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 .
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.…
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: Kandy
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.”
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.
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) .
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.
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.
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.