Dambadeniya was the third capital in ancient Sri Lanka. (1233 – 1283 A.D.) It was crowned by four kings. The pioneer King Wijayabahu-III (1233 – 1236 A.D), builds his royal palace on the rock at Dambadeniya & converted it to the capital of the country in 1233 A.D.
Last week I got an opportunity to visit Dambadeniya. The distance was 2 hours drive from Colombo. We turned right from Dambadeniya new town and moved along a narrow road. The rock where the royal palace had located was at a distance of 1km from New town. The rock was more than 300 ft height from the average ground level. (600 ft from MSL) a small office of the Department of Archeology was located at the base of the rock. A representative of the Department of Archeology was there. He expanded our knowledge on various aspects of the kingdom.
There was a stepped path from the base to the top of the rock. The first segment of the path was recently built. Having climbing about 100feet, the stepped path joined to the ancient route, which was built with dressed rocks. (Complete path used in ancient time from the base to the top was still remain) There was a huge rocky trap made ready to fell on a battle of enemy who would try to enter the Kingdom on the rock. And also there was a narrow point of the stepped path to enable the Royal solders to cut the enemies one by one, which entered through.
Area of the top of the rock was not less than 6 acres. The complex of Royal palace, a temple for the Sacred Tooth Relic, 3 major ponds & security points were placed on it.
Since all the excavations were not performed, there was a court yard only visible as remains of the ancient buildings. The perimeter wall of the court yard was made with layers of bricks & tiles forming moldings. The layers of tiles were used to drain excess water from the brickwork.
The largest out of three ponds on the rock was called as “Rathmal Pokuna” (in the name of a flower - Itxora). It was much deeper and would not show remarkable reduction of water even in a drought. The second named “Muguna pokuna” had been used for agriculture purposes. The third was used as the source of portable water.
The security view point at Northern most end of the rock was the highest position (600ft. MSL). There was a nice view of the plane up to Kurunegala, which was worth watching. “Wijayasundararamaya” the historic temple at Damabdeniya and the famous rock named “waduwa ketu gala”, where the royal jail was located on, could also view at there.
Finally, if you wish to visit there, don’t forget to bring enough water and food along with you. Take nothings but photographs, leave nothing but foot prints!