Pinnawala Elephant Oph

Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala

The elephant orphanage can be approached by turning 82nd km post in Colombo-Kandy route. It is 10 km north-west of Kegalle town and very close to Rambukkana town. By train it is just 2 km from Rambukkana railway station. The orphanage was established in 1975 in a 7 ha coconut plantation. It is the first elephant orphanage established in Sri Lanka. Besides, it is also used as a breeding centre of elephants, which belong to the National Zoo in Sri Lanka. A branch of National Zoo is also presently available right next to the orphanage. In present, the orphanage is home to over 60 elephants including both male and female elephants. Instead of elephants are brought here from various regions found abandoned by their mothers or displaced from their wild habitat. The elephant orphanage has become a tourist attraction and a resort popular among local and foreign tourists and nature lovers unto now. Signature of Sri Lanka 187 At the time it was finally settled the orphanage had 7 baby elephants and now it is developed unto the happiness of seeing births occurring. First it was planned to attract tourists. But in time these aspirations were changed into a greater intention to feed, nurse and house elephants while providing space to study elephants. Later, Pinnawala elephant orphanage has turned in to a breeding ground of jumbos with subsidies of local and foreign donators. The first birth at Pinnawala was in 1984, “Sukumalee” a female was born to “Vijaya” and Kumaree”. Over 40 baby elephants have been born in the orphanage unto now. Year by year the number of orphans and breeding are rapidly increasing. Since then, 40 more were born healthy expect one orthopaedic and one born dead. The better environment appropriate for demeanour of elephants is a significance of this area. The orphanage is adjacent to Maha Oya River. Thus, elephant bath has become a main attraction for both local and foreign tourists. The everyday scene of young and adult elephants conduct in group to the river for bathing is a sympathetic view. Pinnawala elephant orphanage is included with all the facilities needed for tourists, and it is open to the public daily.

Pinnawala Zoo

Pinnawala Zoo

Sri Lanka’s first open-air zoo was open in 2015 for public display. It is located right next to the popular Elephant Orphanage and is a branch of the zoological garden in Dehiwala. The need of a second zoological garden was felt long time ago since the rich biodiversity in Sri Lanka provides a big space for such facility. On the other hand, there are lots of endemic and native animals who need to be looked after and the public must be given an opportunity to recognize them in order to enhance their awareness about the richness of biodiversity in Sri Lanka. The concept of open-air zoology, unlike the conventional caged animals, provides the animals with a comparatively large space for their movements. It currently shelters numerous endemic species including Sri Lankan leopard, leaf monkey, Sri Lankan elephant and many Sri Lankan birds.

Selawa Viharaya

Selawa Rajamaha Vihara

The historic Selawa Vihara can be confronted by proceeding about 5 km to east direction across Arama from Aranayaka. The sacred complex is located based on three caves. The cavern which is clad with clay walls is grounded at the precipice of the gigantic rock. Two image houses and a store house are included in the cave with drip-ledges. There is a long vestibule of 40 m in front of the image house and 18 lumber posts that would count 4.3 m tall sustain the eave. The vestibule would measure 6-7 m wide. There is a stone inscription erected by King Sri Wikkrama Rajasinha in presence of the holly place. This epigraph is considered to be the last established by a King in Sri Lanka. A live-size image of Meegasthenna adigar is painted inside of the outer wall of the temple. Behind the vihara complex there are two closets. It is said that these closets were dedicated to safeguard kings during calamities. 102 SABARAGAMUWA Constructions of this sanctuary that was commenced in the reign of King Kirthi Sri Rajasinha (1779 A.D.) who governed Mahanuwara kingdom was completely finished and consecrated in 1806 A.D. It is considered that the delay in constructions was happened by not being able to held “Nethra Mangalya” (eye opening ceremony of an image of Lord Buddha) due to the amplitude of vihara complex. However, all the works were concluded by consecrating land grants for the continuation of the sanctuary in the days of King Sri Wikkrama Rajasinha (1798-1815 A.D.). A recumbent Buddha statue, a sedent image and a standing image are enshrined inside the image house. Lotus decorations, images of deities and reclining images are inscribed in vihara complex. Twenty four annotations and an invaluable painting that belong to Mahanuwara reign can also be sighted in this place of worship.


Padavigampala Dolmen: Stonefly

This dolmen or stonefly can be sighted at Padavigampala temple which is located in a 1½ km distance from Dahan Pavuwa junction that is confronted 4 km ahead in Rambukkana-Walgama road. It is believed that this cromlech was erected even before the induction of King Vijaya. The dolmen is considered as the only construction hither to be discovered in Sri Lanka that contains a stone slab on two other large stone planks. Two stone walls that would measure 3.1 m long and 1.9 m high support 4.7×3.1 m size stone slab. The ground that the stone fly stands is comparatively lower than the ground in vicinity. Various academicians who have researched about the dolmen have voiced on its account of historical value. It has been recognized as a tomb that belongs to the 180 SABARAGAMUWA Stone Age. Another conception is that this terrain with the stone slab was used to inter the deceased tribal chiefs lived in Stone Age. The view that unfolds that the paintings were drawn in stone walls using animal-blood after interring bodies of chives is also significant. Prof. Senarath Paranavithana has examined the place and has built a stone parapet encompassing the cromlech to ensure its security. Currently, the head stone of the platform is cracked. The stone rampart wall at the left side is also cracked. The cliff caused by the crack seems to be gradually amplified. These stones adjoined to the stonefly are not exact charnockite and known as “Makkagal”. There are evidences to believe that the stone chamber with this dolmen has got an entrance (door). Doorframes might have been made of an object like timber that is perishable in lapse of time. The dented places in stone slabs of either side can be where the door-frame was fixed. The terrain, where the stonefly is grounded is verily referred as “Padavigampola”. The area name “Padavigampola” is also mentioned in folklore. With reference to a folklore that traces back to the era of arahant Mihindu unveils that Mihindu thero has visited this venue. Accordingly, it is said that the village near the dolmen called “Meeduma” was entitled in that name because arahant Mihindu has visited the area and the village “Madana” was called thus as it was where Mihindu thero has been offered the first alms-giving. Furthermore it is said that the area was entitled as “Padavigampala” in the means of being worthy to be honored by a rank. “Padavigampala” village was known as “Mal Aragoda” earlier. “Malara” is a name used to refer Gotukola (serch). Due to the arrival of arahant Mihindu thero, Mal Aragoda eventually turned to Padavigampala. Another folktale reveals that Ven. Maliyadewa arahant thero has entitled the area as Padavigampala as he considered the place was worthy enough to offer an honor. It is said that Ven. Maliyadewa arahant thero was the last arahant lived in Sri Lanka. Wattarama in Kegalle District is known as where he attained enlightenment. He had a habit to travel from Wattarama to Denagama temple through the vicinity of stone-fly. One day when he was passing through this area at the dolmen a heavy rain has started. According the folklore to be unaffected by that heavy rain arahant has gone into the shade of stone-fly. The Bodhi-tree in vicinity is very ancient that even Ven. Maliyadewa thero has enjoyed the cooling shade of this Bodhi-tree. And a golden bed and a golden chair have immerged at the time for Ven. Maliyadewa thero to be comfortable. Villages believe that the terrain of the stone-fly has been mystified by lots of miracles since the days of yore. Besides, the ancient Bodhi-tree is encompassed by four other bo-trees implanted in four directions that are well burgeoned unto now. A huge branch of the ancient Bodhi-tree was positioned across over the cromlech and suddenly tumbled down in between the stone-fly and Bodhi-prakara causing no harm to any of them.

Asupini falls

Asupini Falls(Rawana Falls)

Asupini Falls which is one of the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka is located in Aranayaka area. This attractive itself, famous in Kegalle District and continuously replenished by Maha Oya, which draws most of its water from Disawe Ganga in Rakshawa mountainous area in Ihala Korale in Mahanuwara District, is 120 m tall. The fall slides down to Ragala and Naththe Mountains that are bounded to Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces. It is located 18 km away from Mawanella. A folktale amplifies that a horse which belonged to a general of an ancient King has slipped dead, when it was leaping over the fall and later the waterfall was therefore denominated as “Asupini Falls”. As ancestors explain, it was known as “Rawana Falls” before conferring the title “Asupini Falls”. The streams is replenished into a Signature of Sri Lanka 119 pool at the feet of the fall sliding down a rocky-plain effervescing exquisitely without spearing water down. Folklore reveals about a secret tunnel that proceeds to “Dalada Maligawa” from milieu of this treasure trove.


Uthuwan Kanda

This natural attractive is located in a 1 km distance in Uthuwana route from Uthuwan Kanda village not far from MawanFalls in Colombo-Kandy road. It is rather famous as the dwelling place of worldwide popular Soora Saradiyel who is known as “Sri Lanka’s Robin Hood” alias “Sinhala Robin Hood”. The fabulous hill is 431 m high from sea-level. The gigantic rock on hilltop which is considered as a remarkable creation of Mother Nature, states the legend of sole antipathy against inequity and injustice of a brave Sinhalese. At that time Uthuwana village was a blooming area of coconut cultivation. Using the sound “Uthu”, which means in Sinhala coconut, the area name was denominated as “Uthuwana” that declares the meaning, forest of coconuts. The limestone cavern that is considered to be the dwelling of Saradiyel can be met on top of the hill even Signature of Sri Lanka 247 today. The space in the cavern gradually falls short from stand hight of a man to a lesser space enough only to crawl. There are several high rocks on the cave and the peak of these rocks open up a clear view of the vicinity including ColomboKandy route. “Soora Saradiyel” might have used this rock to be safe from wild animals and to scrutinize the rival invasions afore. The documentaries that untwist the secrets about Sinhala Robin Hood are police reports written in imperial administrative period, news reports and petitions of mudaliers. The legends about Saradiyel declare that he had showed a morale and courage that surpasses the brawn of his own meager body against injustice and inequity. Lots of people have brought out lots of viewpoints about Saradiyel. He has looted from British rulers and wealthy chetties and has ladled out among the oppressed poor in the society. However, he did adieu forever on 7th May, 1864 spending only 32 years as a hero of the poor.

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