control' at the 'Richmond Castle', Kaluthara, Sri Lanka 1910. Cool air
blowing from over the Kalu Ganga camme across the lawn and went under
the panelled floor of a hall from an opening under the verandha. It
emerged through holes in the panelled flooring, cooling the hall.
.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".
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.
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.
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
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
Ivory Comb, Kotte period, 1412–1597, Sri Lanka Please click on the web-link below:-
"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
of Anuradhapura taken in the 1950s by Mr. Jayaratne of Puwakpitiya.
Isurumuniya temple , 'The lovers' carving 'in situ'. 'Naga pokuna Mihinthhale',
?Abeyagiri. What beauty more than 1500 years old.
'Naga Pokuna' Mihinthale, Sri Lanka
'The lovers' - Stone carving, Isurummuniya. Sri Lanka
"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.
tallest brick structure and the widest Chaitya of the ancient world -
Jethawanaaramaya and Ruwanvelisaeya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
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. A part of a sash or belt tied by the Buddha is believed to be
the relic that is enshrined here. Design and construction
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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)