Paskema Rock inside the Yala : යාල තුල සැඟවුණු පස්කෙම ගල් වැටිය

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PASKEMA (drone photo, from N) : Paskema Rock inside the Yala : යාල තුල සැඟවුණු පස්කෙම ගල් වැටිය
PASKEMA (drone photo, from N) : Paskema Rock inside the Yala : යාල තුල සැඟවුණු පස්කෙම ගල් වැටිය
source : Ruins in and Around Yala National Park in Sri Lanka

The Yala jungles were used by the British colonial government as a gaming reserve which became a national park after independence. However, on March 23, 1900, Yala was declared a wildlife sanctuary and hunting was banned. Engelbrecht a boar prisoner became the first ‘Forest Officer’ in the protected area. The archaeological sites inside its boundaries formed an effective “archaeological blanket area”. Even though these sites were shielded and protected by the latter human activities, they have become an easy hunting grounds for treasure hunters where they could exercise their craft unhindered.

After the 13the century, the the dry zone the civilization in the northeastern part of Sri Lanka collapsed and the civilization in this region too fell in line. As a result of the loss of people’s livelihoods due to the war, decease and the devastation of irrigation systems, villages migrated to other areas. Along with this, all the great buddhist monasteries too collapsed. Traces of this great civilisation was eventually swallowed by the jungles of Ruhuna.

Paskema” is rocky plateau inside the block III of Yala National Park and lies about 1.7km east to the Galge Entrance to the Yala. If faces the gravel road from Galge entrance to the Kumbukkan Oya river. “Kema” means natural rock pond which are found on rocky outcrops. Most of the large ponds retain rainwater throughout the dry periods and become a valuable source of water for the humans as well as the animals when the ponds become dry. The meaning of Pas-Kema is “five natural rock pools”. True to its name, the rock bed of Paskema is dotted with various sized kema’s, alot more than 5. On the northwest slope of the rock hill 16 such rock ponds had been counted. It is unknown which five “kema” refers to, but some are the largest ones, which are 5m long, 2m wide, and more than 2m deep, and many show deep gouges beneath the surface.

Unlike in most other rocky outcrops in this area, no archaeological ruins of a buddhist temple is found on this rock. This rock has been surveyed by a Japanese Archaeological team who has researched on the hidden buddhist ruins in and around the Yala National Park in 2018.


  • Okamura, T., 2021. Ruins in and Around Yala National Park in Sri Lanka. 1st ed. Tokyo: NPO-SARERS – South Asian Ruins Exploration and Research Society.

Also See

Map of Paskema Rock

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Travel Directions to Paskema Rock

Route from Colombo to Paskema Rock (upto Galge Entrance)
Though : Southern Expressway – Kataragama – Buttala Road
distance :275 km
Travel time : 4 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map