Photo Credit- Sukumar Shan
The historic Kadugannawa Ambalama ( wayside rest ) Then and Now ! Kadugannawa Ambalama is a historic wayside rest that is found – on the left, when traveling from Colombo to Kandy, a few metres before the Kadugannawa Hairpin turn aka Kadugannawa pass. Built during the early 18th century which is about 200 years old now. This ambalama was built during the English colonial rule of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) About one and half centuries back this had been a popular stopover for horsemen, merchants etc. traveling from lowlands to the ancient hill capital Kandy.This structure resembles the Kandyan Era architecture and is of archaeological value. It was renovated by the Ministry of Tourism under the technical guidance of the Department of Archeology at a cost of Rs. 300,000.00 and now this structure is considered a national heritage item of Sri Lanka.
In the past, when the only means of transport for most people were their own feet, it often took several days—and sometimes even weeks—to travel from one place to another. Because of the time it took for such journeys, travellers were often in need of shelter to rest for the night. Thus the ambalama was born.It was a simple but convenient place for travellers to prepare their meals and sleep. Most often they were built near a stream, and a large pitcher made from clay or stone—called a pinthaliya—could also be found near the ambalam for the purpose of fetching clean water.According to the teachings of Buddhism, the construction of ambalam was considered a noble deed—therefore in the olden days, the entire village community came together to build these shelters. The size and style of the ambalama built in a village depended on the wealth of its residents—on some occasions, even the wealthy nobles used their wealth to build these wayside shelters.