Historic Sandarawala at Baddegama – බද්දේගම සන්දරවල

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The mystic Baddegama Sandarawala
The mystic Baddegama Sandarawala

Sandarawala is an ancient pond on the Baddegama – Galle Road. Rather neglected now, this pond and the adjoining mystic hill called ‘Hedi Demala Kanda’ is buried deep in the history in Sri Lanka.

In 1215 Kalinga Magha, an invader from India captured the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa and city was under his iron grip for 21 years until Parakramabahu II defeated him in 1236.

According  to the publication “Hedi Demala Kanda ha Sandarawala Ithihase Bindhak” (හැඩි දෙමළ කන්ද හා සන්දරවල ඉතිහාසයේ බිඳක්) by the Most Venerable Ganegama Saranankara Thero, the hill at which the Sandarawala lies at its foot was occupied by soldiers of Magha under a general called Sandara.  During this time this hill be came to known as “Hedi Demala Kanda” due to the Tamils living on the hill.

Then Parakramabahu II began his war with Magha and the Sinhalese soldiers surrounded the hill to capture the Tamil soldiers. When they were surrounded, Sandara has collected all the valuables he had and jumped in to the  pond at the bottom of the hill. It was after that the pond became to known as Sandarawala.

Even today, Sandarawala carries a mystic fear among the villagers. Filled with treasures of Sandara, it is believed that Sandara was born as a eel wearing golden earrings at the pond to protect its treasures and some old people will wow that they had seen it with their own eyes.

According to folklore various golden objects such as jugs and containers had appeared at the pond and  those who had taken away these objects had fallen to may hardships and had been ultimately destroyed. The same had happened to people who had tried to fish in this pond.

Another folklore state that when the current bridge over the Sandarawala was built,  a supervisor has discovered a figure of a god with two heads buried in the mud. He had taken it home and his whole  family had been gradually destroyed thereafter.

It is also believed that emptying the pond during droughts will bring rain to the area.  The pond had been drained at least thrice in the past with successful results. The first time had been about 175 years ago and the second time about 125 years ago, by an Englishman called Bowman who was the first to introduce tea plantations to Baddegama area. His Makurugoda plantation had faced a severe drought and listing to his workmen, he started to drain the pond. Halfway draining the pond, the area had received a heavy downpour enough to flood Gin Ganaga river. It is said that an stone inscription lies by the pond recording this event by Bowman.

The third time which pond was drained has been around 196o by a well known businessman called Gangabada Mudalali during another  severe drought. With the blessing of the temple he had started to drain the Sandarawala with electric pumps and halfway down it had rained again flooding the area.

Today this pond had been neglected and reduced due to illegal landfill and has lost its beauty with garbage filling it.

Also See

Map of Sandarawala at Baddegama

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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 Historic Sandarawala at Baddegama

Route from Colombo to Historic Sandarawala at Baddegama

Through : Matra Expressway
Distance : 106 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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