Showing posts with label Sri Lanka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sri Lanka. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Birth of King Rajasinghe II of Kandy, Sri Lanka

.As related by Paul Peiris in 'Ceylon and the Portuguese'

'At this point there first appears on the stage
of events the great Commander who was destined for
the last time to fan the smouldering energy of the
Sinhalese into a blaze. The Court was in hiding at
Mahiyangana when the Maha Biso Bandara, as the
Queen was called, gave birth to Maha Asthana, the
future Raja Sinha ; but auspicious omens had attended
his birth. And indeed to the Sinhalese mind no
place of better augury could have been selected for
this important event than that historic spot so closely
interwoven with the remotest legends of their religion
and race— a spot rendered sacred by the visit of the
Buddha himself, and which had witnessed the gathering
together of the avenging armies of Wijaya Bahu. On
that very night, it was said, the Portuguese Comman-
der had dreamed that he saw a tiny spark, no bigger
than a firefly, floating from the west and growing in size
as it traveled through the sky, till it waxed
exceeding great over the port of Colombo and set
everything there on fire ; and the appearance of the
infant Prince had been signalized by the success of
the King's arms at Balane. It is customary for the
horoscope of every Sinhalese child to be cast ;
Diyakelinawala, the great astrologer, was entrusted
with the preparation of the Prince's, and sedulous
care was lavished on his education to fit him for
the high destiny which, it was prophesied, awaited
him in life.
In 1628, when the Prince was sixteen years
of age, Senerat summoned his three sons, and
divided his kingdom among them by lot. He had
seen clearly that of the three the youngest was
also the strongest, and to his great delight it was
to the youngest that the Uda Rata proper fell ;
Maha Asthana thus became Aga Raja or Chief King
with the title of Raja Sinha ; his brothers Kumara
Sinha and Wijaya Pal a received respectively the
districts of Uwa and Matale".

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Stones thrown, Sri Lanka.

Vesak Nannayakaara in his very informative book ‘Return to Kandy’, relates an incident during the days of the reign of King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe. The King had a feudal Lord who was his friend. The feudal Lord while on his death-bed, sent a prophetic message to the King, through an associate. The following was a translation of the message.
“Far away I see a hornets nest gather. It is a ‘Yak Debera’ (Devil Hornets). Tell the King not to throw stones at it”.
When Pilimathalawa Adigar went to see the British Governor with a plan to capture King Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe, the Governor inquired whether he wanted to betray his King and refused to see him. Later the British changed their view, when Ehelapola Nilame defected to them.
‘The stone thrown at them’ was when the King arrested a few British Merchants in Kandy, when he heard about the treason of Ehelapola. They took this as a reason to invade Kandy. The so far unconquerable Kingdom fell, when the British were given an imitation resistance, with the cooperation of the Chiefs of the Kingdom, to come into Kandy
‘Throwing stones’ at powerful enemies has brought ruin to us in the past.
1. The Cholas invaded to capture the Pandyan King and his Crown Jewels when Rajasimha Pandya fled to Ceylon with the crown jewels, during the reign of Dappula IV (924-935). They did not succeed. A second Cholian invasion occupied the Rajarata, from 1017 to 1070 AD. They were successful in retrieving the Pandyan crown jewels this time and capturing the king of Sri Lanka at that time, Mahinda.

https://www.google.com/…/column-the-imperial-cholas-con…/amp
2. During the Presidency of Athikaru J R Jayawardena, his quip ‘Mehe Amma mehe Putha, Ehe Amma ehe Putha’ The ‘Mother here and the Son here’ - referring to Sirimavo Bandaranayake and Son and ‘The Mother there and Son there’ referring to Indira Ghandhi and son Rajeev, was another time 'a stone was thrown' at a powerful neighbor and we all know the consequences of that.
3. The construction of the Hambanthota and Colombo Port is another ‘stone thrown’. Only the future will tell us what will happen.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Capture of Kandy, Sri Lanka.

While serving in the Health Department in Kandy, I collected a few legends about Kandy.
The Portuguese, the Dutch and the British suffered quite a few defeats at the hands of the soldiers of the Kandyan Kingdom.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kandyan_Wars
After surrender of Kandy by a few nobles, the British took to using psychological warfare to cow the native population.
Legends had it that Kandy could never be controlled till three things were accomplished.

1. The Mahaweli Ganga had to have a bridge built across.
Up to that time the crossing was done at ‘Gannoruwa’ – (Ganing’ –bring, ‘Oruwa’ – boat, became ‘Gannoruwa’) by boat.
A satin-wood bridge was built by the British across the Mahaweli Ganga at Peradeniya.


2. A tunnel had to be dug through a mountain.
This was done by blasting through granite at Anniewaththe. The tunnel is still in use.

3. Possesion of the Sacred Tooth of Lord Buddha.
The British knowing the political importance of the Relic captured it and the effect of the capture was recorded by a British physician John Davy who was here at the time' He says : "When the relic was taken the effect of its capture was astonishing ... for they who possess the relic have a right to govern four kingdoms ; this, for 2,000 years, is the first time the relic was ever taken from us".26 In Kandy in the year 1828 there were the great rains immediately after the sacred Tooth Relic was ..
https://books.google.lk/books…


Date Original 1894
Photographer/Artist: Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ivory combs, Sri Lanka, 15th Century AD.



Combs, made of wood,coconut shell, metal, tortoise shell and ivory were in standard use long before the advent of plastics. Ivory combs made in Sri Lanka, were exported from Sri Lanka by the Portuguese and ended up in the houses of royalty in Europe. Here is an example of one of them.
Ivory Comb, Kotte period, 1412–1597, Sri Lanka
Please click on the web-link below:-

Monday, December 4, 2017

Child's walking trainer, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.




"Nadai vandil' - 'Child's walking trainer' - a wooden toy popular in the 1940s in Jaffna. This was given to a toddler starting to walk. This was ideal when used on sandy soil. If used on hard concrete or a tiled floor there was no breaking action. I got this specially made for my Grand-children.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Kuttam Pokuna' - Twin ponds, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, 6th to 8th Century AD.

"Kuttam Pokuna" or the twin ponds are another hydrologic engineering marvel of ancient Sri Lanka. These two ponds belong to the Abayagiri aramic complex and probably been used by the monks for bathing. The origins of these ponds are not known but it is thought to have been built during the reign of King Aggabodhi I (575-608).
The smaller pond (the northern) one has been constructed first and the larger one at a later stage. They are connected through a pipeline at the bottom. The northern pond is 91 feet (28 meters) long and the other 132 feet (40 meters) .
Water to these ponds have been supplied through underground pipelines and the water is sent through several filtering chambers before it falls on the northern pond through a mouth of a dragon. The water from both ponds is drained from a small outlet in the smaller northern pond.
Though the underground pipelines are no more, you can see 4 levels of filtering of the water before it enters the ponds.
Though the underground pipelines are no more, you can see 4 levels of filtering of the water before it enters the ponds.
(amazinglanka.com)



Dr. Senarath Paranavithana was actively involved in the restoration of the ponds, in which small figures of fish, a conch, a crab and a dancing woman were found in the bottom.

For symmetry and beauty, constructed out of granite, 1500 years ago, it is hard to beat.

Please click on the web-link below:-
 
 https://youtu.be/hze1cY5tfd8

Monday, August 28, 2017

Jetawanaraamaya and Ruwanwelisaeya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.



The tallest brick structure and the widest Chaitya of the ancient world - Jethawanaaramaya and Ruwanvelisaeya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Jethawanaaramaya stupa
located in the ruins of Jetavana in the sacred world heritage city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Mahasena of Anuradhapura (273–301) initiated the construction of the stupa following the destruction of the mahavihara. His son Maghavanna I completed the construction of the stupa.[1] A part of a sash or belt tied by the Buddha is believed to be the relic that is enshrined here.
Design and construction[edit]
As the largest ancient stupa constructed and one of the tallest ancient structures in the world, the structural ingenuity and engineering skills employed for the construction are significant. The foundations of the structure were 8.5m deep and the size of the structure required bricks which could withstand loads of up to 166 kg. The solid foundation lay on bed-rock and the dome was constructed of full and half bricks and earth fill, the unique shape of a perfect ellipsoid allowed for stress and thus allowed the construction of the large structure.[6] The Mahavamsa describes the foundation laying, where fissures were filled with stones and stamped down by elephants whose feet were protected with leather bindings. The bricks used for the construction were a significant development of ancient Sri Lankan engineering, the bricks used for Jetavanaramaya had a composition of 60 percent fine sand and 35 percent clay, the bricks could withstand 281 kg/in2.[6] Linear elastic finite element analysis under self weight produced a maximum compressive stress of 839 kPa at the bottom centre, thus the maximum stress in the dome is ten times less than what the bricks could withstand.[7]
Finely crushed dolomite lime stone, sieved sand and clay provided the bonding material for the bricks. The clay employed was pliable and thus accommodates movement within the structure. One of the sides of the brick was roughened to trap the bonding slurry thus limiting lateral movement.[6] The stupa was then covered with lime plaster; the plaster used contained seashells, sugar syrup, egg whites, coconut water, glues, oils, plant resin, sand, clay and pebbles. The plaster also provided waterproofing for the structure. The Mahavamsa also mentions the use of copper sheets over the foundation and arsenic dissolved in sesame oil to prevent insect and plant intrusions inside the stupa.[6] It is estimated that Jetavanaramaya took 15 years to complete and would have required a skillful workforce of hundreds, including brickyard workers and bricklayers, and stonemasons.[6]
(From Wikipedia)

Ruwanveli Saeya
It was built by King Dutugemunu c. 140 B.C., who became lord of all Sri Lanka after a war in which the Chola King Elara, was defeated. It is also known as Mahathupa, Swarnamali Chaitya, Suvarnamali Mahaceti (in Pali) and Rathnamali Dagaba.
On such a full-moon day King Dutugemunu had the inscribed stone pillar that was erected by King Devanampiya Tissa, removed; had the site leveled; had it dug to a depth of seven cubits; had round stones spread there by warriors; and had the stones broken with hammers;
then he had them stamped down by elephants; fine clay was brought from the Himalayas by Arahant novices, spread over the layer of stones; had bricks laid over the fine clay, rough plaster over the bricks, quartz over the rough plaster, a network of iron over the quartz, fragrant clay over the network of iron, white stones over the fragrant clay, rock-crystal over the white stones, and slabs of stones over the rock-crystal. Then he had mercury, resin of the wood-apple, and fine clay mixed together; had these spread over the slabs of stones; and had bronze sheets eight inches thick laid over these.
He had arsenic and sesame oil mixed together; had these spread over the bronze sheets; and had silver sheets four inches thick laid over these.
When the king had thus built and completed the foundation of the Great Stupa, he arranged that the foundation stone should be laid on the full-moon day of the month of Āâsàëha (June–July).
(From Wikipaedia)