
149Parawahera AmbalamayesSouthernMataraA brick and motar plain wayside rest on the lying 9 kms from Matara on the Ratmale Road built during the 19th century.
150Rathmale AmbalamayesSouthernMataraThe unique Rathmale Ambalama is the only two storied ambalama found in the country. The upper floor of the ambalama is said to be used by the priests and the lower floor by the laymen.
151Uduwaka AmbalamayesSouthernMataraUduwaka Ambalama is a somewhat recent resting place in Matara District lying 8km off Weligama (2.7 km off Thelijjawila) on the Weligama Thelijawila road. The Ambalama lies by the main road, next to a lush paddy field.
152Wellamadama Ganadevi AmbalamayesSouthernMataraOne of the most ancient ambalamas with at least a 500 years old history. Only ruins remain today due to neglect.
153Weragampita AmbalamayesSouthernMataraAn ambalama built during 18th or 19th century centered around the ancient Navinna ferry port across Nilwala Ganga.
154Hanguranketha AmbalamayesCentralNuwara EliyaLie between the Pothgul Rajamaha Viharaya and the Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya. Believed to be built around 150 years ago.
155Kotagapitiya Ambalamaapprox. locationCentralNuwara EliyaA small Ambalama lying on the narrow road to Kotagapitiya which is believed to be built by the prince Dutugemunu. It is built on a square platform made of granite blocks. The roof is held by four finely cut granite pillars.
156Kothmale Hadunuwewa AmbalamayesCentralNuwara EliyaOne of the 5 ancient Ambalama in Kothmale area now in a dilapidated state. Made of granite blocks, this is a small square structure.
157Madanwala AmbalamayesCentralNuwara EliyaAn ambalama built in 1901 by a donor during the times when this was a trade route carrying goods on bullock carts. During these days, it has been popular among the cart drivers and sales men. Today this building is used as a pre-school and a self employment training center.
158Morapaya AmbalamayesCentralNuwara EliyaLies about 2 kms on the road to Mandaram Nuwara from Padiyapellela. Even through lying right next to the road, this Ambalama doesn’t seems to have been caught the eye of the authorities.
159Ranamune AmbalamayesCentralNuwara EliyaAssociated with the time prince Dutugemunu hid away from his father in Kothmale. Lies atop a paddy field close to a water sprout which is also believed to be a bathing place of the prince.
160Batadura AmbalamayesSabaragamuwaRatnapuraUnknown Ambalama located 7 km off Opanayake on the Galkanda road. No photos or description available.
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