Rathmale Nelumwewa Ambalama (රත්මලේ නෙලුම්වැව අම්බලම)

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The Nelumwewa Ambalama, which is now destroyed, is situated along the Ratmale-Dikwella road. It is positioned 900 meters away from the Ratmale junction and approximately 4.5 kilometers from the town of Dikwella.

According to local legends, the history of this Ambalama dates back over 250 years. In ancient times, there existed a prominent “Mara” Tree at this junction. During its growth, villagers had placed clay pot within one of its hollows. As years went by, the tree gradually enveloped and embraced the clay pot, creating a unique and fascinating natural occurrence.

Around 250 years in the past, the local villagers collaborated to construct the Ambalama in proximity to the Mara tree. This Ambalama took the form of a square structure, featuring low walls on all four sides. Adjacent to these short walls, they erected seating benches, forming a connected arrangement on three sides of the Ambalama.

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.

However these values held by the people were eroded with time and in 2014, this ambalama was destroyed. Only the short walls of 2 sides survived. How destroyed this structure and way it was destroyed is still a mystery to the villagers. The Mara Tree has also been cutdown around 2021/22.

After few years the villagers got together built a hut at this site using wooden poles and galvanized sheets for the roof.

Also See

Map of Rathmale Nelumwewa 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

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Driving Directions to Rathmale Nelumwewa Ambalama

Route from Colombo to Rathmale Nelumwewa Ambalama
Via : Kekanadura
distance : 16 km
Travel time : 30 mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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