Makuletenna Ambalama (මකුලේතැන්න අම්බලම)

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In ancient Sri Lanka, “Ambalama” was a meaningful tradition involving the creation of rest stops along frequently used routes. These shelters offered comfort and safety to weary travelers, whether they were walking or using carts. Additionally, ambalams played a vital role within communities, serving as gathering spots for villagers to enjoy leisure activities and hold communal discussions.

Constructing Ambalamas, which were rest stops for travelers, held both practical value and spiritual significance. These structures not only provided a necessary resting place but were also considered virtuous actions. The belief was strong that offering comfort and safety to travelers earned blessings and positive karma.

Maintaining these Ambalam was viewed as a sacred obligation. Any disrespect or harm to these resting places was thought to lead to serious consequences and bad karma. Hence, great care was taken to keep Ambalam clean, attractive, and in excellent condition.

The Ambalama at Makulethenna lies just 100 meters away from the Makulethenna Rajamaha Viharaya in Matale. To reach this building from Matale, take the Harrison Jones Road and travel 3.5 km along this narrow road. The ambalama lies near the road surrounded by lush paddy fields.

The Ambalama stands on a square raised platform with half walls surrounding the building. Four octagonal pillars hold the roof of the Ambalama.

The roof is tiled with semi cylindrical clay tiles (sinhala ulu) and the typical “Kanimadala” design of a square ambalama can be seen in designing the roof. This is a special roof construction method found on Ambalama of the Kandyan era. The wooden beams of the roof are joint together at the center using a wooden nail called Madol Kurupawa. Total weight of the roof is equally distributed by Madol Kurupawa. The Kanimadala lies at the center of Madol Kurupawa with floral design is carved at the end of this piece of wood.

The roof is tiled with semi-cylindrical clay tiles (known as “sinhala ulu”) while featuring the distinctive “Kanimadala” design commonly associated with ambalamas. This architectural style is a unique roofing technique popular from the Kandyan era. The wooden roof beams are skillfully interconnected at the central point using a wooden peg referred to as the “Madol Kurupawa,” which effectively distributes the roof’s weight evenly. The pivotal point for this distribution, the Kanimadala, exhibits an floral motif carved at the bottom.

Also See

Map of Makuletenna Ambalama

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

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.

Driving Directions to Makuletenna Ambalama

Route from Kandy to Makuletenna Ambalama
Via : Matale
distance : 30 km
Travel time : 1 hour
Driving directions : see on google map


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