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Kurunegala

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Kurunegala TravelKurunegala, a royal capital of erstwhile days, is overlooked by massive rocky outcrops christened on the names of the animals they resemble: elephant rock, tortoise rock etc. Etagala, a black rock, is the most famous among these rocks. Kurunegala served as royal capital only for half a century, beginning with the reign of Buvanekabahu II (1293-1302) who was followed by Parakramabahu IV (1302-1326). Tooth Relic Temple of Kurunegla was once very famous, but now, only the remains of the temple are there. Kurunegala is a naturally beautiful town with a lake in the middle of the city and colossal Elephant Rock in the background.

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Three earlier capitals sit in the neiguborhood of Kurunegala - Panduvasnuwara (north - west) with remains of a moated palace and monasteries from the 12th century, Dambadeniya (south - west, mid-13th century), and Yapahuwa (north).

Kurunegala Attractions
The Seven Rocks

Etha-gala Elephant Rock
Ibba-gala Tortoise Rock
Ada-gala Eel Rock
Elu-gala Goat Rock
Yakdessa-gala
Kuruminiya-gala Ladybird Rock
Wandura-gala Monkey Rock


Kurunegala Vewa
Ancient monarchs made this huge water reservoir for the consumption of their subjects.

Kurunegala Clock Tower
Kurunegala Clock Tower was constructed in the memory of soldiers who fought valiantly in the World War I. The tower which was built in 1922 was in 1945 dedicated to the officers who died in Second World War.

Maligawa Ancient Ruins
These ancient ruins give us a glimpse of the past glory of Kurunegala. Whatever has remained of the ancient structures are enough to remind us of the old glory of the country. Elegant stone entrance, steps, rock pillars and ruined walls of the royal palace can be seen here. Several tall old trees can also be witnessed here.

Excursions
Ridi Vihariya: Ridi Vihariya, 18km off Kurunegala, is known for its ancient Buddhist temple site with rock cave hermitages and an image house with Kandyan paintings. Most of Ridi Vihariya has relations to the 18th century. Those who are interested in architecture can witness Buddha idols, a door frame elegantly carved and inlaid with ivory, and a curious altar bedecked by Dutch tiles with Biblical figures. An artificial lake at the foot of the hills would also interest you.

Arankele: Arankele is located 24km north of Kuruneglala. Main attraction here is a 6th century cave hermitage up a forested hillside. Once meditation halls, stone-faced double platform structures and ambulatories for the Tapovana (Forest-dwelling) sect were located here. Ancient Brahmi donative inscription testifies this.

Kurunegala in Sri LankaDambadeniya: Dambadeniya sits 30km south-west of Kurunegala. It gained prominence in the mid-13th century when the capital was moved there by Parakramabahu II (1236- 1270) together with the Tooth Relic. Little remains of the palace buildings now. However 6 ponds can still be seen in Dambadeniya. The 2-storey temple here is very famous. It has images of Buddha. Few interesting frescos adorn the temple walls here.

Yapahuwa: Lying north of Kurunegala, this is the ancient fortress and capital built in the year 1301. Yapahuwa is a rock rising to a height of 90m. Many traces of ancient battle defaces can still be seen. But the ornamental stairway is its biggest showpiece.

Panduwasnuwara: Panduwasnuwara is the oldest temple in the district. Located in northwest direction, it hosts several sites of historical and conventional importance like the Ektemge and the moated tower. Princess Unmada Chitra was incarcerated in this tower because of an ominous prophecy of untimely demise in the family. Tomb of King Vijay lies in the forest.

How To Reach
Kurunegala is lucky to become an important cross-roads town. It lies on the route from Kandy to the Puttalam and Colombo to Anuradapura. The town lies 116km from Colombo and 60km from Kandy. It is well-connected to various places in the country by rail and road. Kurunegala Station is one of the major railway stations along this railway line.

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