Kanawegalla Maligathenna Ruins (කනවේගල්ල මාලිගාතැන්න නටබුණ්)

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Hidden in the jungles between Bibile and Ekiriyakumbura ( on Padiyathalawa Road) on a mountain slope in Kanawegalla lies what is believed to be the palace complex of a regional king in the ancient past which is now known as Maligathenna.

There are no historical records or research done on these ruins which have never been cleared or conserved but considering the spread of the ruins, this must have been a mighty fortress palace naturally protected by the mountains.

Quoted from Dr Ashan Geeganage

“…….. Previously when I came to find about Kanawegalla Maligathenna inscription a local guy said it is found on a rock bordering the lake on the mountain slope and it was submerged at that time. He also said there were plenty of ruins all over the mountain that one could explore for many hours. So we decided to give it a try this time around since we had time on our hands and also because we thought that it would have been linked to Endagala too.

So after getting to the village, we found the house of the person whom I spoke to on the previous occasion and he was kind enough to offer us some tea before deciding to venture on. We reached the school and halted the trishaw and started moving towards the mountain and within no time we reached the isolated lake on the slope of the mountain.

This was a refurbished tank which was first built many centuries ago and the scattered rocks at the border of the tank verified it. This tank gets its water directly from the mountain and it has many trees in it giving it a magical look. Our guide was searching for the inscription for about 15 minutes but he couldn’t locate it, probably it might have been covered by thorny creepers or still submerged.

We were very disappointed and I asked him if he could at least show us a few monoliths so we could satisfy ourselves and go back. He suggested that we needed to go uphill and we agreed with him on that. First, we reached the ancient pond which had been reconstructed by locals who supplied their drinking water from it. And from here we climbed further up until and reached a place where steps could be seen directing upwards.

On top of a mini cliff in the center of the jungle, we found a huge rock slab a dug-up hole and at the footsteps of the mini hill, there was a part of a foot which might have been at the beginning of the stairway. Around this site, we found many remains of buildings. The significance of these was the size of the Rock slabs. Some were 3’ thick. We also came across unearthed buildings, fallen huge pillars and even moonstones.

The size of these suggested that Kanavagalla Malighatenna could be an extended part of Endagala and might have been the royal complex while Endagala been the leisure activity center. According to the guide, there were no pagodas around and that also tallied with our assumptions.

Though there were many ruins to be explored we decided to get back to the village to end our quest. It seems this was a royal complex belonging to one of those southern rulers established on the slopes of mountain range and out of sight of northern rulers who were searching for them. The area needs to be explored and studied well to understand the significance of this forgotten kingdom around Ekiriyankumbura to fill up the gaps in our history. …….

To access the site you need to travel 12 km on the Padiyathalawa Road from Bibile pass the bridge over Maduru Oya in Kanawegalla and travel approximately 400 meters to turn off towards the ruins. Travel approximately 3 km on this road. From here you will need the service of a guide to locate ruins in the mountains.

photo and information by the curtsey of Dr. Ashan Geeganage

Also See

Travel Directions to Kanawegalla Maligathanna Ruins

Route from Bibile to Kanawegalla Maligathanna Ruins
Through : Padiyathalawa Road
Distance : 15 km
Travel time :20 minutes + hike
Driving directions : see on google map

Map of Kanawegalla Maligathanna Ruins

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