Udunuwara Wathupola Ambalama

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උඩුනුවර වතුපොල අම්බලම - Udunuwara Wathupola Ambalama
උඩුනුවර වතුපොල අම්බලම – Udunuwara Wathupola Ambalama
photograph by : Eranda Prabash Rajakaruna

In ancient times, people travelled from place to place on foot or by cart. Pilgrimage or trade journeys were measured in days, not in feet as they are now. Therefore, rest stops or ambalamas were born here and there. These ambalams were used to cook a little food for the travellers to spend the night safely. They are built around commonly used roads. During the construction of the Ambalam, a place was chosen where there are facilities for a passenger, i.e. near a well or a stream.

In ancient times, individuals traversed distances on foot or by cart. Pilgrimages and trade expeditions were gauged in days rather than mere hours, as in modern times. Consequently, resting places, known as ambalamas, sprouted sporadically along routes. These ambalamas served to prepare modest meals for weary travellers seeking a safe haven for the night. They were strategically erected along well-traveled paths, often near sources of water such as wells or streams, ensuring convenience for the traveller.

Watupola Ambalama can be reached by travelling 6¾ km to Watupola on the Kirivavula road which is found near the Ilukwatta Muslim Mosque on the Colombo Kandy road. Vathupola Ambalama is located in the middle of a beautiful paddy field. To reach this Ambalama, one has to stop the vehicle near the Vathupola Rajamaha Viharaya and cross a stream.

This is a small ambalama built in a symmetrical square shape on slightly elevated ground. Made of stone and brick, the walls of this ambalama are constructed to a height of about two feet to serve as seats. The back wall is a few inches higher than the side walls. This variation in height is a common feature in ambalamas from this period. It was traditional during this time to provide high seats for those considered important and lower seats for others.

The roof is constructed using semi-cylindrical clay tiles. A traditional clay pinnacle is placed atop the roof. This ambalama was declared an archaeological site through a gazette notification in 2011.

Also See

Map of Udunuwara Wathupola Ambalama

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Traveling Directions to Udunuwara Wathupola Ambalama

Pirmatalawa from Ilukwatta to Udunuwara Watupola Ambalam
Via : Wattappola
Total Distance: 6.7 km
Time taken: 20 minutes
Time taken: Around 10-15 minutes
Driving Directions:  View on Google Map

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