Ruins of the Ancient Kaduruwela Vijithapura Fort (කදුරුවෙල විජිතපුර බලකොටුව නටබුණ්)

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In 1979, an area culturally distinct in the shape of a square surrounded by three consecutive moats was discovered in Kaduruwela during the work on the Mahaweli Development Project by A. Denis N. Fernando. The area covered by this distinct shape was also confirmed by aerial photos of the region. It was later identified as ruins of a long-forgotten ancient fort of an unknown era. Not much attention was given to this archaeological artefact for the next 30 years while human activity continued over this area.

It was only in 2009-2010 that an archaeological study was carried out on this area. It was discovered that the fort had 2 main sections. The inner sanctum is surrounded by a moat and a 16-meter thick defence wall which runs around the approx. 870mx840m sanctum. It has been estimated that the wall would have been about 8 meters high based on the ancient writings on building forts. Currently, you can see 4-meter-high remains of the fort wall on the northern side.

The moat is 42 meters wide. Four great entrances have been built outside these walls. The Northern, Eastern and Western entrances have been placed at the centre of the walls. There has been a considerable effort in building an elaborate entrance with improved protection on the northern side of the fort. On the southern side, there is a 160-meter wide plot of land between the inner and the outer moat. The southern entrance has been placed towards the eastern edge of the wall where part of the Government Seed Farm now lies. signs of human habitation have been discovered on the land plot left to this entrance. This area might have been used as the soldiers’ quarters in ancient times.

Parts of the defence wall are today being used as access roads to the seed farm.  Part of the inner sanctum has been converted to a paddy field and the rest to residential buildings. Therefore most of the ruins inside this area have been destroyed over time and the building plan inside the sanctum is unknown but a glimpse into the life inside this ancient fort was discovered when a small part (30x10m) of the inner fort about 100 meters from western and southern walls were excavated.

The paddy fields before excavation, recovered artifacts and todays situation
The paddy fields before excavation, recovered artifacts and todays situation
image source : www.archaeology.lk

The excavation unearthed parts of a luxurious mansion hidden under the earth. The excavation has yielded evidence of the remains of three buildings attached. The main building has evidence that it had been connected to a highly developed water supply mechanism. There are signs of a gutter system and waterways, bathing pools and changing rooms within this complex. According to the archaeologists, this would have been an adobe of a king or a high-powered official. Based on the size of the bricks and the layout of the site, this fort at Kaduruwela has been dated to the early Anuradhapura period.

The final battle between the warrior Sinhalese king Dutugenunu and the south Indian king Elara who was ruling from Anuradhapura took place at the Vijithapura Fort, the final stronghold of Elara. The belief was that the Vijithapura Fort was close to Kala Wewa but considering the other places mentioned in the ancient text some historians believed that the Vijithapura should be located much closer to Polonnaruwa probably near Kaduruwela. Based on the dating of the fort it is now believed that this should be the popular popular Vijithapura Fort.

Also See

Also See

Map of Ruins at Kaduruwela Vijithapura Fort

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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Driving Directions to Kaduruwela Vijithapura Fort

The modern town of Polonnaruwa is also known as New Town, and the other part of Polonnaruwa remains the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.

Route from Colombo to Polonnaruwa Sacred CityRoute from Kandy to Polonnaruwa Sacred City
Through: Central Highway – Kurunegala – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo: 230 km
Travel Time: 4.45 hours
Driving Directions: See on Google map
Through : Maradankadawala – Habarana
Distance: 103 km
Travel Time: 2 hours
Driving Directions: see on Google map
Route from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa Sacred CityRoute from Batticaloa to Polonnaruwa Sacred City
Through : Maradankadawala – Habarana
Distance: 103 km
Travel Time: 2 hours
Driving Directions: See on Google map
Through : Maradankadawala – Habarana
Distance: 103 km
Travel Time : 2 hours
Driving Directions: see on Google map
Route from Polonnaruwa to Kaduruwela Vijithapura Fort
Through : Kaduruwela
Distance : 6 km
Travel time : 15 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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