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.
In addition to the most popular stone bridge over Malwathu Oya in Anuradhapura, ruins of another stone bridge over Malwathu Oya exist in the Thirippane area. The remains of the bridge lie 800 meters upstream from the new bridge over Malwathu Oya on the Anuradhapura – Kekirawa road. Now the river flows in a double horseshoe bend in this area. Based on marks made during the quarrying of pillars, this bridge could be dated to the Anuradhapura era.
The river is about 18 meters in width at this location. The ruins are spread over an area of about 15 meters. Fortunately, several pillars are preserved still standing vertically. There are 14 pillars still standing on the original location constructed over a millennia ago. Eight of the pillars are of full height. These are about 2.5 meters high. The rest are broken at various places. These pillars have been fitted into squire cavities carved in a rock surface at the bottom of the river. The sizes of these pillars vary from 20×20 cm to 30×30 cm.
Three rows of pillars could be identified among the ruins. The distance of the pillars is about 1.5 – 2.0 meters. These pillars would have been interlocked with horizontal bars and rock slabs would have been laid onto these bars. Some of the rock slabs can be still seen submerged in the water of the river. From the positioning of the pillars, this bridge would have been about 4 meters wide. Due to a later change of path of the river, the left part of the bridge has been buried in the banks.
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.
- Alubedda Stone Bridge
- Angammedilla National Park Stone Bridge (Polonnaruwa)
- Ebawalapitiya Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Deduru Oya
- Girihandu Seya Stone Bridge (Tiriyaya)
- Habagama Stone Bridge
- Halpan Ela Stone Bridge (Anuradhapura)
- Kayankerni Stone Bridge (Eastern Province)
- Mahakanadarawa Wewa Stone Bridge (Mihintale)
- Nirawiya Farm Gal Palama (Thambuttegama)
- Palugaswewa Stone Bridge
- Pavakkulam Stone Bridge (Vavuniya)
- Perimiyankulama Gal Palama over Malwathu Oya (Anuradhapura)
- Sukara Nijjara Gal Amuna and Stone Bridge
- Thimbiripokuna Palamgala Gal Palama
- Thirappane Stone Bridge
- Thulawelliya Stone Bridge
- Ullukkulama Stone Bridge
- Vannadi Palama (Vannadi Stone Bridge) and Amuna
- Weliela Mankada Stone Bridge
- Yanoya Stone Bridge
Note that the location shown below on the Google Map is approximate based on the provided directions.
- පුරාණ ශ්රී ලංකාවේ ශෛලමය පාලම් නිර්මාණ කිහිපයක් සහ එහි තාක්ෂණය පිලිබඳ මූලික විමසුමක් – ආචාර්ය චන්දන රෝහණ විතානාච්චි
- Hydro Heritage of Sri Lanka
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of the Ruins of Thirappane Gal Palama over Malwathu Oya
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
Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.
Travelling Directions to the Thirappane Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Malwathu Oya
|Route from Anuradhapura to Thirappane Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Malwathu Oya
|Through : Galkulama
Distance : 20 km
Travel time :30 mins
Time to spend : 30 mins
Driving directions : see on google maps