Sri Weeraparakkrama Narendrasinghe who succeeded to the throne in 1706 at the age of 18 years was the last Sinhala King in the country and ruled the Kandyan Kingdom for 33 years. He was never considered a good ruler and was a play-boy type so much that he was known to be called the “Sellam Rajjuruwo” (playfull king) by his subject.
Kundasale was one of his favorite places since he used to come to enjoy a Waraka from a special jack tree. It is also rumored that he had many affairs with girls in the area.
In 1710, the king decided to move his palace from Kandy to Kundasale and instructed to build the palace to Ramukwelle Dissawe who was governing this area. He was the first and the last king to have Kundasale as the capital of the Kandyan Kingdom.
Rambukwelle Dissawe got a service of a designer called Devendra and said to have built a palace completely out of wood on top of a hill in a garden called “Narikele” belonging to the king. The palace is said to have looked like more of a summer palace rather than Kings Palace.
Living up to his nickname, the king used to perform acrobats in the water when he went to Mahaweli for a bath. Some of the chieftains planned secretly to kill the king when he was bathing. They planted sharpened spikes in the water so that when the king jumped into the water from his usual bathing place, these spikes will pierce his chest and cause his death. On that fateful day the king observed a dragon-fly seated on the water before taking the jump in to the river. The king thought that this never could happened and inspected the bathing area before his usual jump.
He detected the poisoned spikes planted in the water. One Kahanda Sumitra Bandara and his Chief Adigar Ranmalaka were found responsible for this act and were killed by the king. Ehelepola Adigar was elevated to the post of Chief Adigar.
In 1739 the king fell seriously ill and Ayurvedic treatment would not cure him. Dr Daniels, a Dutch physician treated him with Western medicine but the king breathed his last on May 13, 1739.
In 1804, the British troops under a command of a captain Johnson managed to attack the palace and plunder all the valuables and had burned the place down.
After this destruction, Whatever wodden structures remained in the place was used to build a structure in the close by Sri Narendrasinhe Rajamaha Viharaya which is also attributed to the king. The balance has been distributed among number of temples in the Rambukwella for preservation. The structure at the Sri Narendrasinhe Rajamaha Viharaya still exists today.
It is also said that the two elephant carvings on rock at the entrnace of the Dalada Maligawa (temple of tooth relic) was also brought from the ruins of the Kundasale Palace of Sri Weeraparakkrama Narendrasinghe. Unfortunately these two carvings were blown to pieces when the LTTE Terrorists exploded a massive bomb in front of Dalada Maligawa. The remains of these carving has been restored and now can be seen on the ground of the Temple .
Today nothings remains to be seen of this place except a two notice boards putup by the archealogical department. Thick jungle scattered with what ever the remaining ruins has long since buried with time. Unfortunately no proper excavations have been carried out on this site by the Archaeology Department.
Map of Ruins of the Palace of Sri Weeraparakrama Narendrasinghe at Kundasale
This location is approximate. Please see directions.
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Travel Directions to Ruins of the Palace of Sri Weeraparakkrama Narendrasinghe at Kundasale
Route from Kandy to Ruins of the Palace at Kundasale
|Through : Mahiyangana Road|
Distance : 9 km
Travel time : 15 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map