WWW Virtual Library - Sri Lanka


Kaludiya pokuna: Ancient feats in granite

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Carving on the side of 'Galabadda Pokuna

Mihintale Rock - immortalised by the formal arrival of Buddhist ambassadors to the country is more than a place of religious worship. The attractive rock outcrop, standing tall in the flat, dry expanse of agricultural dry zone, is a treasure trove of archaeological wealth. Kaludiya Pokuna is one such.

The largest of Mihintale ponds, this beautifully built pond is a telling signature of the developed irrigation engineering of our fore fathers.

Surrounded by thick jungle and archaeological remains of a monastic complex, Kaludiya pokuna makes a very interesting visit. H.C.P. Bell, Sri Lanka's first Archaeological Commissioner who first excavated the pond had this to say. "The first peep of this delightful glen as it suddenly bursts on the charmed gaze, is entrancing in its quiet picturesqueness.

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Aerial view of Kaludiya Pokuna

A more perfect sanctuary for the sons of Buddha could not be found anywhere throughout the length and breadth of Ceylon. Lying in the valley between At-vehera kanda towering to north-east and the detached kutti kanda, this dell nestles happily in unmarred loveliness of its own."

Later Archaeological Commissioner Dr. Senerat Paranavithane makes this interesting reference in a 1947 report: "The broad embankment which impounds the water in that entrancing tarn, all but natural, known as the Kaludiya Pokuna was marked at its northern and southern boundary ends by two gateways, the ruins of which appeared as shapeless mounds until a few months ago."

The boundaries of the pokuna are constructed with granite, but the southern end, 66 feet, is formed by a natural outcropping of rock. After the Navy dregded the bottom and removed the mud from the tank, it is now used for bathing by villagers around.

WWW Virtual Library - Sri Lanka