Toppigala Heritage Park – තොප්පිගල උරුමය
Thoppigala which was once called Baron’s Cap during the pre-independent era is nestled amidst ravishingly and naturally landscaped lush paddy lands bordering natural and manmade water ways.
Thoppigala is situated 40km Northwest of Batticaloa which was for many years not accessible due to LTTE activities. The war heroes toiled through the day and the gloom of the night in peril and pain for the deliverance of Thoppigala from the hands of the LTTE terrorists.
Thoppigala is no more a hideous sight which once was a remote rendezvous of the now defunct LTTE terrorists. The remoteness and the war activities dissuaded the traveller from experiencing the breathtaking sceneries of the environs of the area.
With the opening of the Thoppipgala monument, untrod roads are now ready to welcome travellers from all corners of the world. The “Thoppigala Heritage Park”, a brainchild of the Sri Lanka Army Eastern Command and Dilmah Conservation has helped to create a united Sri Lanka while providing visitors a chance to experience the beauty of nature.
The Thoppigala Monument was ceremoniously opened by the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and vested with the nation on April 18. The Monument, which is regarded as the biggest in Sri Lanka constructed with financial assistance given by Dilmah Conservation.
The Sri Lanka Army provided the labour under the supervision of Security Forces Commander-East Lal Perera, 23 Divisional Commander Brigadiar Athula Kodippili, and 232 Brigade Commander Sena Waduge.
Nihal Bodhinayake Associates extended the architectural assistance.
The project was designed to extend economic support to the people of the area.
The products of the villagers are sold in shops in the Heritage Park. Information on Thoppigala area can be obtained from the centre.
The exhibition area features various stages of the war. Photographs, models and display units are displayed to showcase the great role played by the Sri Lanka Army in the eradication of terrorism from the soils of the country. Display area showcasing unique features of the Eastern Province is the “Dilmah Conservation Heritage Centre”. Informative panels, 3- dimensional exhibition units portray Sri Lanka’s diverse ecosystems and important social, cultural and environmental areas.
The memorial which is designed to honour the lives claimed during the war is based on a theme which explicitly elaborates the valour of the heroes.
The camp site is especially designed for nature lovers to enjoy the rustic charm of the surroundings. The camp area was a well-camouflaged training ground of LTTE combatants during the war on terrorism.
The nature trail and obstacle course to the Thoppigala peak is an exciting trek through the jungle to the high ground to look out over a panorama of fertile land and the thicket. After a day of activities, cafeteria and rest room facilities are available for the visitor.
Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa gave an open invitation at the occasion to the Diaspora and the groups who work against Sri Lanka to visit the country and witness the development process taking place.
The Founder of Dilmah, Merrill J. Fernando said he is delighted to have received the unique opportunity of sponsoring the Thoppigala Monument as a token of appreciation of uniting Sri Lanka by eradicating terrorism under the leadership and guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
School uniforms were given away by the Defence Secretary to 2200 schoolchildren in the area at the occasion sponsored by the Dilmah Conservation. The Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Roshan Gunathilaka, Commander of the Army Lt. General Jagath Jayasuriya, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Harsha Abeywickrama, Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakoon, Director General of Civil Defence Forces Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris, Iyoma Rajapaksa, Founder of Dilmah, Merrill J. Fernando and Director Malik Fernando were present at the occasion.
Further details can be obtained from the 232 Brigade Headquarters on 065 3641093 and 065 3641094.
by By Amal Hewavissenti
Map of the Toppigala Heritage Park
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.
Traveling Directions to Toppigala Heritage Park
Route from Polonnaruwa to Toppigala Heritage Park
Route from Batticaloa to Toppigala Heritage Park
|Distance : 70 km|
Travel time : 1.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
|Distance : 47 km|
Travel time : 1.15 hours
Driving directions : see on google map