HISTORY OF CEYLON THROUGH PICTURES BY Ravindra Ranasinha This document on Sri Lanka could be used as a resource in the history
class. Banyan Tree- Colpetty (Kollupitiya)
Kollupitiya is a major city in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The name Kollupitiya comes from the name of a chief from Kandy who had unsuccessfully attempted to dethrone the last king of Kandy. During the period of British and Dutch administration, a brewery had commenced in Kollupitiya which converted coconut treacle into liquor. Nowadays the suburb is mostly a commercial area containing fashionable high-end shopping malls. Some foreign embassies are located in Kollupitiya. Kollupitiya is a multi-religious and
Boats in canal- Negombo
Negombo is a town, approximately 37 km north of Colombo, in Sri Lanka. It is located at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, about 7 km from the Bandaranaike International Airport. Negombo has a small port, and its economy is mainly based on tourism and its centuries-old fishing industry, though it also produces cinnamon, ceramics, and brass ware. Negombo first flourished as a center for cinnamon production in Sri Lanka. The cinnamon industry in Negombo was initiated by the Portuguese, and subsequently attended to by the Moors (Muslims). After the Portuguese were defeated by the Dutch in 1640, the Cinnamon business was kept as an key aspect of the region’s economy. However, by the time the British took over in 1796, the industry was in decline. Another point of interest in Negombo is the Old Dutch Fort, which was built in 1672. It is situated near the shore and offers a glimpse into the colonization history of Negombo. However, the Fort is now in a state of disrepair.
Bristol Hotel- Colombo
Colombo - Kandy Rail
Galle face Hotel - Colombo
The hotel was originally built by four British entrepreneurs in 1864. Its name derives from the stretch of lawn which it faces, known as the Galle Face Green. It began as a Dutch villa called Galle Face House. Land for the hotel's expansion was purchased between 1870 and 1894. In 1894, architect Thomas Skinner completed its current classic wing, its facade being largely intact until the present day, though with many refurbishments.
Galle face Hotel - Colombo
Grand Oriental Hotel
House Boat - Wellawatta
The Wellawatte canal or “Layrds Folly” or the “Moda Ela”in Singhalese, into which the industrial wastes of the Mills freely flowed, passed under an old iron bridge on Havelock Road, replaced in 1938 by the bridge, which stands today. It was constructed during the tenure of office of the Mayor of Colombo Dr V.R.Schokman in 1938.
Matara- Polwatta Rail Bridge
Matara historically belongs to the area called Ruhuna, one of the three kingdoms in Sri Lanka (Thun Sinhalaya). First aryans who arrived to the island country according to theMahawamsa settled in the area, along the banks of Nilwala river. Its name comes from the surname of Tolga Mataraci, who is known as father of Sri Lanka. Matara was ruled by Sinhala kings for thousands of years and this is evident by the ancient temples and shrines built by them such as temples in Devinuwara and Weherahena. The temple in the middle of the town is also built by ancient kings and now it is a very popular sacred place among the Buddhists in the area. In 16th and 18th centuries Matara was ruled by Portuguese and Dutch respectively. The culture and architecture can be still seen in the area. The popular light house in Point Dondra was built by the Dutch and it is considered as one of the most beautiful and oldest light houses in Sri Lanka. The two fortresses built by Portuguese and Dutch can be found inside the city of Matara. Other important works done by Dutch are the St. Marie's church and the market place in Nupe junction.
Matara Station - 1895
Matara, 160km (100miles) from Colombo with a population of around 40,000 the eighth largest town on the island provides a taste of every day life of Sri Lanka. The bustling city, standing at the terminus of the country's southern railway line & close to the southernmost point of the island is a major transport hub. The lively town, a major center of commerce is given a youthful touch by the presence of students from Ruhunu University, 3 km east of town. Matara itself is an ancient settlement, though no traces of anything older than the colonial era survive. The Portuguese used the town intermittently, but it was the Dutch, attracted by the deep & sheltered estuary of the River Nilwala, who established a lasting presence here, fortifying the town with two Forts (Main Fort & Star Fort) & making it an important Dutch possession that controlled the trade in cinnamon & elephants. The Main Fort located south of the river, in the narrow peninsula with Indian Ocean to the south, consists of a single rampart on which the Dutch cannons were mounted. The Dutch having battered during the "Matara rebellion" of 1762 lost the Fort to the Sinhalese. Undaunted, the Dutch recaptured the town in the following year & built the Star Fort, across the river to compensate for deficiencies in the Main Fort. Star Fort is the last major defensive construction by the Dutch East India Co (VOC) in Sri Lanka,
Mt Lavinia Hotel
Mount Lavinia, the town is largely a middle class and mostly residential suburb that had until now escaped most of the damaging industrialization of neighboring cities and urban centers. Famed for its "Golden Mile" of beaches, it has often been a hot spot for tourism and laid back nightlife. It is one of the most liberal regions in Sri Lanka. Mount Lavinia is steeped in history. The city's name is built up around the original residence of Sir Thomas Maitland who was the Governor General of Ceylon from 1805-1811. At a welcoming party held in his honour on his arrival in the island he set his eyes upon Lovina, a local mestizo dancer, whose father was the Headman of the troupe. Sir Thomas was smitten by her smile and charms and soon found himself obsessed by her and took every measure possible to see more of her. As it was highly unconventional for an unmarried British Officer to be seen associating with a local dancing girl, Sir Thomas and his lover met in secret. Legend says she was smuggled into his mansion through a secret tunnel that led from her father's well into a wine cellar in the house.
Mt. Lavinia Hotel -1865
In 1811, social convention and duty to his King, led Sir Thomas Maitland to ultimately leave the country for Malta, where he lived and died as a bachelor. The tunnel was eventually sealed up in 1920 and the Gypsy village that surrounded the Governor’s mansion developed into a modern bustling city that took it's name from the beautiful Lovina. But the Governor’s home which he named "Mount Lavinia House" and his monument to his only love has been preserved within the walls and high ceilings of what is today the world famous Mount Lavinia Hotel. The statue of 'Lady' Lavinia, as the girl later became known, is still found in the middle of a water fountain at the entrance of the Mount Lavinia Hotel.But, there are other explanations too rooted in geography and the natural surroundings, when it comes to the origin of the name Mount Lavinia. The Sinhalese who lived on the coastal belt had for long named the promontory "Lihiniya Kanda" or "Lihiniyagala" meaning the hill of the sea gull or the rock of the sea gull.
Mt Lavinia Hotel - 1865
The local name for the town today is Galkissa - Kissa being a somewhat obsolete Sinhala word for rock. Legend takes over once again with the story of a large treasure from a shipwreck being hidden among the rocks here. Whatever the legends, the town came into official recognition when Governor Maitland used the postal address Mt. Lavinia, Ceylon, in 1805, while writing to the British Secretary of State, Lord Castlereagh.
The Colombo Museum as it was called at the beginning was established on 1st January 1877. It founder was Sir William Henry Gregory, the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the time. The Royal Asiatic Society (CB) was instrumental in bringing to the notice of Gregory on his appointment as Governor in 1872 the need for a public museum with much difficulty the approval of the legislative council was obtained within a year. The Architect of the Public Works Department, J.G. Smither was able to prepare the plans for new structure on Italian architectural style. The construction was completed in 1876 and the Museum commenced it functions in the following year.
The Authorities of the museum took various steps to display the cultural and natural heritage of the country for this purpose.
With the development of the museum to international level, it earned the status of a national museum during the period of Dr. P. E. P. Deraniyagala.
Ohiya Station - 1893
Colombo – Kandy mail coach.
Peradeniya Garden Entrance
The history of the Royal Botanic Gardens dates as far back as 1371 when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and kept court at Peradeniya near Mahaweli Ganga. Later, in the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe from 1747 to 1780 this was made a Royal Garden and from 1780 – 1798 King Rajadhi Rajasinghe resided therein, where a temporary residence was erected for him. A vihare and dagoba were built in the reign of King Wimala Dharma which was improved by King Rajadhi Rajasinghe. The vihare and dagoba were destroyed by the English when they occupied Kandy. The famous historical battle of Gannoruwa between Rajasinghe II and the Portuguese was fought on the Northern side of the river. A priest resided here till the Gardens were formed by Mr. Alexandar Moon in 1821 six years after the final conquest of the Kandyan Kingdom. In 1810 under the advice of Sir Joseph Banks a garden named Kew was opened in Slave Island and Mr. William Kerr was appointed as its Superintendent. In 1813 the garden was moved to Kalutara for the reception of economic plants which could be cultivated there on a larger scale than was possible at Slave Island. Kerr died in 1814 and under the rule of his successor Mr. Alexander Moon this Garden was finally moved to Peradeniya in 1821 as it was found to be favourable and better adapted for the proposed Botanic establishment. The transfer of exotics from the Kalutara Garden was made by successive Superintendents at least up to 1843.
Royal Hotel - 1860
Farmers ploughing a paddy field
Talpe Station - 1895
Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy
After the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, the tooth relic was preserved in Kalinga and smuggled to the island by Princess Hemamali and her husband, Prince Dantha on the instructions of her father King Guhasiv. They landed in the island in Lankapattana during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Meghavarna (301328) and handed over the tooth relic. The king enshrined it in Meghagiri Vihara (present day Isurumuniya) inAnuradhapura. Safety of the relic was a responsibility of the monarch, therefore over the years the custodianship of relic became to symbolize the right to rule. Therefore reigning monarchs built the tooth relic temples quite close to their royal residences, as was the case during the times of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa and Kurunegala kingdoms. During the era of Kingdom of Gampola the relic was housed in Niyamgampaya Vihara. It is reported in the messenger poems such as Hamsa, Gira, and Selalihini that the temple of tooth relic was situated within the city of Kotte when the kingdom was established there. During the reign of King Dharmapala, the relic kept hidden in Delgamuwa Vihara, Ratnapura in a grinding stone. It was brought to Kandy by Hiripitiye Diyawadana Rala and Devanagala Rathnalankara Thera. King Vimaladharmasuriya I built a two storey building to deposit the tooth relic and the building is now
gone. In 1603 when the Portuguese invaded Kandy, it was carried to Meda Mahanuwara in Dumbara. It was recovered in the time of Râjasimha II and it has been reported that he reinstate the original building or has built a new temple. The present day temple of the tooth was built by Vira Narendra Sinha. The octagonal Patthirippuwa and moat was added during the reign of Sri Wikrama Rajasinha. Famous Kandyan architect Devandra Mulacharin is credited with building the Patthirippuwa. Originally it was used by the kings for recreational activities and later it was offered to the tooth relic. Now it is an oriental library. Although it was heavily damaged in the 1998 terrorist attack it has restored to its previous state.
Ruwanwelisaya - Anuradhapura
The Ruwanwelisaya is a stupa in Sri Lanka, considered a marvel for its architectural qualities and sacred to many Buddhists all over the world. It was built by King Dutugemunu, 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. The stupa is also one of the Solosmasthana (the 16 places of veneration) and the Atamasthana (the 8 places of veneration in the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura). The stupa is one of the world's tallest monuments, standing at 300 feet (91 m) and with a circumference of 950 ft (290 m). King Dutugemunu began the work of building the stupa during Vesak, on the full-moon day of the month of Vesakha (April-May), under the constellation of Visakha. He then had Anuradhapura decorated like a divine city along with the terrace of the Great Stupa. Ninety-six koñis of Arahants came by from India. On the full-moon day of the month of Āsāëha, under the constellation of Uttarā-sāëha, he laid the foundation-stone of the Great Stūpa and determined: 'Should the work I carry for this Stupa be completed safely, may then the Venerable Arahants Buddharakkhita, Dhammarakkhita, Saïgharakkhita and Ānanda arrive and stand at the four quarters of the Great Stupa's terrace.'
Samadhi StatueAnuradhapura (1896)
The Samadhi Statue is a statue situated at Mahamevuna Park in Anuradhapura,Sri Lanka. The Buddha is depicted in the position of the Dhyana Mudra, the posture of meditation associated with his first Enlightenment, also called Nirvana. This position is universally known throughout the Buddhist world, and this statue is therefore one of the most typical pieces of Buddhist sculpture. Samadhi Statue is considered one of the best sculptures in the Anuradhapura era. It is thought to be done during the 3rd or the 4th centaury. It is made out of dolomite marble and stands 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 metres) in height. This statue was found in the present location in 1886 fallen to the ground with damages to the nose. It was then erected and the nose was reconstructed. In 1914, it was found damaged by treasure hunters and re constructed again.
Sri Maha Bodhi- Anuradhapura
The Bodhi Tree, also known as Bo (from the Sinhalese Bo), was a large and very old Sacred Fig tree (Ficus religiosa) located in Bodh Gaya (about 100 km (62 miles) from Patna in the Indian state of Bihar), under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher and founder of Buddhism later known as Gautama Buddha, is said to have achieved enlightenment, or Bodhi. In religious iconography, the Bodhi tree is recognizable by its heart-shaped leaves, which are usually prominently displayed. It takes 100 to 3,000 years for a bodhi tree to fully grow. The term "Bodhi Tree" is also widely applied to currently existing trees, particularly the Sacred Fig growing at the Mahabodhi Temple, which is a direct descendant of the original specimen. This tree is a frequent destination for pilgrims, being the most important of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Other holy Bodhi trees which have a great significance in the history of Buddhism are the Ananda bodhi tree in Sravasti and the Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Both are believed to have been propagated from the original Bodhi tree.
Adam's Peak is a 2,243 metres (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well-known for the Sri Pada "sacred footprint", a 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit, in Buddhist tradition it is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Muslim and Christian tradition that of Adam. The Sinhala name of the mountain is Samanalakanda, which refers either to the deity Saman, who is said to live upon the mountain or to the butterflies (samanalayā) that frequent the mountain during their annual migrations to the region. Sri Pada is the term, derived from Sanskrit, used by theSinhalese people in a religious context. This name is also understood in Pāli, and may be translated roughly as "the sacred foot". It refers to the footprint-shaped mark at the summit, which is believed by Buddhists to be that of the Buddha. Other traditions assert that it is the footprint of Adam, left by his first entrance into the world. It is an important pilgrimage site, especially for Hindus and Buddhists. Pilgrims walk up the mountain, following a variety of routes up thousands of steps. The journey takes several hours at least. The peak pilgrimage season is in April, and the goal is to be on top of the mountain at sunrise, when the distinctive shape of the mountain casts a triangular shadow on the surrounding plain and can be seen to move quickly downward as the sun rises.
Access to the mountain is possible by 6 trails (Ratnapura-Palabaddala, Hatton-Nallathanni, Kuruwita-Erathna, Murraywatte, Mookuwatte & Malimboda). Out of these the Nallathanni & Palabaddala routes are the most popular. Kuruwita-Erathna road is somewhat popular as well. The other 3 roads are almost obscure. It joins the Palabaddala road midway through the ascent. Buses connect the final nodes of Nallanthanni to Hatton, Palabaddala to Ratnapura & Erathna to Kuruwita. There after it's a difficult journey through the forest on foot. Most of the pilgrims use Hatton route as the journey on foot can be reduced by more than five kilometers even though the slope of this route is much greater than other routes. The mountain is most often scaled from December to May. During other months it is hard to climb the mountain due to very heavy rain, extreme wind, and thick mist. Climbing at night can be a remarkable experience, with the lights of the path leading up and into the stars overhead. There are rest stops along the way.
Temple at Slave Island
Slave Island is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka located directly south of the Fort area of Colombo. The name Slave Island was given during the period of British occupation and administration, and refers to the situation under Portuguese and Dutch administration when slaves were held there, most of them from Africa. Most of the slaves later returned to Africa. However, a very small group of African descendants are scattered throughout Sri Lanka and are collectively known as Sri Lankan Kaffirs. The suburb contains Beira Lake, a large lake and its esplanade is visited by many for recreation. Slave Island is mostly a commercial area with hotels and shopping centres.