Category: Heritage Article

Vernacular Nautical Architecture in transition : A case study of traditional Sri Lankan fishing craft

This paper concerns the oru, the archetypal Sri Lankan craft, that is commonly but erroneously called “catamaran” Oru are of great antiquity and their age can only be guessed at. This vernacular form evolved from the need to build a watercraft using available bio-resources that could fit the nature of the existing inshore waters. The craft were made only of wood with all fastenings being, by choice, of coconut coir rope .

Posted in Heritage Article

Ignoring Vijithapura

Map of Vijithapura

I was privileged to discover Sri Lanka’s oldest recorded city of Vijithapura with its three consecutive moats that enclosed an area of about 250 acres as indicated in our most ancient Chronicle as having existed in at least the 6th Century B.C. when King Vijaya conquered Sri Lanka.

Posted in Heritage Article

Ulpotha: learning tradition by living it


Ulpotha was one among thousands of abandoned ‘Puranagamas’ or ancient traditional villages of Sri Lanka’s Wanni. Tucked away in the foothills of the Galgiriyawa mountain range, Ulpotha has now been restored to its traditional life. Its restoration is a project

Posted in Attraction Article, Heritage Article

Galle [2] : “Tarshish” of the Old Testament

According to Sir James Emerson Tennant Galle was the “Tarshish” referred to in the Bible as the port where ships trading with King Soloman obtained their Elephants, Peacocks and Gemstones. Most certainly the place where the Galle Fort now stands as well as other areas in Galle like Unawatuna, Magalle, Kaluwella and even the China Gardens were all areas with historic connections which go back long before the Portuguese Era.

Posted in Attraction Article, Heritage Article Tagged with:

Sri Dalada Perahera (Kandy Esala Perahera) – මහනුවර ඇසල පෙරහැර

Carrier of the Relic Casket

Esala Perahera is one of the most colorful events in the Sri Lankan Calendar which is held every July/August. This is the only time the sacred tooth relic leaves its chambers lying deep inside the Temple of Tooth.

Posted in Attractions, Events Article, Heritage Article

Odyssey of the ‘Danta Dhatu’

Dalada Karanduwa

The ‘Danta Dhatu’ (Tooth Relic of the Buddha) is one of the most revered objects of worship by Buddhists throughout the world. It now lies in the sanctum sanctorum of the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy enshrined in an embellished reliquary.

Posted in Heritage Article

The history of the Sri Daladawa (sacred Tooth Relic)

Dalada Karanduwa

The worship of corporeal remains of the Buddha, as recorded in the Mahaparinibbana-sutta ( the Record of the Demise of the Buddha), was sanctioned by the Buddha himself on the verge of his passing away. The Buddha declared that four

Posted in Heritage Article Tagged with:

Makara Torana – The Dragons Arch – මකර තොරණ

Makara Thorana in Varaka Valadu Viharaya in Ridi Viharaya

A description of the Makara on the Makara Torana animal appearing in the Rajawaliya (v.192) runs as follows:“The makara has the front of an elephant, and the feet of a lion, ear of a pig, the body of a fish living in water, having teeth turned inside and eyes of those of hanuman and a nice tail.”

Posted in Articles, Heritage, Heritage Article Tagged with: , ,

The Nagas in Sinhala sculpture

Relic Shrine in Abayagiri Monastery

Sacred elements (Naga same term as serpent) consorted with the clouds bearing rain. These elements bestow upon the human world all the boons of earthly happiness such as abundance of crops, cattle, prosperity, offspring, health and long life. The following notes aim to examine the way of depicting in sculpture the genii, Naga presiding over the waters.

Posted in Articles, Heritage Article Tagged with: , , ,

Guardstones (Ancient Muragala) – මුරගල

Relic Shrine in Abayagiri Monastery

The guardstone or “muragala” were one of an association of three aspects of sculpture that adorned the entrance to buildings in ancient times, the other two being the moonstone (Sandakada Pahana) and balustrade (Korawak Gala) .

Posted in Heritage Article Tagged with: , ,

Korawakgala (Balustrades) – කොරවක්ගල

The mythical Makara (Dragon) on the Balustrade ( Korawak gala)

The “Korawakgala” lies on the sides of the steps leading to the door or the entrance of the building. This is sometimes called the “Makara Gala” (Dragon Stone) as this stone represent an imaginary animal.

Posted in Articles, Heritage Article Tagged with: , ,

Moonstones adorning the foot of stairs

The moonstone is a semi-circular slab of granite or limestone. This is usually the first in a flight of steps. It is richly designed in concentric (with the same centre) semi-circular bands of carvings of flowers, creepers, birds and animals.

Posted in Heritage Article Tagged with: ,

Moonstone – සඳකඩ පහන

The moonstone is a permanent feature of the buddhist building of all historical periods. This is a semi circular piece of stone which stood at the foot of a flight of steps in most buddhist buildings. Although the moonstone is generally semi circular, Sometimes you can come across square moonstones. It is thought that the moon stones originated as blank square stone and later developed in to a semi circular shape.

Posted in Articles, Heritage Article Tagged with: , , , ,