Ruins of the Palace of Sri Weeraparakrama Narendrasinghe at Kundasale (කුණ්ඩසාලේ රජ මාලිගය)

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The only indication of the palace at Kundasale are these two boards.
The only indication of the palace at Kundasale are these two boards.
image source : mahawansa.wordpress.com

Sri Weeraparakrama 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 playboy type so much that he was known to be called the “Sellam Rajjuruwo” (playful king) by his subject.

Kundasale was one of his favourite places since he used to come to enjoy Waraka fruit from a special jack tree. It is also rumoured 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 from a designer called Devendra who was 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 a King’s Palace. Today its location lies right to the Sri Narendrasinghe Rajamaha Viharaya in a now vacant land. This land is now called Udamaluwa.

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 would pierce his chest and cause his death. On that fateful day, the king observed a dragonfly seated on the water before taking the jump into the river. The king thought that this never could happen 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 the command of Captain Johnson managed to attack the palace plunder all the valuables and burn the palace down.

After this destruction, Whatever wooden structures remained in the place were used to build a structure close by Sri Narendrasinghe Rajamaha Viharaya which is also attributed to the king. The balance has been distributed among a number of temples in the Rambukwella for preservation. The structure at the Sri Narendrasingha Rajamaha Viharaya still exists today.

A large rock with a circular carving called Sandagala was still at the Palace site. From the view of it, this would have been buried under the earth with the carved surface visible from the top.

It is also said that the two elephant carvings on a rock at the entrance of the Dalada Maligawa (temple of tooth relic) were also brought from the ruins of the Kundasale Palace of Sri Weera Parakrama 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 carvings have been restored and now can be seen on the ground of the Temple.

Today nothing remains to be seen of this place except two notice boards put up by the archeological department. Thick jungle scattered with whatever the remaining ruins have long since buried with time.  Unfortunately, no proper excavations have been carried out on this site by the Archaeology Department.

Primary Source : mahawansa.wordpress.com

References

  1. Abeyawardhana, H. A. P. (2004) Heritage of Kandurata: Major Natural, Cultural, and Historic Sites. Kandy: Kandurata Development Bank, in association with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Also See

Map of Ruins of the Palace of Sri Weeraparakrama Narendrasinghe at Kundasale

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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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 Ruins of the Palace of Sri Weera Parakrama Narendrasinghe at Kundasale

Kandy can be reached from Colombo on the old Colombo – Kandy road (option 1) which is scenic but heavy in traffic, especially on Fridays and Sundays. However, the new Central Expressway (option 2) has opened up a new route which is longer but less cumbersome.

Route 1 from Colombo to KandyRoute 2 from Colombo to Kandy
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala
Distance :150 km
Travel time: 3.20 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala
Distance :150 km
Travel Time: 3.20 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Route From Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
Through : Walapane – Raja Mawatha
Distance :100 km
Travel Time : 3.0 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
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

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