Hanguranketha Madanwala Ambalama

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Rest houses or wayside rests built near roads for travellers’ convenience are known as Ambalama. In ancient times, even high-ranking officials like Kings and ministers would stay in these wayside rests. Constructing an Ambalama was regarded as a highly meritorious act, influenced by the Buddhist principles prevalent in Sri Lanka. As a result, Ambalams were commonly found every two to three miles along public roads, with many old villages boasting two or three such structures. Additionally, Ambalams served as important gathering places for the local villagers, fostering community cohesion and interaction.

Some Ambalamas were intricately carved, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship. These structures were often erected under royal patronage or with the support of local nobles. As a result, the size and artistic embellishments of Ambalamas varied depending on the wealth and influence of the individuals sponsoring them.

When travelling from Haguranketha towards Rikillagaskada, approximately 1½ km along the way, you’ll encounter the Madanwala Ambalama situated on the right side of the road. This Ambalama features four main stone pillars supporting the roof, with 5-foot-high stone walls built on three sides. Inscriptions within the Ambalama record that it was constructed in 1901 by Abhayasinghe Appuhami, the Secretary of Sagaruwanketa.

In the early 20th century, this road primarily served bullock carts for transportation. Local villagers recall that the Madanwala Ambalama provided shelter for traders who frequented the area for trade during that period.

Today, the Madanwala Ambalama serves as a preschool for small children and as a space for self-employment activities. As a result, it has been equipped with nets and doors, and the doors are typically kept locked when not in use.

References

  1. අම්බලම හා සමාජය : ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ පුරාණ පිළිබඳ ඓතිහාසික හා පුරාවිද්‍යාත්මක පර්යේෂණයක්, 2018. , 1. කොළඹ : සීමාසහිත ඇස් ගොඩගේ සහෝදරයෝ (පුද්.) සමාගම.

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Map of Hanguranketha Madanwala Ambalama

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Travelling Directions to Hanguranketha Madanwala Ambalama

Madangwala Ambalam from Kandy
Via : Thannekumbura – Haragama – Haguranketha
Total Distance : 35 Km
Time : 1.15 Hours
Time To Spend : Around 15-30 Minutes
Driving Directions :  View on Google Map

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