Udugampola Pathaha Pokuna (Pond) – උඩුගම්පොළ පතහ පොකුණ

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Udugampola Pathaha Pokuna (Pond) - උඩුගම්පොළ පතහ පොකුණ
Udugampola Pathaha Pokuna (Pond) – උඩුගම්පොළ පතහ පොකුණ
L Manju, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

During the reign of king Weeraparakramabahu VIII (1484 – 1508) of Kotte, the kingdom was subdivided in to several semi-autonomous sub kingdoms which were ruled by Royal Princes. According to historical chronicles such as Rajaveliya and Alakeshwara Yuddhaya, during the final days of Weeraparakramabahu VIII, he had appointed 5 sons to rule these subkingdoms. His eldest son, Parakramabahu (later the king Dharma Parakramabahu IX) ruled the Colombo area of from Kotte and became the king of Kotte on the demise of this farther, prince Vijayabahu and prince Rajasinghe built the city of Monikkadawara, and whilst young men, lived in one place and cohabited with one woman. His other prince Bandara (Raigam Bandara) took residency in Raigama and his daughter was given in marriage to king of Ambulugala. He also had two sons by a lesser queen (sister of the principal queen). Prince Sakalakala Vallabha lived in a palace in Udugampola in Gampaha area and Udugampola in Gampaha area and Thaniya Vallabha in Madampe in Chilaw (Guṇasēkara, 1900).

Sakalakala Vallabha was a important sub ruler during the Kotte era as he was a worrier who protected Kotte from numerous external attacks. During the reign of Dharma Parakramabahu IX (1509 – 1528), a Muslim trader named Kadirayana Mudaliyar had landed in Chilaw with a large army to forcibly fish pearls off Chilaw sea and to capture elephants. The king sent Sakalakala Vallabha who joined Thaniya Vallabha (who was ruling Chilaw area) and attacked, destroyed this army and captured 89 prisoners’ who were brought to Kotte. He was again called to duty by Dharma Parakramabahu to quench a rebellion in the Sathara Korales raised by the king of Kandy. It was again him (Rajavaliya mentions him as prince Chakrayudha which is believed to be a honourary title given to Sakalakala Vallabha) who went to investigate and advised the king when a wrecked ship of a Portuguese arrived at the Colombo harbour for the first time and the locals reported the incident to the king.

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However after the demise of Dharma Parakramabahu, the ministers went to Udugampola and brought Sakalakala Vallabha to Kotte and offered the kingship of Kotte kingdom as the next in line. He however refused it and offered the kingship to his brother Vijayabahu who was living in Menikkadawara, crowned him as king Vijayabahu and went back to his palace in Udugampola.

The palace of Sakalakala Vallabha was located at the site where the Maligagodella Uttararama Purana Vihara of Udugampola lies today. The area of this vihara which currently falls under the Minuwangoda Division in the Gampaha District was called Dasiya Paththu of Uthuru Aluthkuru Korala in the past. Many ruins such as ancient walls, stone pillars, stone tiles, toilet stone foundations and roof tile fragments that can be seen in the temple grounds indicate that the history of the palace of king Sakalakala Vallabha dates back to around 1485.

Adjoining the temple lies an massive bathing pool built using kabook bricks, shaped as a inverted “L”. Covering an area of 2400 square meters, this is one of the largest bathing pond of a king ever found.   The walls of the pond has been made of kabook with short juts protruding outwards from the bottom to the top. The kabook blocks used in the construction of the pond are vary in size but neatly fitted.

There area left to the temple has been identified as the flower garden of the palace. The water to the pond had been diverted from Aswana Oya though an underground canal which is now collapsed. The excess water has been discharged rom the other end of the pond to the moat. This pool was restored by the Archaeology Department and a 450 meter waking path has been built around this pond. The rock slab from which the king is said to have dived in to the pond too can be seen at the pond.

This slab of rock is also has a interesting story. With the king ruling Udugampola sub kingdom till ripe old age. Being impatient to take over the land, two of his seven sons, prince Kalu Kumara Bandara and Veeramunda planned to kill their father by planting pointed wood with metal tips hidden under the water of Pathaha pond where the king used to bathe. But before jumping onto the points the king observed small flying insects landing on the surface of the water. Upon further scrutiny the king found the insects were landing on the points. Realizing the the attempt to ke his life, the king ordered the killing of his sons. But Kalu Kumara Bandara escaped and vanished to Sri Pada area and later committed suicide by jumping off a cliff. It is believed that he became a supernatural called “Kalu Kumaraya“.

The ground plan of Udugampola sub-kingdom (Hewapathirathna,2000)
The ground plan of Udugampola sub-kingdom (Hewapathirathna,2000)

References

  • Gunasekara, B., 1900. The Rajavaliya or A Historical Narrative of Sinhalese Kings from Vijaya to to Vimala Dharma Suriya II. 1st ed. Colombo: GEORGE J. A, SKEEN.
  • Wijesuriya, D., 2015. Administration of Udugampola, sub kingdom: A historical and archaeological legacy. 3rd Biennial Conference of the International Association for Asian Heritage, 27th – 28th December 2015, Centre for Asian Studies, University of Kelaniya & International Association for Asian Heritage (IAAH).
  • En.wikipedia.org. 2022. Pathaha Pokuna – Wikipedia. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathaha_Pokuna> [Accessed 30 January 2022].

Also See

Map of Udugampola Pathaha Pokuna (Pond)

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Travel Directions to Udugampola Pathaha Pokuna (Pond)

Route from Colombo to Udugampola Pathaha Pokuna (Pond)
distance : 37 km
Travel time : 1 hour
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