Posted by: lrrp | September 29, 2005

Cultural heritage of Kandy by Dr. Mirando Obeysekere

It is a truth that the archaeologists have found that there had been human settlements in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. The Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Cemetery, Sigiri Fortress and Seetha Kovil of Seetha Eliya, Nuwara Eliya are few examples to prove that, we had human settlements in the Central Province.

Up country had been the generator of the governments of ancient Yakkha rulers of Sri Lanka. According to the annals King Ravana lived here and reigned over the whole country. King Ravana had made his capitals at the Salubrious Nuwara Eliya, Laggala, Matale, and Sabaragamuwa Province.

But the city of Kandy is not a foundation of King Ravana or any other Yakkha ruler. Kandy became the Capital of King Weerawickrama (1542 AD) and later the capital well-developed by King Wimala Dharmasuriya – I (1592 – 1604) the son of Galagoda Weerasundara Bandara of Peradeni Walauwa. From King Wimala Dharmasuriya to King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe the last king of Sri Lanka, Kandy was the capital of the hill country.

There are many beliefs in folklore pertaining to the ancient history of Kandy. According to legends there was a powerful Bahirawa Devalaya at the top of the Bahirawa Kanda where hundreds of beautiful girls had been sacrificed to Bahirawa Deviyo. These Devalayas and Kovils flourished during the days of Nayakkar Kings.

Dunuwilla Gajanayake Nilame, chief of the Elephant department of the King interfered to release his fiancee who was sentenced to be sacrificed, Bahirawa Puja, and released. This was the end of Bahirawa pooja and the Kovil got ruined with the passage of time.

The ‘Kumarahapuwa’ where most of Kandyan aristocrats had been tortured and beheaded should be protected and a memorial should be erected to provide all the facilities to the visitors and Researchers. Pilimathalawe chief Adigar was beheaded at Kumarahapuwa.

“Dewa Sanhinda” is another place having a pathetic history as much as Kumarahapuwa. According to the historians that the Dewa Sanhinda had been situated in between Sri Maha Vishnu Devalaya and Natha Devalaya. These historical places should be protected and all the facilities should be afforded to visitors.

The historic Bogambara Tank is not there now, it is invisible. The tank had been built by damming the Lunumandala Ela.

Anyway there should be kept a mark or built a memorial to remember the drowning of Ehelepola Kumarihamy and the team of her relatives.

Devasanhinda is the place where the children of Ehelapola chief Adigar were tortured to death. “Vikuntha Veediya is the shortest of all the streets of Kandy. The legend says that there was a small statue of God Vishnu and the people came here to worship but this is not at Kovil.

Nagaha Veediya begins from the tank bunt and spreads to the present Hill Street

Per Volar Su Nata- Born to fly upwards

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