Central Province, Sri Lanka
The Central Province is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, the first level administrative division of the country. The Central Province is in the central mountainous terrain of Sri Lanka, it is home to 2.5 million people. It is bordered by North Central Province to the north, Uva Province to the east, North Western Province to the west and Sabaragamuwa Province to the south and west; the province's capital is Kandy. The cities of Matale and Nuwara Eliya are in the Central Province; the province is famous for its production of Ceylon tea, planted by the British in the 1860s after a devastating disease killed all the coffee plantations in the province. The Central Province attracts many tourists, with hill station towns such as Gampola and Nuwara Eliya. Though three successive European powers invaded Sri Lanka during the 16th to the 19th century, the Central Province maintained its independence until the early 19th century when the British conquered Kandy; the British established a colonial headman ranking system in 1824, which came into effect in 1832.
Colonial head mudaliyarsSir Christofel de-Silva Don William Gunawardene De-Saram III Sir Hendrick Ekanayake Sir Alexander-James Divakara Mohotti Don Agaris Divakara Mohotti The Mudaliyar Office was abolished in 1924 and the last of the colonial headman retired from their positions and gave up the rule to the British officers in 1926. All headman positions were passed down to the newly elected governor-general of Central Province; this was established in 1929 as a way for the British to directly rule the provinces. The historic Matale city, Temple of the Tooth, Dambulla cave temple, Aluwihare temple and the Sigiriya rock are in the Central Province; the province has an area of 5,674 km² and a population of 2,421,148. Major towns include Kandy, Dambulla, Nuwara Eliya and Hatton. Knuckles Mountain Range, Adam's Peak and Horton Plains are UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Central Province; the climate is cool, many areas above 1,500 metres have chilly nights. The western slopes are wet, some places have 7,000 mm of rain per year.
The eastern slopes are parts of the mid-dry zone as it is receiving rain only from North-Eastern monsoon. The temperatures range from 24°C at Kandy to just 16°C in Nuwara Eliya, 1,889 m above sea level; the highest mountains in Sri Lanka are in the Central Province. The terrain is mountainous, with deep valleys cutting into it; the two main mountain regions are the Knuckles range to the east of Kandy. The population is a mixture of Sinhalese and the Moors. Many tea plantation workers are Indian Tamils, brought over to Sri Lanka by the British in the 19th century. Central Province is divided into 36 divisional secretariats; the districts of the Sri Lanka are divided into administrative sub-units known as divisional secretariats. These were based on the feudal counties, the korales and ratas, they were known as'D. R. O. Divisions' after the'Divisional Revenue Officer'; the D. R. O.s became'Assistant Government Agents' and the Divisions were known as'A. G. A. Divisions'; the divisions are administered by a'Divisional Secretary' and are known as a'D.
S. Divisions'. There are 36 divisional secretariats in Central Province. There are 11 in Matale District and 5 in Nuwara Eliya District. Provinces of Sri Lanka Districts of Sri Lanka Tea production in Sri Lanka Searchable Map of Sri Lanka Central Provincial Council Sri Lanka Office of the Council Secretary – Central Provincial Council Sri Lanka Cheief Secretary's Office – Central Provincial Council Sri Lanka Central Provincial Postal Codes Sri Lanka Cities in Central province
Lankatilaka Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Udunuwara of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located on Daulagala road 4 km away from Pilimatalawa junction and a few kilometres from the ancient buddhist temple, Gadaladeniya Vihara, it is considered as the most magnificent architectural edifice created during the Gampola era. The history of the temple goes back to the 14th century. According to historical reports this temple was built by King Bhuvanekabahu IV, who reigned from 1341 to 1351 A. D, he entrusted the construction of this temple to his Chief Minister named Senalankadhikara, who finished the works of this temple. The architecture of the temple was designed by a South Indian architect named Sathapati Rayar. According to the Professor Senarath Paranavithana, Sathapati Rayar designed this temple using Sinhalese architecture of Polonnaruwa era and with other Dravidian and Indo Chinese architectural patterns; the vihara buildings have been built on a natural rock called Panhalgala Rock.
Among the buildings the image house possess characteristically outstanding architectural features, embellished with traditional Sinhalese sculptures. According to the facts recorded in the Lankatilake copper plaque, this image house was construct as a four storied mansion with height of eighty feet, but today only 3 stories can be seen; the walls and the ceiling of the image house has been adorned with the Kandyan era paintings and sculptures. Rock curved inscriptions found in the temple premises with both Sinhala and Tamil sections, proclaim about the initiators and the facilities gifted to this temple by the kings; the image house of the Lankatilaka is enriched with five devales. God Upulvan, Saman and Kumara Bandara are worshipped here. God Kumara bandara is believed to be the deity. List of Archaeological Protected Monuments in Sri Lanka
Embekka Devalaya was built by the King Vikramabahu III of Gampola Era in Sri Lanka. The devalaya is dedicated to the worship of Mahasen, popularly known as Kataragama deviyo. A local deity called Devatha Bandara is worshiped at this site; the shrine consists of three sections, the "Sanctum of Garagha", the "Digge" or "Dancing Hall" and the "Hevisi Mandapaya" or the "Drummers' Hall". The Drummers' Hall that has drawn the attention of visitors to the site, due to the splendid wood carvings of its ornate pillars and its high pitched roof. Embekka Devalaya is situated in Medapalata Korale of Udunuwara in Kandy district; the easiest way to get to Embekka is coming from Colombo - Kandy main road at Pilimathalawa. There is a clear sign post erected by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka at the start of the road to Embekka, it is about 7 – 8 km from Pilimathalawa to Embekka from the Colombo - Kandy main road. On the Daulagala road proceed about a mile and you will come to the Gadaladeniya junction, which you can see the famous Gadaladeniya Vihara right at the junction.
Both roads from the junction would take you to Embekka. The shortest would be the one to the right, but if you wish to see the Lankatilaka Vihara you should take the road to the left. If you take the road to the left you can see the Embekka Ambalama just before you arrive at the Embekka Devalaya, it is said that some of the wood work utilized for the "Drummers' Hall" came from an abandoned "Royal Audience Hall" at Gampola. There is every possibility the hall has seen repairs during the reigns of the Sinhalese Kings of Kandy; the carvings, which adorn the wooden pillars of the drummers' hall, as well as the "Vahalkada" are some of the best examples of Sinhalese art. The roof itself has significant features; the rafters all slant from above towards the incoming visitor are fixed together and kept in position by a "Madol Kurupawa", a kind of a giant catch pin the like of which we do not find elsewhere. Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka Lanka Library Forum Ambekke Devalaya Wooden Temple
Gadaladenyia Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Pilimathalawa, Sri Lanka. It is located on Gadaladenyia Road, just up from the Gadaladeniya junction of the Colombo - Kandy Road 12.5 km to the west of Kandy and 3 km from the ancient buddhist temple, Lankatilaka Vihara. It is considered one of the largest rock temples in Sri Lanka; the history of the temple goes back to the 14th century. According to historical reports this temple was built in 1344, under the patronage of King Bhuvanekabahu IV, who reigned from 1341 to 1351 A. D. by the Ven. Seelavamsa Dharmakirti; the architecture of the temple was designed following Hindu artistic styles by, Ganesvarachari, a South Indian architect. On the rock outcrop, upon which the temple stands, is a carved inscription regarding the temple's construction; the temple was constructed in the Dravidian architectural style incorporating Sinhalese architecture from the Polonnaruwa era and other Indo Chinese architectural patterns. Celebrated scholarly monks who have resided at the temple include Sangharaja Dharmakirti II, the author of the Sangharaja-Nikāya and Vimalakirti I.
The temple was abandoned until King Vira Parakrama Narendra Sinha handed over it to Weliwita Sri Saranankara Thero, whose pupils have looked after the temple since. The central temple building is unique in that it is built of sculptured granite, except for two shikharas which are built of brick, sits on a massive stone slab; the sikharas, which are located above the sanctum begins in an octagonal shape but has been given the features of a dagoba. After the original construction of the temple building in the 18th or 19th century, a multi-tiered and tiled Sinhalese roof, resting on brick piers and wooden pillars, was added to the temple, concealing the flat roof and the shikharas. At the entrance to the shrine room is an elaborately ornate sculptured Makara Thorana; the Makara Thorana is decorated with images of Brahmā, Śakra, Santuṣita, Santhusthika and Maitreya. Inside the shrine room is a 2.43 m high statue of a seated Buddha, in the'Dhyana Mudra’ pose, the posture of meditation associated with his first enlightenment, with four standing Buddha statues flanking it.
The statue is different from those of the Gampola period. Adjacent to the main shrine room, on its north side, is a devale dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu; the devale was dedicated to Varuna when it was built however as Vishnu became more popular with devotees the shrine to Varuna was replaced with Vishnu. In the middle of the temple compound is a secondary shrine, the Vijayothpaya or Vijayantha Prasada named after the mythical palace of god Indra; the shrine was constructed after the main shrine by King Parakramabahu V. The shrine consists of a central stupa 12.3 m high built on a square platform. The entire stupa is covered by a four-sided roof supported by four stone pillars. On the four sides of the main stupa are four smaller matching stupas, extending in cruciform angles out in the four cardinal directions; each of these four smaller stupas are built on stone platforms with their own individual shrine rooms. These shrines housed images of the Four Heavenly Kings: Vaishravaṇa, Virūḷhaka, Dhrutharashṭa and Virūpaksha but now houses statues of the seated Buddha.
List of Archaeological Protected Monuments in Sri Lanka
Peradeniya is a suburb of the city of Kandy, about 50,000 inhabitants in Sri Lanka. It is situated on the A1 main road, just a few kilometres west of Kandy city centre. Peradeniya is famous for the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, it is situated in a slope of the Mahaweli river and attracts many visitors from Sri Lanka as well as from abroad. Another key attribute of this city is the University of Peradeniya, its buildings are of mixed colonial and traditional Sri Lankan/South Asian styles, located amongst the lush vegetation of the hill country. The Department of Agriculture is located here. West of the town lies the small historical town of Kadugannawa; the University of Peradeniya Pictures of the Campus
Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka by population. According to the Brookings Institution, Colombo metropolitan area has a population of 5.6 million, 752,993 in the city proper. It is the financial centre of a popular tourist destination, it is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to the Greater Colombo area which includes Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the legislative capital of Sri Lanka and Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. Colombo is referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is within the urban area of, a suburb of, Colombo, it is the administrative capital of the Western Province and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is a vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins, it was the legislative capital of Sri Lanka until 1982. Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago, it was made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815, its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent in 1948.
In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Like many cities, Colombo's urban area extends well beyond the boundaries of a single local authority, encompassing other municipal and urban councils such as Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council, Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, Kolonnawa Urban Council, Kaduwela Municipal Council and Kotikawatte Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha; the main city is home to a majority of Sri Lanka's corporate offices and entertainment venues. Famous landmarks in Colombo include Galle Face Green, Viharamahadevi Park, Beira Lake, Colombo Racecourse, University of Colombo, Mount Lavinia beach, Nelum Pokuna Theatre, Colombo Lotus Tower as well as the National Museum; the name "Colombo", first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, is believed to be derived from the classical Sinhala name කොලොන් තොට Kolon thota, meaning "port on the river Kelani". Another belief is that the name is derived from the Sinhala name කොල-අඹ-තොට Kola-amba-thota which means "Harbour with leafy mango trees".
This coincides with Robert Knox's history of the island. He writes that, "On the West the City of Columbo, so called from a Tree the Natives call Ambo, growing in that place; the author of the oldest Sinhala grammar, written in the 13th century wrote about a category of words that belonged to early Sinhala. It lists kolamba as belonging to an indigenous source. Kolamba may be the source of the name of the commercial capital Colombo; as Colombo possesses a natural harbour, it was known to Indian, Persian, Roman and Chinese traders over 2,000 years ago. Traveller Ibn Battuta who visited the island in the 14th century, referred to it as Kalanpu. Arabs, whose prime interests were trade, began to settle in Colombo around the 8th century AD because the port helped their business by the way of controlling much of the trade between the Sinhalese kingdoms and the outside world, their descendants now comprise the local Sri Lankan Moor community. Portuguese explorers led by Dom Lourenço de Almeida first arrived in Sri Lanka in 1505.
During their initial visit they made a treaty with the King of Kotte, Parakramabahu VIII, which enabled them to trade in the island's crop of cinnamon, which lay along the coastal areas of the island, including in Colombo. As part of the treaty, the Portuguese were given full authority over the coastline in exchange for the promise of guarding the coast against invaders, they were allowed to establish a trading post in Colombo. Within a short time, they expelled the Muslim inhabitants of Colombo and began to build a fort in 1517; the Portuguese soon realized that control of Sri Lanka was necessary for protection of their coastal establishments in India and they began to manipulate the rulers of the Kotte kingdom to gain control of the area. After skilfully exploiting rivalries within the royal family, they took control of a large area of the kingdom and the Sinhalese King Mayadunne established a new kingdom at Sitawaka, a domain in the Kotte kingdom. Before long he annexed much of the Kotte kingdom and forced the Portuguese to retreat to Colombo, besieged by Mayadunne and the kings of Sitawaka, forcing them to seek reinforcement from their major base in Goa, India.
Following the fall of the kingdom in 1593, the Portuguese were able to establish complete control over the coastal area, with Colombo as their capital. This part of Colombo is still known as Fort and houses the presidential palace and the majority of Colombo's five star hotels; the area outside Fort is known as Pettah and is a commercial hub. In 1638 the Dutch signed a treaty with King Rajasinha II of Kandy which assured the king assistance in his war against the Portuguese in exchange for a monopoly of the island's major trade goods; the Portuguese resisted the Dutch and the Kandyans but were defeated in their strongholds beginning in 1639. The Dutch captured Colombo in 1656 after an epic siege, at the end of which a mere 93 Portuguese survivors were given safe conduct out of the fort. Although the Dutch
Sri Lanka the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait; the legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo. Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years, it has a rich cultural heritage and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, date back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to the modern Maritime Silk Road. Sri Lanka was known from the beginning of British colonial rule as Ceylon. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century to obtain political independence, granted in 1948.
Sri Lanka's recent history has been marred by a 26-year civil war, which decisively ended when the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009. The current constitution stipulates the political system as a republic and a unitary state governed by a semi-presidential system, it has had a long history of international engagement, as a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement. Along with the Maldives, Sri Lanka is one of only two South Asian countries rated "high" on the Human Development Index, with its HDI rating and per capita income the highest among South Asian nations; the Sri Lankan constitution accords Buddhism the "foremost place", although it does not identify it as a state religion. Buddhism is given special privileges in the Sri Lankan constitution; the island is home to many cultures and ethnicities. The majority of the population is from the Sinhalese ethnicity, while a large minority of Tamils have played an influential role in the island's history.
Moors, Malays and the indigenous Vedda are established groups on the island. In antiquity, Sri Lanka was known to travellers by a variety of names. According to the Mahavamsa, the legendary Prince Vijaya named the land Tambapanni, because his followers' hands were reddened by the red soil of the area. In Hindu mythology, such as the Ramayana, the island was referred to as Lankā; the Tamil term Eelam, was used to designate the whole island in Sangam literature. The island was known under Chola rule as Mummudi Cholamandalam. Ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobanē from the word Tambapanni; the Persians and Arabs referred to it as Sarandīb from Cerentivu or Siṃhaladvīpaḥ. Ceilão, the name given to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese Empire when it arrived in 1505, was transliterated into English as Ceylon; as a British crown colony, the island was known as Ceylon. The country is now known in Sinhala in Tamil as Ilaṅkai. In 1972, its formal name was changed to "Free and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka".
In 1978 it was changed to the "Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka". As the name Ceylon still appears in the names of a number of organisations, the Sri Lankan government announced in 2011 a plan to rename all those over which it has authority; the pre-history of Sri Lanka goes back 125,000 years and even as far back as 500,000 years. The era spans the Palaeolithic and early Iron Ages. Among the Paleolithic human settlements discovered in Sri Lanka, which dates back to 37,000 BP, Batadombalena and Belilena are the most important. In these caves, archaeologists have found the remains of anatomically modern humans which they have named Balangoda Man, other evidence suggesting that they may have engaged in agriculture and kept domestic dogs for driving game. One of the first written references to the island is found in the Indian epic Ramayana, which provides details of a kingdom named Lanka, created by the divine sculptor Vishwakarma for Kubera, the Lord of Wealth, it is said that Kubera was overthrown by his demon stepbrother Ravana, the powerful emperor who built a mythical flying machine named Dandu Monara.
The modern city of Wariyapola is described as Ravana's airport. Early inhabitants of Sri Lanka were ancestors of the Vedda people, an indigenous people numbering 2,500 living in modern-day Sri Lanka; the 19th-century Irish historian James Emerson Tennent theorized that Galle, a city in southern Sri Lanka, was the ancient seaport of Tarshish from which King Solomon is said to have drawn ivory and other valuables. According to the Mahāvamsa, a chronicle written in Pāḷi, the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka are the Yakshas and Nagas. Ancient cemeteries that were used before 600 BC and other signs of advanced civilisation have been discovered in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese history traditionally starts in 543 BC with the arrival of Prince Vijaya, a semi-legendary prince who sailed with 700 followers to Sri Lanka, after being expelled from Vanga Kingdom (present-day Ben