Ruins of the Ancient Fort on Hunnasgiriya Mountain in Medamahanuwara

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After you pass through the bustling city of Kandy, a world heritage site famous for its ancient temples and stunning natural beauty, you will need to travel approximately 33 km on the scenic Mahiyangana road. This road takes you across the majestic Mahaweli River, the longest river in Sri Lanka, and leads you to the serene and picturesque Medamahanuwara area, which is known for its lush greenery and stunning landscapes.

Medamahanuwara Mountain is today known as Hunnasgiriya Mountain. On the top of this hill are the remains of an ancient fort or palace. According to legend, this fort was built by King Senarath (1604 – 1635) who ruled the Kandyan Kingdom.

The village of Bombure is located not far from Medamahanuwara. In 1815, King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha was captured by the British in Bomure in the face of the invasion of the Kandyan kingdom. According to history, King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha left the Kandy palace and went to the palace of Medamahanuwara mountain with a few close allies and his wives.

After an arduous journey of about 35 km, the group reached Bomure. It was decided to stay that night at the house of Udupitiya Arachchirala, whom the king trusted very much.

But the British were already in search of the king. In the evening of that day, the British forces surrounded Arachchirala’s house and took Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe and his wives under their custody. The acts of the Sinhalese traitors among the British at that time have been recorded in many books.

But there is a different legend to the above stories. At that time, there was a secret tunnel from the back of a waterfall in the village of Bombure to the palace on Medamahanuwara mountain. The king and this group first went to this Bombure village waterfall. The king held a palm branch to the waterfall. This should split the waterfall and reveal the tunnel entrance behind it. But this time, unfortunately, the tunnel entrance could not be seen. The king, who could not do anything, left to go to the palace on the mountain on foot through the forest. However, due to travel fatigue, they decided to stay at Arachchi’s house in Udupitiya.

This waterfall has been explored by Palita Madugalle who had written an article in Lankadeepa newspaper. He found no waterfall anywhere in the village of Bomure today. There had been a waterfall 200 years ago, but no villager knows the whereabouts of it now.

However, below the place where the king was arrested, there is a place called Dora-Bombure (Door of Bomure). Villagers of Bombure say that there was a waterfall where the entrance of the tunnel was at the place called Dora-Bombure. It is said that this is the reason why this area is called Dorabombure. Apart from this, no place that is said to be the background of this legend can be found today.

Fragments of a strong wall made of stone can be seen here and there on the Hunnasgiriya mountain. In addition, there are ruins believed to be of a palace in the center. No exploration has been done on this and proper exploration should reveal other hidden ruins of the forest.

There is no proper way to explore this mountain. You can start climbing the hill from the concrete road before the Rajagala Residences Hotel. The lower part of the hill consists of a pine plantation. 

References

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Map of Ruins of the Ancient Fort on Hunnasgiriya Mountain

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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

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Traveling Directions to Ancient Fort on Hunnasgiriya Mountain

From Kandy to the Ancient Fort on Hunnasgiriya Mountain
Via : Mahiyangana Road
Total Distance : 38 km to the foot of the hill
Time to Travel : 1 hour + time required to climb the hill : 
Driving directions :  View on google map

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