Giant Dun (Nawada) Tree at Athwelthota – Tallest Tree in Wet Zone (අත්වැල්තොට විශාල දුන් “නවඳ” ගස)

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This massive “Nawada” (නවඳ) tree supposed to be the largest tree in the Lowcountry, is more than 150 feet in height and 28 feet in circumference.

This Dun tree can be seen just near the demarcation of Kalutara – Sabaragamuwa Districts which place is popularly known as Dunukeiyagala at Athwelthota. The tree lies just by the road and the Akasa Bokkuwa (Ahas Bokkuwa or the Sky bridge) lies close by on the same route.

This was built about 100 years ago joining two rock cliffs on the main road when construction technology was very primitive. This is more of a 30-foot-high culvert rather than a bridge which would make this one of the tallest culverts in the country.

History of the Giant Dun Tree

This tree was decided to be cut down in 1988 to widen the road. However, the environmentalists objected to this tree being cut down and carried out protests against this action. However, the government did not heed and went ahead with the plans to cut down trees. One of the environmentalists who led this protest was Rev. Keerantidiye Pangnasekara Thero who wrapped his robe around this tree ordaining it as part of Sangha.

This action symbolizes that this tree should be treated as how a Buddhist priest should be treated and give the same respect as the priest. This extreme action has been used a few times by Buddhist priests when all measures of saving an important tree need to be saved from unscrupulous politicians. However, the ordination of is giant “Nawada” (නවඳ) tree was the first time in this country such an action was initiated in recent history.

With the ordination of the “Nawada” (නවඳ) tree, it was saved from distraction in 1988 and in 2016 this road was widened again. However this time, the government had identified the importance of this tree and widened the road without damage to the tree.

Current Status of the “Nawada” (නවඳ) Tree at Athwelthota

The “Nawada” (නවඳ) Tree at Athwelthota survived through all the developments of the new world with the support and care of the villagers. However demonstrating the eternal truth of all things are temporary, the tree fell to the ground on 17th May 2023.

Other keys:  largest tree in the low country of Sri Lanka, the largest tree in Sri Lanka, the largest tree in Wet Zone

Also See

Map of “Dun” Tree at Athwelthota

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

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.

Travelling Directions to “Dun” Tree at Athwelthota

Route from Colombo to “Dun” Tree at Athwelthota
On: Southern Highway – Dodangoda Exit – Agalawatta – Baduruliya – Atweltota
distance : 92 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on Google map


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