Mawanella Makadawara Ambalama

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Wayside rest halls located near major route in the ancient times for the benefit of the travellers are called Ambalama. In ancient times, even kings and ministers used to lodge in these ambalama’s while traveling. In the past, building a Ambalama for the benefit of all types of fatigued travelers was considered as a one of the highest pious acts a person could do. The Sri Lankan Buddhist culture further contributed and strengthen these ideas. Therefore, Ambalams could be seen two or three miles away on public roads and even two or three Ambalams could be seen in some ancient villages. At the same time, this Ambalama became important as a gathering place for the people of the village.

Fine wood and stone carvings can be seen some of the ambalams. They were often built under royal patronage or patronage of local aristocrats. Therefore, the size of these ambalams and the quality of the artwork varied based on the and the wealth of the people who sponsored.

Passing the New Mawanella Roundabout, drive 4 km towards Kadugannava on the Kandy Road and turn left to Ganethenna Sri Sudharmarama Vihara, after 3½ km, you can reach Makadawara Ambalama. This ambalama is also known as Udamakkadavara ambalama.

This Makadawara ambalama is quite large. This is a rectangular building 20 feet long and wide, its roof rests on four huge octagonal pillars. This ambalama was originally located in the middle of a paddy field, but the area where the ambalama is now highly populated with houses. Therefore, the height of the original base is not visible now. Thick and short walls were used as seats. Makadawara Ambalama is built using brick and mortar.

The roof is finished using Sinhala tiles. The Madol Kurupava, which joins all the beams of the roof, is a carved with a floral desgn. Kanimadala Kotha too has a floral design made of clay.

This ambalama was made by Vedamahata of Bakmeewatte. According to his living great-grandson, he lived 150 years ago. Therefore, it can be concluded that Ambalam is more than 150 years old. It seems that the original form of Ambalam has not changed even today.

It is said that Dunugoma Ambalama, which was about ¼ mile south of this Ambalama, was destroyed about 50 years ago.

References

  • 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 Mawanella Makadawara Ambalama

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Traveling Directions to Mawanella Makadawara Ambalama

From Mawanella (Colombo – Kandy Road) to Makadawara Ambalama
Via : Ganethanna Sri Sudharmarama Viharaya Road
Total distance: 3.3 km
Duration : 10 minutes
Time to be spent: About 15-30 minutes
Driving Directions : View on Google Maps

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