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HISTORY

 

TOP 10 ANCIENT CITIES OF SRI LANKA

1. Sigiriya

2. Anuradhapura

3. Polonnaruwa

4. Dambulla

5. Mihintale

6. Kandy

7. Yapahuwa

8. Dambadeniya

9. Tissamaharama

10. Jaffna

 

TOP 10 COLONIAL MILITARY FORTS OF SRI LANKA

1. Galle

2. Trincomalee (Fort Frederick)

3. Kalpitiya (Calpetyn)

4. Mannar

5. Arippu

6. Jaffna

7. Batticaloa

8. Hammenhiel (Kayts Island)

9. Negombo

10. Matara (Star Fort)

 

TOP 10 ARCHEALOGICAL MUSEUMS OF SRI LANKA

1. Colombo

2. Kandy

3. Galle

4. Ratnapura

5. Jaffna

6. Vavuniya

7. Anuradhapura

8. Mihintale

9. Isurumuniya

10. Sigiriya

 

TOP 10 SPECIALIST MUSEUMS IN SRI LANKA

1. Dutch Museum, Colombo

2. National Maritime Museum, Galle

3. Sri Lanka Air Force Museum, Ratmalana

4. National Railway Museum, Kadugannawa

5. Highway Museum, Kiribathkumbura

6. Hoods Tower Museum, Trincomalee

7. Tea Museum, Kandy

8. Folk Museum, Anuradhapura

9. International Buddhist Museum, Kandy

10. Port Maritime Museum, Colombo

 

TOP 10 ANCIENT MARVELS OF SRI LANKA

1. Sigiriya

2. Isurumuniya

3. Anuradhapura

4. Polonnaruwa

5. Mihintale

6. Tissamaharama

7. Kataragama

8. Yapahuwa

9. Buduruwagala

10. Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak)

 

TOP 10 ANCIENT STUPAS OF SRI LANKA

1. Thuparama, Anuradhapura

2. Ruwanveliseya, Anuradhapura

3. Jetavanaramaya, Anuradhapura

4. Abayagiri, Anuradhapura

5. Tissamaharama

6. Mirisaveti

7. Kirivehera

8. Rankothvehera

9. Raja Maha Vihara, Mahiyangana

10. Isurumuniya, Anuradhapura

 

TOP 10 ANCIENT NAMES OF SRI LANKA

1. Ceylon

2. Taprobana

3. Serendip

4. Ceilan

5. Tamraparni

6. Zeilan

7. Salike

8. Ceilao

9. Seilan

10. Simhala

 

TOP 10 ANCIENT MAPS OF SRI LANKA

1. Ptolemy Map of Taprobane (150 AD)

2. Muhammad Al-Idrisi Map of Sarandib

3. Sebastian Munster Map of Taprobane (1544)

4. Jodocus Hondius & Gerard Mercator of Ceilan (1596)

5. Tomaso Porccachi Map of Taprobana (1604)

6. Allain Mallet Map of Taprobane (1683)

7. Robert Knox Map of Ceylon (1692)

8. J.N. Bellin Map of Ceylan (1750)

9. John Tallis Map of Ceylon (1851)

10. A&J Arrowsmith Map of Langka or Tambraparni (1859)

 

TOP 10 ANCIENT BOOKS OF SRI LANKA

1. Atthakatha – ancient commentaries

2. Dipavamsa – “Island Chronicles”

3. Culavamsa – “Lesser Chronicle” (continuation of the Mahavamsa)

4. Mahavamsa – “Great Chronicle” (combined work of 1, 2 and 3 above)

5. Vinaya-Pitaka – training rules for monks and nuns

6. Sutta-Pitaka – Buddha’s teachings

7. Abhidhamma – higher learning

8. Tripitaka – “Pali-Canon” (comprising of 5, 6 and 7, above)

9. Ramayana – Ancient Hindu epic which is based in “Lanka”

10. Sarartha Sangrahaya – Ayurvedic Medicine manuscript by King Buddhadasa in 398 AD

 

TOP 10 ANTIQUARIAN BOOKS ABOUT SRI LANKA

1. An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon by Robert Knox (1681)

2. Rebellion de Ceylan by Rodriquez De Saa Y Menesez (1681)

3. Description of Malabar and Ceylon by Phillipus Baldaeus (1703)

4. Historie de l’Isle de Ceylon by Captain João Ribeiro (1721)

5. An Account of the Island Ceylon by Robert Percival (1803)

6. A Description of Ceylon by James Cordiner (1807)

7. An Account of the Interior of Ceylon by John Davy (1821)

8. Travels on Foot Through the Island of Ceylon by Jacob Haafner (1821)

9. Le Ceylan by Le Comte de Noé (1826)

10. Eleven Years in Ceylon by Major Jonathan Forbes (1840)

 

TOP 10 UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN SRI LANKA

1. Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

2. Ancient City of Sigiriya

3. Golden Temple of Dambulla

4. Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications

5. Sacred City of Anuradhapura

6. Sacred City of Kandy

7. Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

8. Sinharaja Forest Reserve

9. Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara (tentative)

10. Seruwila to Sri Pada (Sacred Foot Print Shrine) (tentative)

 

TOP 10 RAMAYANA SITES IN SRI LANKA

1. Weragantota (Place of Aircraft Landing - airport), near Mahiyangana

2. Gurulupotha (Parts of Birds – aircraft maintenance centre), near Mahiyangana

3. Sita Eliya (Sita bathed in a stream here), near Nuwara Eliya

4. Sita Amman Temple (located at the stream where Sita bathed), near Nuwara Eliya

5. Sita Pokuna (Sita Tear Pond dried up when Sita left), near Pussellawa

6. Hakgala Botanical Gardens (part of the Ashoka Vatika gardens), near Nuwara Eliya

7. Ravana Ella Cave (one of the places where Sita was hidden), near Ella

8. Ravana Ella Falls (Sita bathed in a pool at the waterfall), near Ella

9. Dunuwila (where Rama firedthe arrow that killed Ravana), Wasgomuwa National Park

10. Laggala (“Target Rock” where Ravana was killed), Knuckles Mountain Range

 

TOP 10 FAMOUS BRIDGES OF SRI LANKA

1. Gal Palama (Stone Bridge), Anuradhapura – Built over the Malwathu Oya and dates from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. Partial remains only.

2. Mahakanadarawa Stone Bridge, Mihintale – Built over the Kanadarawa River. It is 80 feet long and 10 feet wide.

3. Bogoda Bridge, near Badulla (late 16th to early 17 centuries AD) – Built over the Gallanda Oya. Wood bridge with a roof having Kandyan tiles

4. Bridge of Boats, Kelaniya, near Colombo (1822) – Wood construction over wooden boats. It was over 500 feet long

5. Old Peradeniya Bridge, near Kandy (1833) – Satin Wood construction, with no nails or bolts. It was washed away in floods in 1904 and was 215 feet long

6. Demodara Nine Arch Railway Bridge (Bridge in the Sky), near Badulla (1921) – Rocks, bricks and cement construction. 1050 feet long.

7. Kalladi Bridge (Lady Manning Bridge), Batticaloa (1922) – First road-rail bridge in Sri Lanka. Iron construction. 960 feet long.

8. Oddamavadi Bridge (Valachchanai Bridge), Valachchanai (1924) – Second road-rail bridge. Steel construction

9. Butterfly Bridge (Mowda Ela – Foolish Bridge), Galle – Double span white bridge over the Dutch canal to Dharmapala Park. Broken by the 2004 Tsunami

10. Bridge on the River Kwai, Kitulgala - Built and destroyed during filming in 1957 along with K1 class steam locomotive No. 104.

 

TOP 10 REBELLIONS OF SRI LANKA

1. Kangara Arachchi Revolt against the Portuguese of 1603

2. First Kuruvita Rala Revolt against the Portuguese of 1603

3. Second Kuruvita Rala Report against the Portuguese, 1619-19

4. Nikapitiya Bandara Revolt against the Portuguese, 1616-17

5. First Freedom Fight against the British of 1796

6. Great Rebellion (Uva Rebellion) against the British, 1818-18

7. Matale Rebellion against the British of 1848

8. JVP (Janatha Vimukthi Peramena) student insurrection against the government, 1971

9. Second JVP insurrection against the government, 1987-89

10. Civil War by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) against the government, 1976-2009

 

TOP 10 ANCIENT WARS/COLONISATIONS OF SRI LANKA

1. Indian Colonisation led by Prince Vijaya (circa 543 BC)

2. Chola Invasion led by King Elara (circa 200 BC)

3. Sinhalese War in Chola Kingdom led by King Gajabahu I (circa 120 AD)

4. Chola Invasion led by by Rajaraja I (993 AD)

5. Cholas defeated by Sinhalese King Vijayabahu I to retake the middle kingdom (1055 AD)

6. Sinhalese War in Southern Burma (circa 1180 AD)

7. Kalinga (Eastern Indian) invasion leads to Sinhalese migration south (circa 1200 AD)

8. Pandyan invasion led by Sundara Pandyan I defeats the Cholas (circa 1400 AD)

9. Malayan invasions by Buddhist King Chandrabahu in the 13th Century AD repulsed.

10. Vijayanagara invasion repulsed by King Parakaramabahu VI with help from Chinese Ming Empire (circa 1440 AD)

 

TOP 10 COLONIAL BATTLES IN SRI LANKA

1. Siege of Kotte – Sitawaka Sinhalese under King Mayadunne Bandara besieged Portuguese forces led by Captain Major Dom Alfonso Pereira de Lacerda at Kotte in 1557-1558 but were forced to withdraw (although the Portuguese later abandoned Kotte in 1565).

2. Battle of Mulleriyawa – Sitawaka Sinhalese under King Mayadunne Bandara, but led by his son Tikiri Bandara, defeated the Portuguese led by Jorge de Menezes at Mulleriyawa circa 1562.

3. Battle of Balana – Kandyan Sinhalese under King Vimaladharmasuriya are forced to retreat after the Portuguese army led by Governor Pedro Lopes de Sousa storm the Balana Fort (near Kadugannawa) in 1594.

4. Battle of Danture – Kandyan Sinhalese under King Vimaladharmasuriya annihilated a Portuguese army led by Governor Pedro Lopes de Sousa at Danture (near Kandy) in 1594.

5. Battle of Randeniwela – Kandyan Sinhalese under King Rajasinghe II routed a Portuguese army led by Governor Constantino de Sa de Noronha at Randeniwela (near Ella) in 1630.

6. Battle of Gannoruwa – Kandyan Sinhalese under King Rajasinghe II wiped out a Portuguese army (only 33 Portuguese solders were left alive) led by Captain General Diego de Melo de Castro at Gannoruwa (near Kandy) in 1638.

7. Battle against the Dutch – Kandyan Sinhalese under King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe defeat Dutch forces led by Governor Baron Lubbert Jan van Eck in 1764.

8. Battle of Senkadagala (First Kandyan War) – Kandyan Sinhalese under King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe wipe out British forces led by Colonel Barbut at Senkadagala (Kandy) in 1803.

9. Battle of the Mahaveli (First Kandyan War) - Kandyan Sinhalese under King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe completely defeated the British army at the Mahaveli River (near Kandy) in 1803.

10. Battle of Hanwella (First Kandyan War) - Kandyan Sinhalese under King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe were routed by British forces at Hanwella in 1805.

 

TOP 10 SECRET TUNNELS IN SRI LANKA

1. Ravana Kingdom – Many tunnels were said to have been built which were large enough to move armies across this island (tunnel found near Bearwell Estate, Lundula).

2. Ravana Kingdom? – There are stories of a tunnel behind Ravana Ella Falls or from the Ravana Cave above it that connects to the Dowa Temple in Bandarawela.

3. Anuradhapura Period - A tunnel exists at Holombuwa Rock Temple which was constructed by King Walagamba and is supposed to have linked Yatahalena to Dedigama.

4. Anuradhapura Period? - There are ruins of an entrance to a tunnel at Ritigala that apparently went to Anuradhapura.

5. Anuradhapura Period – A tunnel with steps is supposed to connect an ancient site at Kuragala to the Budugala Temple which was constructed by King Walagamba (but it is also a Ramayana site)

6. Kotte Kingdom – Apparently three tunnels were built, one of which came out at Fort Harbour and was used to mount surprise attacks on the Portuguese.

7. Kandyan Kingdom – A secret tunnel is said to connect the King’s Palace to the small island in the centre of Kandy Lake which has a Royal Summer House.

8. Dutch Occupation – A tunnel connects the Dutch Kalpitiya (Calpatyn) Fort to the Dutch Reformed Church that is about 200 metres outside the walls of the fort.

9. British Occupation – Governor Sir Thomas Maitland constructed a tunnel from his mansion (now Mount Lavinia Hotel) to a well in a village where his lover Lovina Aponsuwa lived so they could secretly meet.

10. Modern Politics – A tunnel commissioned by former President Mahinda Rajapakse from the President’s House in Fort, Colombo to connect with Colombo Port was only half-completed.

 

TOP 10 TRADITIONAL WEAPONS OF SRI LANKA

1. Battle Axes (Keteriya)

2. Dagger (Kinissa)

3. Single-edged Sabre (Kastane) – curved

4. Double-edged Sword (Kaduwa) - straight

5. Bow (Dhunna) and Arrow (Ihya or Igaha)

6. Club (Mugura)

7. Javelin (Adayatiya)

8. Long Spear (Kuntha)

9. Small Shield (Paliha)

10. Large Shield (Palagaya)

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