The historic city of Kegalle
Elephants from Pinnawala orphanage taking a breather in the
river opposite the orphanage
Kegalle is 77 km from Colombo and is in the Sabaragamuwa Province,
which is situated in between the central highlands and western southern
planes. Rubber cultivation is the main occupation and coffee, cocoa,
pepper, clove and nutmeg are the minor export crops cultivated in
Kegalle. Earlier it was one of the main towns occupied by many up
country aristocrats, regional leaders and freedom fighters. It is also
famous for the oldest and largest graphite mine in Bogala, the elephant
orphanage in Pinnawala and many waterfalls, forests, cave temples and
other temples.Kegalle is one of best travel destinations!
History of Kegalle
Kegalle is one of great cities and dates back to the Stone Age. When
it was ruled by Sinhala kings, it was divided into three parts and named
as Sathara Korale, Thun Korale and Patha Bulathgama.
The history of Kegalle consists of the influence from the Portuguese,
Dutch and British. There are some ruins which show the influence they
had on architecture and even on the cultural aspects.
Holombuwa ancient cave temple
Many Sinhala kings have built monuments and temples and most of the
relics which belonged to Kegalle have the Kandyan influence as well.
Today, apart from the beauty of biodiversity, there are many
landmarks, mines, ruins, some buildings and temples which speak of the
great history of Kegalle.
Kegalle is a popular travel destination because of the Pinnawala
Elephant Orphanage and has various historical landmarks which are
established by different rulers and kings.
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Kadugannawa, Bisowela Raja Maha
Vihara, Navagala Galebandara Devale, St.Mary's Church, Kegalle, Salagala
Forest Hermitage, Karandu Lena Cave Temple, Alu Lena, Uthuwankanda
Mountain, Bathalegala Rock (Bible Rock), Holombuwa Ancient Cave Temple,
Manikkadawara Portuguese Fortress and Beligala Raja Maha Vihara, are
sifnificant historical landmarks.
Bathalegala Rock also known as the Bible rock
This year the 66th anniversary of Independence was held in Kegalle
because it is steeped in history. Many rulers of the past made Kegalle
their kingdom. In addition, many tea planters built their homes in this
historic city. The ruins of some of the mansions can still be seen.