Kongala Ruins in Yala (යාළ කෝන්ගල නටබුන්)
The villages of Kumana and Panama, once part of a ancient flourishing civilization, today is a think jungle teeming with wildlife. Yala National Park as known today is home to a large number of sites of ruins scattered on various rocky outcrops throughout the jungle.
In the upper valleys of Kumbukkan Oya and inside the thick jungle belonging to the Ampara District, stands a one of these rocky outcrops knowns as Konagala. This outcrop covers an extensive area. There are a number of caves with drip-ledges indicating this was part of a large Buddhist monastic complex of the bygone era. Fourteen of the caves have inscriptions. There are also 4 rock inscriptions. partly mutilated.
The rock where ruins are found is 285 ft. in height. Four dilapidated stupas are seen on the four rocky hillocks. All the ruins in this complex are vandalised and destroyed by treasure hunters.
In the inscriptions dignitaries of various ranks are mentioned as donors of caves. One such cave mentions a Brahmana (Bamana Atimataka) as the donor of a cave to the Buddhist Sangha. Considering that the Brahmanas as a body could not have been very enthusiastic about providing comforts to Buddhist clergy, this is quite impressive (Paranavithana,1970).
Special mention should be made of “Utinagara” in one inscription of 2nd century BC which probably connected with Raja Uti of the Kataragama Dynasty. Inscriptions of the 5th century at this same site mention the places Citagalaya and Mayulavila : the latter name is repeated in a 4th century inscription at Akurukelugala, about 20 miles further north (Nicholas, 1963).
The rock inscriptions mention of a donation of “Kahavanu” (Gold coins), Vaharala, a Mangala Maha Chetiya and about some fields. Dr Paranavitana states that Utinagara may be the name of a town or of a banking corporation. The ruins date from the Pre Common Era (Medhānanda, 2005).
This site lies about 2.7 km passing Bambaragasthalawa Ruins over a rough four wheel trail.
List of Archaeological Sites inside Yala and Kumana National Parks
- Akasa Chethiya
- Athurumithurugala (see map below)
- Divulanagoda (Veheradivulana)
- Goyankola Mayagala
- Kanabiso Galge
- Katupila (see map below)
- Katupila Mankada (see map below)
- Lunuatugalge (Lunuatu Galge)
- Magul Maha Viharaya
- Mandagala Wewa
- Mayagala (Wadambuwa)
- Nelumpath Pokuna
- Padikema Patanangala
- Pillinnawa Stone Pillars
- Sithulpawwa Viharaya
- Uda pothana
- Medhānanda, E. (2005). The Sinhala Buddhist heritage in the East and the North of Shri [i.e. Sri] Lanka. 1st ed. Colombo: Dayawansa Jayakody & Co. , p.23
- Nicholas, C. W. (1963). Historical Topography of Ancient and Medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series Volume VI Special Number, p.61
- Handbook for the Ceylon traveller : A Studio Times Publication (1974). Colombo, Sri Lanka: Studio Times, p.172
- Paranavithana, S. (1970) The Inscriptions of Ceylon Volume I – Early Brāhmī Inscriptions. Colombo, Ceylon: Department of Archaeology of Ceylon.
Map of Kongala Ruins in Yala
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.
Travel Directions to Kongala Ruins in Yala
The park can be reached through Southern Highway. It is 275 kilometers away (shortest path through Ratnapura avoiding the Highway but travel time is longer) from Colombo.
|Route from Colombo to Yala National Park (Ruhuna) Entrance||Route from Kataragama to Yala National Park (Ruhuna) Entrance|
|Through : Southern Highway – Mattala – Tissamaharama – Kirinda|
Distance : 275 km
Travel time : 4.30 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
|Through Tissamaharama – Kirinda|
Distance : 40 km
Travel time : 45 minutes.
Driving directions : see on google map
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