WWW Virtual Library - Sri Lanka


The historical Ambakka temple

(@www.kothmale.net) There are many historical monuments that reveals the Sri Lankan heritage in the hill capital and the temple of Ambakka is very special because it owns some of the gratest carvings in Sri lanka. the temple is situated in the central province.

There is a small village called "Arathtana" which was, many moons ago in Sri Lanka, well known for its dancers and drummers. In this village lived a drummer who had a skin disease. He tried every possible treatment to rid himself of his problem, but none of them worked. Every medicine failed to cure him. He decided to go to the "temple of Katharagama", a temple in the southern part of Sri Lanka. This temple was built for the god of Katharagama. He went there and asked the god of Katharagama to cure his illness, promising to worship the temple annually. Then his illnesses were cured, and he kept his promise to Katharagama for many, many years.
It was a long, tiresome journey to the south and finally the time came when he knew his body could no longer make the trip. For the last time he traveled to the temple and praied the god that he could no longer continue his annual ritual, as he was too old. The sad drummer returned home and that night, the god of katharagama spoke to him in his dreams. He made a prediction. The god said, "in few days, a miracle will happen! You must go there and perform your traditional drumming!" As predicted by the god the miracle happened.

There was a flower garden known as Ambakka, which belonged to the wife of King Wickramabahu- Queen Henakanda Bissobandara. When the gardener was working in the garden he tried to remove a "Kaduru" tree from the garden. When he cut it a stream of blood began to flow from the tree. The drummer heard of this miracle and so went to the flower garden to perform the rituals as he was ordered to do by the god. He built a small temple out of tree branches around the tree. It has been called the "Ambakka Devalaya" ever since.

After some days the king of "gangasiripura", "gampola" king Wickramabahu, was informed about the event. The king ordered to build a three story building in the land. He gave land and elephants as gifts to the temple. His queen's jewellery was also given to the temple as a gift. Since then the temple of ambakka is worshipped by thousands of people every year. They say, even today, the drummer's ancestors' perform rituals in the temple.

How the village got its name.

There are many stories about this village. There is an ancient game known as "ankeliya" performed for the goddess of Paththini. There was a playground in this village where they performed this game annually. This village had a horn, used to play the game. And this was a big horn. In sinhala "ann" or "anga" means the horn. They say "bakka" for big. Earlier they called the village "An+bakka", which means 'the big horn'. The word "an+bakka" has changed to "Ambakka", as we know it today.

There are total of eight buildings built for the temple of Ambakka. Six buildings are in the inner temple, and two of them outside. The structures that are inside the surrounding wall are known as the 'inner temple'. The structures that are outside the wall are known as the 'outer temple'.

WWW Virtual Library - Sri Lanka