Ruins of Palugaswewa Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Kala Oya (පලුගස්වැව පුරාණ ගල් පාලම නටබුණ්)

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Anuradhapura was the first real capital of Sri Lanka over two thousand two hundred years ago. The road network was in a highly developed state during this era, with major roads leading to Trincomalee, Mannar, Jaffna and the southern kingdoms from Anuradhapura. These roads were not only used for foot traffic but carts carrying goods travelling for trade and commercial activities. With the development of the road network, the ancient kings built sturdy bridges out of granite slabs and pillars. Ruins in various bridges around Anuradhapura can be found across Malwathu Oya, Hal Pan Ela, Kandara Oya, Yan Oya, Kala Oya and Deduru Oya.

Outside the more popular stone bridges over Malwathu Oya and Halpan Oya, ruins of a few other bridges have been discovered. There may be many more still undiscovered stone bridges across the unknown ancient routes.

As you travel along the Yodha Ela originating from Kala Wewa Reservoir towards the famous Avukana Buddha Statue, you will come across the Hondungama four way junction after passing the Avukana Statue. Turning right at this small roundabout leads to the small town of Hiripitiyagama. Travelling a little over a kilometre along this road will bring you to the bridge over Kala Oya also originating from Kala Wewa. Taking the gravel road to the right just before the bridge and travelling about 600 meters upstream from the bridge lies indications of an ancient stone bridge across Kala Oya. This bridge connected Alubedda and Palugaswewa across Kala Oya. Ruins of another older stone bridge lie a further 200 meters upstream known as Alubedda Stone Bridge

These ruins lie on the left bank belonging to the Aluth Udagama in Alubedda GS division belonging to Galenwa PS division which in turn belongs to Anuradhapura district.

Not much of the ruins are found at the site. Some rock pillars can be seen scattered around the waters. A few broken pillars can be seen still standing on the right bank of Kala Oya. The bridge has been built at a much narrower point compared to the Alubedda Bridge. The location has been selected due to a rock surface running across the bottom of Kala Oya providing a solid foundation to the bridge. Due to the absolute lack of any pillars or slabs at the Alubedda Bridge, it is assumed that any remaining pillars and slabs would have been repurposed for this bridge.

Other Stone Bridges of Sri Lanka

There are many stone bridges discovered in Sri Lanka. These are in various states while some have been conserved to an extent. The most popular is the bridge over the Malwathu Oya.

  1. Alubedda Stone Bridge
  2. Angammedilla National Park Stone Bridge (Polonnaruwa)
  3. Ebawalapitiya Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Deduru Oya
  4. Girihandu Seya Stone Bridge (Tiriyaya)
  5. Habagama Stone Bridge
  6. Halpan Ela Stone Bridge (Anuradhapura)
  7. Kayankerni Stone Bridge  (Eastern Province)
  8. Mahakanadarawa Wewa Stone Bridge (Mihintale)
  9. Nirawiya Farm Gal Palama (Thambuttegama)
  10. Palugaswewa Stone Bridge
  11. Pavakkulam Stone Bridge (Vavuniya)
  12. Perimiyankulama Gal Palama over Malwathu Oya (Anuradhapura)
  13. Ritigala Gal Palama (Anuradhapura)
  14. Sukara Nijjara Gal Amuna and Stone Bridge
  15. Thimbiripokuna Palamgala Gal Palama
  16. Thirappane Stone Bridge
  17. Thulawelliya Stone Bridge
  18. Ullukkulama Stone Bridge
  19. Vannadi Palama (Vannadi Stone Bridge) and Amuna
  20. Weliela Mankada Stone Bridge
  21. Yanoya Stone Bridge

Note that the location shown below on the Google Map is approximate based on the provided directions.

Ruins of Palugaswewa ancient Stone Bridge and Amuna
Ruins of Palugaswewa ancient Stone Bridge and Amuna
Image source : පුරාණ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ශෛලමය පාලම් නිර්මාණ කිහිපයක් සහ එහි තාක්ෂණය පිලිබඳ මූලික විමසුමක්

References

  • පුරාණ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ශෛලමය පාලම් නිර්මාණ කිහිපයක් සහ එහි තාක්ෂණය පිලිබඳ මූලික විමසුමක් – ආචාර්ය චන්දන රෝහණ විතානාච්චි
  • Ancient Irrigation System of Dry and Intermediate Zones as Revealed from Ancient Canals – Dr. C.R. Withanachchi

Also See

Map of the Ruins of Palugaswewa Gal Palama over Kala Oya

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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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 the Ruins of Palugaswewa Gal Palama over Kala Oya

Route from Kekirawa to Ruins of Palugaswewa Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Kala Oya
Through : Kalawewa – Avukana
Distance : 26  km
Travel time :1 hour
Time to spend : 30 mins to 1 hour
Driving directions : see on google maps

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