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|Year and Month||October, 2011|
|Number of Days||One Day|
|Crew||6 (3 to 78 years age) 3 female|
|Activities||Photography, Exploring historic & archeological sites|
|Route||Colombo/Gampaha -> Giriulla -> Narammmala -> Karagaha gedara and return home through Katupotha -> Kadahapola -> Narammala -> Giriulla -> Home|
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
If you are an enthusiast of Sinhala tale drama, you may Though a vast number of Sinhala tale dramas are telecast in a year, only a few can be categorized as worth watching. One of such interesting tale drama has been terminated with a sad-end by October last year. It is “ඇත්කඳ ලිහිණියා”.
Personally I’m not an enthusiast of Sinhala tale drama. But I loved “ඇත්කඳ ලිහිණියා” because neither historic content of the same, nor good directory. But because of the singularity of a film location they used frequently. Actually it was a community hall for them. Yes, what you guess is correct. It was the Ambalama, the villagers of the tale drama used for gathering.
Please note that the image is borrowed from – http://sathsamudura.blogspot.com/2011/11/18.html
Though the object village in the tale drama was situated at Uva province, the film location used by the producer was not far from us. Actually, it was located few kilometers off Narammala. The remote village where the community hall (Ambalama) existed was known as Karagahagedara. This is the story of how we explored the historical Ambalama at Karagahagedara.
This image is borrowed from http://www.mrt.ac.lk/archi website
Six of us (five elders with 3 years old daughter) were well-packed in the small Maruti. Though the beginning of the by-road was seemed as easily manageable, we had to experience each phase of the development before we reached our destination, Karagahagedara. We had to ask for direction in few junctions. But, we had not face any difficulty to find our way, because all we met were true villagers in direct meaning.
Karagahagedara Ambalama is believed to be built at 1837. It is built on a rock plane located adjoin a huge paddy field. Basically, the Ambalama is a timber structure. Four timber beams balanced on four boulders formed the foundation to the same. The roof is built on four main columns fixed to the said foundation beams. Foundation beams provided seating facilities too. Four small beams are there, act as foot rests. Thus might be helped to protect passengers from snake attacks while protect itself from termite attacks. Comparing with the similar Ambalama at Panawitiya, Karagahagedara can be described as a simple and Charm creation since it has no decorative wood carvings.
An Ambalama is identified as an important public building in ancient Sri Lanka. It is played an important role in a village as a community hall. The most important thing was being a safe shelter & resting place for people who travel long distances on foot or by cart. Facility of portable water was provided with a well or a පින්තාලිය (pot of water) maintained by villagers.
Usually “Ambalam” were built in a chosen spots such as by the side of a paddy field or a stream. Especially, choosing of such open areas helped to protect the users from wild animal attacks. Since there were series of Ambalam(s) along the main roads, they were considered as landmarks also. Even today in Siripada trail, pilgrims use Ambalam as prominent land marks since milestones (or Km posts) are not existed.
As per my memory, all the ancient Ambalam(s) remaining in good condition are built after Dambadeniya era. Though Karagahagedara was belonged to English era, as per the date carved in it, Karagahagedara and Panavitiya Ambalama (located with a distance of 15km) are believed to be belonged to the ancient route from Dambadeniya to Yapahuwa. However, when a new road network was established in the Island by English, such ancient routes were abundant. But it’s an opportunity for young travelers to rediscover & explore the same with a sense of adventure. Is it not so?