Padikema Pathanangala Ruins in Yala National Park (යාල පඩිකෙම පතනන්ගල නටබුන්)

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Padikema Pathanangala is a large rock with a mild slope on one side inside the Yala Ruhuna National Park quite popular for spotting leopards and bears. Pathanangala Beach is one of the few places the visitors are allowed to alight from their vehicles inside the park and the trail to the beach lies close to this massive rock giving a good view.

Above the rock water-hole called Padikema has on its sloping, upper western face an artificial arrangement of boulders and stone blocks, now much displaced, forming three sides of a rectangle, the fourth side being formed by the natural row of summit boulders beneath which were constructed, in pre-Christian times, several caves. This structure has the appearance of a fortification and these hills were probably the fortress called Palutthagiri where two important actions, were fought in the 11th century.

The first of these took place in 1017 after the capture of Mahinda IV by the Colas. The minister, Buddha, and a court official named Kitti continued the struggle against the invaders. ‘At a place called Palutthagiri they took up fortified positions, carried on war for six months and killed a great number of Damilas. The Co[as who had survived the slaughter in this fight, seized with fear, fled and took up their abode as before at Pulatthinagara (Polonnaruwa).

The second battle was fought in 1041. Vijayabahu I put upon entrenchment for the conquest of the Colas on the Paluttha mountain and took up his adobe there. The Cola army surrounded the rocks on all sides and a terrible fight between the two armies took place. The King’s soldiers annihilated the Damila army. The Chronicle makes it clear that in both instances the position taken up by the Sinhalese forces was essentially defensive, where they could withstand siege and trap their enemies, as well as make offensive forays.

Hocart has proposed the identification of Palutthagiri with Palatupana, and in the identity of the two names he is doubtless right. The nearest rocky hills to Palatupana of any considerable height or extent which could have served as a fortress, with water supplies and cave shelters for a large body of men, are those at Magul Maha Viharaya.

List of Archaeological Sites inside Yala and Kumana National Parks


  1. Nicholas, C. W. (1963). Historical Topography of Ancient and Medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series Volume VI Special Number, p.61
  2. Nicholas, C.W. (1952) “Text of the Brahmi Inscriptions in the Ruhuna National Park,” Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, II(2), pp. 126–140.

Also See

Map of Modaragala Ruins in Yala

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

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Travel Directions to Modaragala Ruins in Yala

The park can be reached through Southern Highway. It is 275 kilometres away (the shortest path through Ratnapura avoiding the Highway but travel time is longer) from Colombo.

Route from Colombo to Yala National Park  (Ruhuna) EntranceRoute from Kataragama to Yala National Park  (Ruhuna) Entrance
Through : Southern Highway – Mattala – Tissamaharama – Kirinda
Distance : 275 km
Travel time : 4.30 hours
Driving directions : see on Google map
Through Tissamaharama – Kirinda
Distance : 40 km
Travel time : 45 minutes.
Driving directions : see on Google map


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