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Sri Sankhapala the Ancient Temple.

Sankhapala the historical ancient temple can be seen when we travel along the Rathnapura Embilipitiya road after passing 5k.m from the Pallebedda town towards Embilipitiya. The main entrance which we can see at the left hand side of the main road is the beginning to this site.


It is mentioned in legends that the king Dutugemunu fought against the king Elara with the help of his ten giants and defeated the king Elara and unified Sri Lanka. One of these ten giants was Phussadewa. The king appointed him to gather soldiers. He had used a conch for this. According to that since this place was named as Sankhapala.
The king had gifted this conch to Phussadewa after the war. And this conch has been hoarded in a high rock of this premises it is seen even today.
Any way, when Phussadewa saw the dying people because of the war he has thought of becoming a bhikku. Then Phussadewa has asked permission for becoming a bhikku and the king has built a temple and handed over it to Reverend Phussadewa. Later this Reverend Phussadewa meditated and enlightened.


This sacred place is always filled with as well as local and forign devotees. Today many people who newly bought vehicles come to this temple to make vow for their vehicles. Many Sinhala and Buddhist people believe that this historical temple gives protection to their lives and they regard this temple as sacred place.

Our URL:- http://www.oasisdamahana.org

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Dowa Temple

When we travel along the Colombo Badulla road just passing the Bandarawela town we come across the Dova historical temple. It is mentioned on books that this temple was built by King Walagamba while he was hiding in fear of enemies.
The frescoes of the temple and the stream that flows by side of the temple increase the beauty of this historical place. We can see a tunnel that starts from this temple and leads to Nuwara Eliya and Hava Eliya. Even today the devotees who visit this temple can able to see this tunnel.


The Bo-tree which has grown attractively demonstrates the beauty of an ancient tree. We can see a tank with a fountain close by this Bo-tree. It has been used for bathing this ancient Bo-tree.
And also an incomplete Buddha statue can be seen beside the shrine room. There are two notions among the villagers for erecting the Buddha statue incompletely.


When divine messengers were erecting the Buddha statue at night the dowa has come without knowing. Then the divine messengers had run away in order to hide from people. So that they could not complete the statue. This is one notion that people believe today.
The other notion is this. While people were erecting the Buddha statue, suddenly an enemy offensive had come. And the people who were erecting the Buddha statue had run away in fear of enemies. So that the king could not complete the statue.
Any every Buddhist in Sri Lanka has devotional honor for this ancient temple. That’s why any person who travels by the temple never forgets to worship this historical temple.

Our URL:  http://www.oasisdamahana.org

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Water and our life

Water is one of the most important basic elements necessary for life. A land without water is a place where there aren’t any human beings, animals or plants. That is why water is regarded as invaluable resource. Although water is an important substance, man has not realized the value of it and man has been misusing water for a long time. The water of the village tanks is used for various purposes such as washing, bathing and drinking. Almost all our streams, rivers tanks and other waterways are contaminated by the man and the water is not at all safe for drinking.
Some people are in the habit of wasting water purposely. They don’t use water economically. If we have a look at out public taps it is a sad sight. Most of the taps are half – open. They never close the taps properly after use.
It is said that a person can live several days without food, but he or she can’t live more than three days without water. This fact clearly shows the value of water.
We can see garbage in tons heaped up near the waterways. Some factories freely drain the industrial chemical waste and effluents into waterways posing a deadly threat to human and other animal life. It is apparent that the quantity of water available for consumption is not at all sufficient for the entire population of the world. Water resource too is limited as well as other natural resources. The population is increasing day by day. The world population has multiplied five – fold during the last 150 years.
Special programmers have to be kept clean in order to ensure a healthy and safe life for the people. As a result of the pollution, most of our waterways have become breeding grounds of deadly diseases.
The government has set up an establishment called “water supply and drainage board” in order to supply pure drinking water to the people. People living in certain villages in the dry zone have to trek two or three miles in search of drinking water. When there is a drought, thousands of cattle in these areas die due to lack of water.
In view of the above facts we can easily realize that water is an invaluable substance. Let’s preserve water resources for ever.

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A FOLK TALE.

A folk tale is a story originating among the people and handed down by them. There are many folk tales in Sri Lanka. Here is one of them. This story is about the weaver bird.
Long ago, there was a skilled basket weaver. He was able to weave beautiful cane baskets. One day one of his friends came to his house and admired the beautiful baskets. Then he asked the weaver whether he could teach this craft to his son. Then the weaver gave the following reply.
“I can teach him how to weave, but he will have to help me in my work.” He agreed to that condition and after one week his son came to the weaver’s house and began to work with him. Everyday, the boy had to go to the jungle and bring back some cane. It was a very difficult task. But he did everything happily. Within a short time the boy learnt to weave beautiful baskets. He could work faster than the weaver.
The weaver was jealous of the boy. One night, the weaver killed the boy. God Sacra saw it. He was very angry. He disguised himself as an old man and came to the weaver’s house.
“Why did you kill that innocent boy?” he asked. The weaver thought for a while and decided to tell the truth.
“I was jealous of the boy. So I killed him” he said.
“You told me the truth. You will be able to weave beautifully, but I am going to change you into a bird” said God Sacra, The old weaver looked sad.
“You killed your friend’s son. Your enemies will try to harm your young ones. You will have to work hard to protect them” God Sacra said. At once, the weaver vanished. In his place there was a little brown bird. That bird is the weaver bird. It has to work hard to make its nest safe for its young ones. The entrance to the nest is at the bottom, so snakes cannot get into the nest. The weaver bird is able to protect its young ones.

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Kohomba tree

The Kohomba tree has a medicinal value. The Tamils call it “Vempu.” The flowering season of the tree is between March and April. Every part of this tastes bitter. It has yellowish green fruits. It is used to make herbal oil. The speed is valuable as an insecticide some use the twigs of this tree as a tooth brush. The green leaves are insect resistant. They are kept in between the pages of books to prevent insects from destroying pages. This tree is considered as one of the most precious trees in the world.

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Pettigala Mountain

This mountain is the highest place in Balangoda. It is about 4500 feet above sea level. There are many trees in this area. There are Nadun, Dhamba, Mila, Kithul. Nelly, Siyambala etc.
This is a large forest and animals such as Monkeys, deer, and and bears wild live there. Inside the forest is very dark. There are Some caves also.
There are beautiful water falls and springs here. Balangoda town’s water supply depends on these water sourcers.
The villagers get kithul toddy and make honey and jugarry from the kithul trees in the forest. They do this in groups and they earn their living from this.
There are some big Rocks also. We can see the tops of some rocks. The top of one vast rock is octercal shape. Some times this should be the reason for it’s name “pettigala”.

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Sooriya Kanda

Sooriya kanda is a part of “Sinharaja forest” this is a very beautiful mountain. There are mammals, reptiles, birds fishes also in the forest. The dangerous animals like leopards and bears also live there. There are many fruits and medicinal plants in this forest. The “Deniyaya” road goes across this mountain. T.V Towers are also situated in the forest. There are springs, caves and lots of valuable herbs in this large forest

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OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE

Reported By : Wasana Nilmini

 

The people of Sri Lanka have inherited a great culture and a civilization. Archaeological evidence exists to prove that Sri Lanka has been populated for over 3000 years. There is also confirmed archaeological evidence to say that in about 800 B.C. the Sinhalese had settled down in the citadel area in Anuradhapura with a highly developed culture.


 
          There are many places of historical and cultural importance. Lot of ruins can be seen at these places. Some of these places are Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Yapahuwa and Panduwasnuwara. We should protect the remains of these ruined cities because they are the monuments that symbolize the great past of our country. We can imagine the skills and talents of our ancestors through these buildings, structures, and images. We should preserve them for our future generation. One day they too will look at these monuments with pride.
 
          Buddhism has not only molded the lives and thoughts of the people, but also has served as the chief source of inspiration to the cultural and social achievements of the nation. During the long and eventful history the island was subject to numerous foreign invasions. But our people were able to protect almost all the objects that were of cultural value.
 
          We have many traditional arts and crafts. We should protect them. In cities like Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa we can see huge stone pillars, Buddha Statues, Moonstones, Guard stones and ruins of ancient Dagabas. These cities have become very popular places of tourists. We should never forget our traditional customs and practices. We follow these customs at our National festivals such as Sinhala and Hindu New Year and lndependence day celebrations. We should pass on these customs and practices to our younger generation. We should make them aware of the value of such customs and practices.
 
          We should also protect aesthetic arts and clothing native to us. It is said that a race could be identified by their dress. We should were such clothes at important events, cultural festivals and religious ceremonies. We should give priority to our traditional music. But today most of our youth have compelled to respect Hindi and Western Music. This is a very sad state of affairs.

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VALUE OF TREES.

Reported By:- Lasantha Jayanath

Trees are an integral part of our environment. Both man and the animals cannot live without trees.
We get food, medicine, wood and shelter from trees. Trees beautify the environment. We get the most needed rain because of the trees. Trees have a great influence upon climate. Trees preserve moisture. The leaves of a tree are always giving off moisture and this constant evaporation cools the surrounding atmosphere. Trees on hill sided stop the soil erosion and prevent destructive earth slips. The soil becomes fertile because of the trees.
We know that plants existed on earth before human beings. This fact proves that trees do not need man for their existence. But man cannot exist without trees.
Trees produce oxygen which is essential for life. Trees purify the air by taking in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. Some people have not realized the value of trees. They down trees for their needs. Sometimes we need to cut down trees. But we should plant another tree in that place. If we cut down trees in this manner, our country will become a desert before long.
The government has set up a separate department called “Forest conservation department” in order to protect our jungle resources. The department alone cannot stop the felling of trees. Everybody should extend his or her co-operation towards the department in this connection.
The extent of forest cover is Sri Lanka has been reduced drastically during the past two decades. This situation has been arisen due to several reasons. Vast stretches of jungles are cleared for development projects. Some forest reserves have become barren lands due to illegal felling of trees. As a result of this almost all the water fountains have been dried up.
Re-afforestation programmers are implemented by the Forest conservation department annually with the assistance of several non-governmental organizations. Various kinds of valuable plants are distributed free of charge. Seminars and workshops are conducted on forest conservation.
We should realize at least now the value of trees and try to preserve them.

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