Kotte is an ancient city with a heritage older than five centuries. Among the busy streets and tall buildings hidden is a legacy of forgotten heroes and glorious victories of a nation.
Kotte was once the capital of Sri Lanka, a fortress built by Alakeshwara, the warrior. It was a fortress with high security built using latest available technology and fortress building methods. It had strong ramparts, gates, moats, warehouses, secret pathways and a well-organized complex of tunnels, spy services, armours and barracks, garrisons, gigantic tuskers and elephants, horses, chariot and cavalry and an army who guarded the city day and night. Inside the city, paved paths were beautified with plants, trees and ponds. Resting places were built besides the roads. The royal palace and the temple of the tooth relic was the pride of the city.
This once glorious city is now in ruins and almost hidden beneath the modern town of Kotte among busy streets, cramped buildings and the buzz of a busy town life.
I am fortunate to be born and live among a city with such a glorious past. I grew up listening to stories of the great warrior, Veediya bandara and Prince Sapumal. I could hear the whispers of Kotte’s forgotten heroes. As a child I wondered where could have been the tunnels explained in old books, where was the beautiful royal palace and those beautiful paths, those ponds with goldfish in them. Where did they all vanish? Why did Kotte die with time, and fade away from our memories? Driven by the love I had for Kotte, I started my first research on Kotte’s lost heritage at university as a scholar in Archaeology.
Today I am pleased to be a part of Kotte Heritage Foundation (KHF) where we take action towards its protection and conservation.
Not only as citizens but also as scholars of archaeology and history I believe it is our utmost duty and responsibility to protect this heritage from further destruction. We, Kotte Heritage Foundation (KHF) is to save this once glorious city with the involvement of the public.
Please join hands with us and be a proud citizen of Kotte’s living heritage.