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Ambalama | Butterflies | Exorcism and The Occult | Kumbuk | Palm | Rice | Traditional Dance | Traditional Musical Instruments

The Ambalama

In ancient times the ambalama was a traditional resting place for the weary traveler. Then, the ordinary folk of Sri Lanka traveled by foot. Long distance traveling was exhausting and the traveler was compelled to rest and wait awhile before he continued on his journey. The ambalama was the ideal resting place, or a small "rest-house" where the weary traveler could take shelter, rest and sleep awhile.

In certain places elaborate ornamental carvings and sculpture adorn these ambalamas, which were constructed according to typical Sri Lankan architectural techniques of excellence. Hence, the humble ambalama has become one of Sri Lanka 's most artistic, elegant structures of historical value. This shelter for rest and relaxation between travels of ordinary folk was obviously very closely related to them. Since it was open to anyone who cared to rest between travels and take shelter beneath its roof, people from all parts of the country used the ambalama. So, it also became a communication Centrex where people could exchange information about each other and the various areas they came from.

The ambalama also served as a simple court of law, where disputes of the people were solved and justice was maintained.

It was also used as a Centrex to collect tax. The "Rest-House" that emerged under the British Administration in Sri Lanka , can be considered as evolved from the humble ambalama. Hence this ambalama of the past was not only a place for rest and shelter but it also contributed to the social, financial, political, and cultural aspects of the country. Therefore the ambalama was a multi-dimensional center of the country.

Although modernization makes the modern traveler use the modern vehicles as a means of transport, the ambalama is still in our midst, reminding us of our heritage and this structure has become one of the monuments of Sri Lanka's antiquity.

Ambalama | Butterflies | Exorcism and The Occult | Kumbuk | Palm | Rice | Traditional Dance | Traditional Musical Instruments