Places to visit in Kotte

Places to visit in Kotte

Before the Portuguese colonial rule in 1505 AD, there were two kingdoms in western Sri Lanka, namely Sitawaka and Kotte. Sitawaka, one of the two ancient kingdoms was completely destroyed during the last several centuries.

Even though the kingdom of Kotte was also neglected by the rulers since the beginning of the 1500s, some parts of the ancient capital can still be seen. Some parts of the protective wall of Kotte kingdom are still preserved and can be seen in the areas of Kotte Sri Parakumba Pirivena, Alakeshwara road and Angampitiya road.

The remains of the wall in Angampitiya road are measured to be around 800 meters in length. The wall had been around 8 feet in width while the exact height is not known. But the archaeologists assume that it had been around 7 feet in height. The wall was constructed to protect the inner city of Kotte. The inner city and the protective wall were surrounded by the outer city. 

There had been two ditches on either side of the wall full of water and the outer ditch was teamed with crocodiles. The inner ditch can still be seen on the Alakeshawara Road and the outer ditch was located in the area of Sirikotha.

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The king’s palace

The king’s palace of the kingdom was located in the inner city and it was consisting of 5 floors. The palace was completely destroyed by the colonial rulers of the island. Nothing of the palace can be seen today.

Dalada Maligawa

Dalada Maligawa had been a building with three stories and it was built to preserve the tooth relic of Buddha. Dalada Maligawa was also located in the inner city of Kotte, next to the king’s palace. According to one of the ancient chronicles, Salalihini Sandeshaya, the pinnacle of the temple was constructed of gold.

Ven. Sri Rahula Thera had been the caretaker of the temple and the tooth relic. Therefore the Sri Sangaraja monastery complex had been in the vicinity of Dalada Maligawa. Today the graveyard occupies the whole region where these important buildings were built in the past.

The monument of Alakeshwara

Alakeshwara road is located after the archaeological museum of Kotte on the Navinna-Kotte main road.  After around one kilometre from the main road on the Alakeshwara road is the Alakeshwara monument. There are three constructions at the site and two of them are identified as parts of the ancient construction. It is believed that it had been the location of the Palace of the prominent family of Alakeshwara.

Vehera Kanda Baddagana

Vehera Kanda was a well-known area located in the Kotte kingdom. Today Veherakanda is located in Baddagana. Veherakanda is believed to be the place, where the queen of King Parakramabahu of Kotte was cremated.

There is two semi-circular (dome-shaped) construction at the site. Both constructions are 14 feet in height while the diameter is 30 feet. They are built on a rectangular platform with a size of 97’ * 58’. The platform is more than 5 feet in height. The first excavation of the site was conducted by the archaeological department of Sri Lanka in 1949, but no artefacts with historical or religious importance were discovered.

Ganadevi Kovila

The temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity of Ganesh. The historical name of the temple is believed to be Dimutta and it is located on the Kotte-Beddagana main road. According to the historical information the temple was constructed by the king of Parakramabu of Kotte.