This page hopes to take you on a virtual tour of the remains of Kotte. It is not an exhaustive analysis of the place, but a virtual glimpse of the main features remaining to be seen by a visitor today.
We start our journey from the entrance to present day Athul Kotte ( which was it’s northern entrance years ago) and proceed along the road to Pita Kotte, visiting the places of historical importance on the way.
The Kotte Museum situated midway along this road is a good place to further you knowledge on Kotte, and the references sighted at the bottom of this page.
The images below compares a map of Kotte, found in Sir Paul E. Pieris’s book, ‘Ceylon: The Portuguese Era’, with a present day map from Google Maps, and provides a guide to the changes that have taken place over the years. The development of the parliament complex and Waters Edge hotel has altered the water bodies considerably. Land filing by individual owners has reclaimed most of the marsh land that provided security to the walled city of old Kotte.
Remains of the Drawbridge: The entrances to the fortified fort of Kotte was thru a few passes guarded by bastions. The main one was situated on the northern tip of the fortress of Kotte and gave entrance to the road to Colombo. This pass was known as the pass of Ambalama and fortified by a
Traveling down Kotte Road, the next left turn leads one down the Palace (Maligawa) Road. Unfortunately the name board you find at the top of this lane will be the closest thing you will ever come close to a palace. No trace of the royal complex consisting of the royal palace, royal courts, ponds and
The present day Alakeshwara road leads one to the remains of what is known as the Alakesvara Palace. To visit the place, turn left on to the Alakeshwara road and take the first left turn. This road leads you to the remains. This is now a protected site of the Archeological Department. The palace
The Rampart road a little further down Kotte Road, thankfully leads you to some remains of the great rampart, and the south moat known as the ‘Atul Diya Agala’. To visit the remains turn into Rampart Road, take a right turn from the T-junction and turn right again into Rampart Road – First Lane. This
Crossing the Kotte road across from Rampart Road, will lead you to Angampitiya Road. At the end of this road you will find a few remains of the western defenses of the city. The ramparts have become convenient boundary walls for the lucky residents. ( Who else can boast of having a boundary wall dating
By the side of the Kotte Road, just beyond Angampitiya Road, is the E. W. Perera Archeological Museum – Kotte. This is situated at the former home of the legendary freedom fighter E. W. Perera. The house is known as the ‘Ihala Walauwa’, and the adjoining sister property is known as ‘Pahala Walauwa’. The museum is
The best-preserved of the remains of Kotte could be found at Weherakanda in beddegana. This has been situated outside and to the south of the fortified city. To visit this place, turn left at the Bangalawa Junction (Just past Mission Road) and proceed along this road till you come to the Beddegana Cemetery. Turn sharp
The outer entrance to this historic city has been in the vicinity of the present day Pita Kotte junction. This was situated some distance away from the south gate of the ramparts known as the Magul Doratuwa (and protected by a the moat known as the ‘Atul Diya Agala’). This outer entrance too was protected
These photographs shows what is known today as the Kotte Tunnels (‘Kotte Umang Margaya’). It is situated within the premises of the Ananda Sasthralaya school, just beyond the Pita Kotte junction, towards the church of St. Thomas. It is found outside the limits of the old city. It is believed to be the entrance to
The Gal Ambalama: The above picture shows the ‘Gal Ambalama’ (or the resting place for the traveler), situated in close proximity to the Pita Kotte junction. It is still used for that purpose today. It’s counterpart, the ‘Mati Ambalama’ situated closer to the fortified city has disappeared many years earlier. In certain instances the Ambalama
This page compares a map of Kotte found in Wikipedia and other articles, showing the structure of the fortress, with the Palace, roads and passes indicated. It also clearly shows the inner and outer portions of the fortified city, with the locations of the inner and outer moats. This map from the book Kotte: The Fortress,
(1) Kotte: The Fortress, Prasad Fonseka, (2015,). An excellent resource for anyone who likes to explore Kotte and link the past and present in depth. The book is available at leading bookshops and at The National Trust, 407, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7.
(2) Kotte (Sinhala): Department of Cultural Affairs, Battaramulla. Available at the Kotte Museum.
(3) Kotte: Cradle of Christianity in Sri Lanka, I. V. Cabral
(4) Personal recollections of a Guide