Gampaha Kehelella Ambalama (ගම්පහ කෙහෙල්ඇල්ල අම්බලම)

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Gampaha Kehelella Ambalama lies between Divulapitiya and Badalgama. Traveling from Negombo towards Divulapitiya, travel 16km to reach Maradagahamula and take the left turn towards Badalgama. The ambalama is found 4m down this road just passing the Thunmodara Temple.

In ancient times, people traveled from place to place on foot or by cart. Pilgrimages or trade journeys were measured in days, not in hours as they are now. Therefore, resting places (way side rests) or ambalams were built at various places along these popular routes. These ambalams were used to cook small meals for travelers to spend the night safely. They are built around commonly used roads. Generally a place was chosen where there are facilities for a traveller, i.e. near a well or a stream, to build a Ambalama.

At the same time, this Ambalama was also important as a gathering place for the people of that village. Often Ambalams were built under royal patronage or patronage of local nobles. Therefore, the size of these ambalams and artworks changed according to the wealth of the people who sponsored them.

This Ambalama at Kehelella is made of Kabook and clay. Although this design is not unique in artistic quality, it is unique as an Ambalama, a part of the extended ancient ambalama network across the country and a record of ancient hospitality extended to unknown visitors traveling through the village.

As per the engraving on a wall of the Ambalama, this has been built in the Buddhist Era 4449 (1905 CE). The roof of this Ambalama is tiled with Calicut tiles. A large portico is seen in the front. The side walls of the portico can be used as seats as well. It has 2 equal sized rooms with separate entrances. This structure which was extensively damaged by termites and white ants was renovated in 2022 by the Department Archaeology.


  1. Urugodawatte, B. (2022) ‘Conservation of Potuwila Veheragalakanda Temple and Kehelella Wayside Resting Place (Ambalama ’, Archeo Sri Lanka – Newsletter of the Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka, 2(1), p. 5.

Also See

Map of Gampaha Kehelella Ambalama

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Travelling Directions to Gampaha Kehelella Ambalama

From Katunayake to Kehelella Ambalama
Via :
Total distance: 24km
Duration : 35 minutes
Time to be spent: About 15 minutes
Driving Directions : View on Google Maps


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