Sri Dalada Maligawa

Kandy (Ancient Senkadagala) is the last capital of the Sinhala Monarchy the History of which goes back to at least five centuries before the beginning of the Common Era. The city is surrounded by a ring of mountain ranges and Sri Lanka’s largest river Mahaweli Ganga.Kandy enjoys a salubrious climate and still breathes the ancient lifestyle of the people.The heritage of Kandy, Architecture, Sculpture, painting, Dance and Music, all such cultural traditions are endemic to Sri Lanka.Kandy remains the home for all denominations of major world religions.

Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and there subdivisions. Buddhism plays a significant role in Kandy with the two main Monastic orders, Malwatte and Asgiriya fraternities together with numerous temples of the Country attached to them. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic constitutes the premier Buddhist Institution of Sri Lanka and remains the cynosure of the world Buddhist and is a great tourist attraction. The annual pageant (Esala Perahera) constitutes the greatest religious festival of Sri Lanka which attract thousands of pilgrims as well as tourists from all over the world. The web site on the Sri Dalada maligawa attempts to introduce all its aspects of history, rituals, cultural and other social activities.

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Sigiriya drawings

John Still in 1907 suggested, "The whole face of the hill appears to have been a gigantic picture gallery... the largest picture in the world perhaps". The paintings would have covered most of the western face of the rock, covering an area 140 metres long and 40 metres high. There are references in the graffiti to 500 ladies in these paintings. However, many more are lost forever, having been wiped out when the Palace once more became a Monastery so that they would not disturb meditation.[citation needed] Some more frescoes different from the popular collection can be seen elsewhere on the rock surface, for example on the surface of the location called the "Cobra Hood Cave". Although the frescoes are classified as in the Anuradhapura period, the painting style is considered unique,[citation needed] the line and style of application of the paintings differing from Anuradhapura paintings. The lines are painted in a form which enhances the sense of voluminousness of figures. The paint has been applied in sweeping strokes, using more pressure on one side, giving the effect of a deeper colour tone towards the edge. Other paintings of the Anuradhapura period contain similar approaches to painting, but do not have the sketchy lines of the Sigiriya style, having a distinct artists' boundary line.These ladies in the pictures below are known as the daughters of king Kashyapa.He painted them in gold and black color so,they can be remembered.The King was very fond of his daughters.that's why he painted their portaits on the Sigiriya cave walls.

 

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Martin Wickramasinghe Museum

Directly opposite the large Club Horizon hotel (just east of the Koggala Beach Hotel), the excellent Martin Wickramasinghe Museum (daily 9am-5pm) is inspired by - and pardy devoted to - the life, works and ideas of Martin Wickramasinghe, one of the most important Sinhalese cultural figures of Seventieth century.

The museum comprises several different sections, ranged around grounds full of carefully labeled tropical trees. The excellent Folk Museum houses an absorbing and well-labeled selection of exhibits pertaining to the daily practical or spiritual life of the Sinhalese everything from catching a fish to chasing off malevolent spirits. Religious artifacts fill the first room, ranging from Buddha statuettes to more atavistic devotional objects such as rough clay figurines and cobra figures used as offerings to the gods. Most interesting are the "sand boards", trays of sand which were used to practice writing - the Sri Lankan equivalent of a blackboard, and one of the museums many examples of simple but elegant local solutions to preindustrial problems. The second room contains agricultural and household utensils including cute wooden and metal cow bells, cunning fish traps, and the wooden rattles and bows and arrows used to scare birds from paddy fields. There’s also an excellent collection of masks, some up to a century old and depicting a range of characters, including an unusual pair of pink-taced British officers, as well as exhibits relating to traditional industries, including rubber collection toddy tapping and cinnamon gathering.

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Dewolmaduwa

"Mal Yahan Nateema"

These photos were taken at the dewolmaduwa that held at Ambalangoda in December 2010.Dewol madu are very beautiful cultural and traditional events that are very sacred to Sri Lankans. These events mostly held in southern province, and also in western province.At the beginning of "Dewol maduwa" theres a dance called "Mal Yahan Nateema". This dance is to invite the gods to the altar that made by banana trees using traditional arts and that altar is called as "Mal Yahana". The gods are vary between two traditions called "Benthara" and "Mathara". In "Benthara" tradition "Mal Yahan Nateema" is for four gods called "Natha, Wishnu, Katharagama & Paththini" and mainly for god "Natha"But in "Mathara" tradition "Mal Yahan Nateema" is for god "Suuniyam".The lines sang by dancers during this dance is to praise the gods.

 

"Thelme Dance"

"Thelme" this word express the idea "The oil serve" in sinhala. This dancers are dancing with oil cones, thats why its called as Thelme. They are dancing for Dolos deviyan (twelve gods). Dancers shows their talents during this dance and it will be a fascinating moment when they begin to reach their maximum. Photos below shows how a dancer gets ready for the event and some shots during the dance.

 

"Handa Samayama"

This is an interesting dancing event that called "Handa Samayama" at Dewol maduwa. This dance is for five evils called "Bali kaama, Bili Kaama, Honthu Kaama, Pulutu Kaama and Rathi kaama" Handa samayama and its praying are to satisfy these evils and to send them back, This dance is specially for the evil called "Rathi Kaama" and to others there are some prayings and rituals during this dance.

 

"Wahala Nateema"

This is the most adventurous, dangerous and the exciting part of Dewol Maduwa. This dance is to satisfy the god called "Mangara", This dancer is dancing nearly 1 hour in trance, there are few people to protect him while dancing because he is in trance and hi is stark. At the end he throw resin everywhere to drive away the evil spirits.

If you wish to visit a "Dewol maduwa" remember to take care of yourself from resin at the end of this event, because the dancer is in trance.

Special thanks for Mr. Rumesh chanaka who invited us for this event and gave information about these dancings. Mr. Priyankara who is posing in Thelme dressing photos. And Mr.Mahawaththa a leading dancer in this event that helped us a lot.

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Processions (Perahera)

Primitive man lived in communities alone the rivers. they had agriculture based economy. they had a close relationship with the nature. some of the things in nature became their Gods From the beginning the man was afraid of over abundance of nature. E.G. : floods, drought and wind etc…they thought that there are super natural powers behind these and started offering things. as a results different dancing forms developed.

Concept of dancing in Sri Lanka starts with “Kohombakankariya” in 4th century B.C. during the period of pandukabhaya. people used dancing in retails, to get rid of natural disasters, sickness …etc. during Anuradhapura period also there had been dancing as Mahavamsa (The great chronicle of Sri Lanka) speak of procession of the tooth relic. At the end of polonnaruwa period lots of Indian influence came in to our dancing. Kandy had an independent form of dancing yet with Hindu influence. In the south during the period of king kavantissa(1st century B.C.) a dancing form was developed and there fore you can see lot of dancing and retails in the south. during the period of kotte also a dancing form developed and we now call it “Sabaragamuwa dance "

Today you can find three main dancing form in Sri Lanka

 

  1. Kandyan Dancing.
  2. Low country Dance.
  3. Sabaragamu Dancing.
  4. Baratha Natyam.

 

Only men take part in Kandyan dancing and the drum called “udarata beraya” or “gataberaya” accompany the dance. Low country (Pahatharata) dance has a lot of dramas in it “maru sanniya”, “giri devi”, “shanthi karma” are some of them. ”kolam” too comes under this but with masks. The drum called “pahatha rata beraya” or"yak beraya” or “thovil beraya” accompany the dance. In Sabaragamuwa dancing mainly men take part and ladies too allowed “sindu mathraya, gaman mathraya, yakpada mathraya, patu thala mathraya are some of them. The drums called “daula” or “thammattama” accompanied the dance and also have Bharata Natyam in Sri Lanka.

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