Matale Godapola Ambalama

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In ancient Sri Lanka, the tradition of constructing “Ambalama” played a significant role in providing rest and shelter to weary travelers. These structures served as rest stops along frequently used routes, offering comfort and safety to individuals traveling on foot or using carts. However, Ambalama was more than just a practical necessity; it held spiritual significance and served as a gathering place within communities.

The act of constructing Ambalamas was considered virtuous and meritorious. It was believed that offering comfort and safety to travelers earned blessings and positive karma for the individuals involved in the construction. This belief reflects the importance of compassion and hospitality in Sri Lankan culture.

Furthermore, maintaining Ambalamas was seen as a sacred obligation. Any harm caused to these resting places was believed to result in serious consequences and bad karma. As a result, great care was taken to keep Ambalamas clean, attractive, and in excellent condition. This involved regular cleaning, repairs, and ensuring that the structures remained welcoming to travelers.

Ambalamas not only served as rest stops, but they also functioned as communal gathering spots. Villagers would come together at these locations to engage in leisure activities, hold discussions, and foster a sense of community.

The Ambalama at Godapola lies 4.3 km away from the Matale Town. From Matale, take the Weera Puranappu Road near the Memorial of Crushing the 1848 Matale Rebellion and travel upto Godapola Raja Maha Viharaya. Travel 50 meters passing the temple to find this ambalama near the road.

The Ambalama stands on a square platform with half walls surrounding the building near a paddy field underneath a patch of large trees. Four octagonal pillars hold the roof of the Ambalama. These pillars are decorated with simple pillar heads (Pekada) with floral designs.

The roof is tiled with semi cylindrical clay tiles (sinhala ulu) and the typical “Kanimadala” design of a square ambalama can be seen in designing the roof. This is a special roof construction method found on Ambalama of the Kandyan era. The wooden beams of the roof are joint together at the center using a wooden nail called Madol Kurupawa. Total weight of the roof is equally distributed by Madol Kurupawa. The Kanimadala lies at the center of Madol Kurupawa with floral design is carved at the end of this piece of wood. At the top of the joins lies a clay pinnacle.

Also See

Map of Godapola Ambalama

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Driving Directions to Godapola Ambalama

Route from Kandy to Godapola Ambalama
Via : Matale
distance : 29 km
Travel time : 1 hour
Driving directions : see on google map


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