Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (commonly known as Kotte /ˈkoʊteɪ/) is
the official capital of Sri Lanka.
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is a
satellite city and within the urban area of Sri Lanka's capital,
3 Municipal structure
7 Sports and recreation
8 Notable residents
9 See also
11 External links
Map of Kotte (1557-1565)
The village of Darugama lay at the confluence of two streams, the
Diyawanna Oya and the
Kolonnawa Oya. As Darugama was a naturally
secure place, it was not easy for enemies to enter it. Here, in the
13th century, a chieftain named Nissanka
Alagakkonara built a Kotte
Alagakkonara is mentioned by
Ibn Batuta as ruling in Kurunegala, but
other sources indicate that he was the Bandara (Guardian) of Raigama
Korale (county) in the modern
Kalutara District. Arya Chakravarthy's
army was held by
Alagakkonara in front of Kotte, while he defeated the
enemy's invasion fleet at
Panadura to the south-west.
Kotte was a jala durgha (water fortress), in the shape of a triangle,
Diyawanna Oya and
Kolonnawa Oya marshes forming two long
sides; along the shorter third (land) side a large moat (the 'inner
moat') was dug. The fortress was nearly 2.5 km2
(0.97 sq mi) in area, fortified with ramparts of kabook or
laterite rock, 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) high and 10.7 metres
(35 ft) in breadth.
In 1391, following the conquest of the
Jaffna Kingdom by Prince
Sapumal (Sembahap Perumal), Kotte was given the epithet 'Sri
Jayawardhanapura' ('resplendent city of growing victory'). It became
the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kotte, which it remained until
the end of the 16th century.
From the ramparts to the magnificent three storied buildings that
housed the Kings Palace,
Laterite and clay were the main raw material
used in its construction. One of the places from which the laterite
blocks were mined can be seen even today inside the premises of Ananda
Sasthralaya (a local school).
The main features of the capital city were -
The King's palace, with walls of quartz that sparkle in the moonlight
(candrakanta pasana) and a golden spire, with beautiful flower gardens
and springs of water.
The three-storeyed Dalada Maligawa with Buddha's sacred tooth relic in
it (Temple of the tooth)
The five-storeyed "Arama" where sixty Buddhist Bhikkus resided, with a
Sangha Raja(a high priest)as the chief incumbent.
The King's Treasure House
The 'Kotavehara' at Baddagana, the only Buddhist temple of the city
outside the moat and rampart.
The Royal cemetery at Beddagana (Veherakanda memorial)
The 'Angampitiya', the military parade and training ground just inside
the inner moat.
The Portuguese arrived on the island in 1505 and were initially
welcomed by the king. But they had militaristic and monopolistic
intentions and gained control of the city by 1565. Failing to
withstand repeated assaults by the forces of the neighbouring kingdom
of Sitawaka, the city was abandoned by the Portuguese, who made
Colombo their new capital.
Like similar cities of that era, Sri Jayawardhanapura was built with
security in mind. A rampart and moat protected the entire city. Traces
of this moat and rampart are still visible today at certain places.
Along parts of the rampart, encroachers have now built houses, garages
and even toilets.
The urbanisation of Kotte restarted in the 19th century. The
archaeological remains were torn up and used as building materials (a
process that continues) — some of it even ending up in the Victoria
Bridge, across the Kelani River.
The New Parliament was inaugurated on 29 April 1982. The buildings
were built on reclaimed land, after a massive lake was formed by
dredging the marshlands around the Diyawanna Oya. The new
parliamentary buildings were built on Duwa, a 50,000 square metre (12
acre) island in the centre of the lake. The island (off Baddegana
Road, Pita Kotte) had been used as a recreation and brawling spot for
Portuguese soldiers in the last days of the Kotte era, alcohol being
banned from the Royal City. It had belonged to E. W. Perera and had
housed a chicken farm prior to being vested in the state. On 29 April
1982, the new parliamentary complex was declared open by the former
president J. R. Jayewardene.
The process of relocating government institutions from the former
Colombo is still in progress.
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is located at the south east of Colombo.
The Kotte Urban Development Council was created in the 1930s, with a
modern building at Rajagiriya. It was succeeded by the Kotte Urban
Council, which had a large section of its area removed and tagged onto
Colombo Municipal Council ward of Borella while the Battaramulla
urban council was dissolved and a small section of
onto the Kotte Urban Council. The Kotte Urban Council became the Sri
Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council in 1997, with Chandra Silva as
the first Mayor.
There are 20 Members of the Municipal Council (MMCs), elected on
proportional representation. There are 10 wards, but these are now
merely polling divisions, without individual representation.
This is translated as inner Kotte therefore forms the inner aspect of
the city. The highlights are the Maliban Aramaya temple.
Kotte is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious urban centre. The population
of Kotte is mainly Sinhalese, with a mix of Tamils, Muslims, Malays
and Burghers (most of the Muslims and Indian Tamils living in the
Rajagiriya area). There are small communities of people with Chinese,
Malay and Indian origins living here as well as a small foreign
expatriate community. According to the census of 2001 the demographics
by ethnicity and religion is as follows:
Ethnic & Religious Identification in
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte 
Sri Lankan Tamil
Sri Lankan Moor
Sri Lankan Chetty
The HSBC Service Center
The Parliament of
Sri Lanka situated in Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
The only main railway station is at Nugegoda, on the Kelani Valley
Line . Also at
Nugegoda is the main bus terminus. There is subsidiary
bus stands at Pita Kotte. This urban area is well served by buses and
there is a CTB bus depot at Udahamulla.
In 2005, a Passenger boat service was being finalised and would
commence adjacent to Parliament Junction at Bataramulla and end at the
Wellawatte canal near Marine drive. Each journey would take around 30
minutes. It would have stations at the Kotte Marsh, Nawala, Open
University, Apollo Hospital, Duplication road,
Wellawatte and at St
Peter's College, Colombo. The
Sri Lanka Navy is currently[when?]
conducting a pilot project between the Open University and
The main hospital of area situated at Madivela known as Sri
Jayawardenapura Hospital is a gift from the Japanese government. There
is a dedicated Eye & ENT hospital at Rajagiriya, and another
maternity hospital under construction in Nawala. A small private
health centre, the Blue Cross Hospital at Rajagiriya, provides basic
facilities for medical diagnostics, and there is a small nursing home
in Park Lane, Welikada, much patronised by Maldivians.
There are a number of State and Private Schools in Kotte. They are
either "National schools" (run by the central government; Main School
President's College, Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte), "Government schools"
(run by the Provincial Councils), Semi-government/Private schools, or
International schools (run by trusts and individuals; Gateway College
Colombo is an example of the latter class of school).
The oldest English School on the island is Sri Jayawardenepura Maha
Vidyalaya, formerly known as Christian College, located in Pita Kotte.
Ananda Sastralaya at Pita Kotte is the oldest Buddhist school in
the city, and Anula Vidyalaya,
Nugegoda is the biggest Buddhist girls
school in South Asia, with over 5000 students.
The Education Ministry as well as the Department of Examinations is
based in Kotte.
A considerable number of the students living within the zone study at
government owned colleges and International schools in Colombo.
Nawala is the Open University, Sri Lanka, and at Nugegoda
is the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Public
conveniently located, and can be found at
Nugegoda and Rajagiriya.
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte features a tropical rainforest climate
(Köppen: Af), with little variation in temperatures throughout the
course of the year. The city does feature wetter and drier months,
with February on average being its driest month, seeing on average
63 mm (2.5 in) of precipitation. However, since none of the
average monthly precipitation falls below 60 mm (2.4 in),
Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte falls under the tropical rainforest climate
Climate data for Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Source #1: Free Meteo (1961-1990)
Source #2: Weatherbase for precipitation
Sports and recreation
Cricket is the most popular sport in this urban area as well as the
country and is usually played in the grounds around the city.
Association football was at one time the most popular sport in the
Colombo area, although it was eclipsed by cricket after 1980. Four
separate football clubs (Lido, Welikada Progress, Welikada Red Star
and Welikada United) once used the EW Perera Park grounds at Welikada,
Rajagiriya where a pavilion was constructed in the 1970s. However,
when the grounds were destroyed by the
JR Jayawardene regime in the
late 1970s, the football clubs disappeared. Football continued to be
played at the grounds at Obeysekerapura in Rajagiriya.
In the 1990s the Kotte Municipal Council constructed the Chandra Silva
Stadium, to replace the EW Perera Grounds. Part of the grounds was
sold and later used to construct the HSBC building. In 2007 the
Municipality, with aid from the Ministry of Urban Development,
completed the first stage of the new Chandra Silva Stadium on the site
of a rubbish dump behind the HSBC building.
Recently, football has once more grown in popularity, and the sport
now has a considerable following. The football association's new
training facility at Kotte is aimed at harnessing and developing the
available talent and organizing the individual players into a cohesive
team. It includes a football playground with a sprinkler system, gym
and a host of other facilities.
Other sports are mostly played in the numerous clubs and gyms, and
include tennis, squash, billiards, horse riding, indoor cricket,
badminton and table tennis. Horse riding can be pursued at the
Premadasa Riding School in Nugegoda.
Coordinates: 6°54′39″N 79°53′16.21″E / 6.91083°N
79.8878361°E / 6.91083; 79.8878361
Tissa Abeysekara, the eminent film personality, was a notable resident
and was the only public figure to be cremated at the police grounds in
Welikada where he lived.
University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Administrative Capital of
Sri Lanka since 1982 is Sri
Jayewardenepura Kotte". Official
Sri Lanka government website.
Archived from the original on 2014-12-20. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
^ "Sri Lanka: A Country Study". Russell R. Ross and Andrea Matles
Savada. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
^ a b
^ Edmund Jayasuriya (Tr), sälaḷihini sandeśa of Toṭagamuve Srī
Rāhula Thera, Colombo: Central Cultural Fund, 2002,
^ "European encroachment and dominance". U.S. Library of Congress.
Retrieved 2007-02-26. [dead link]
^ "Population by Ethnicity according to D.S. Division and Sector:
Colombo District (Provisional)". Census of Population Housing 2001.
Department of Census and Statistics. 2001. Archived from the original
on 2007-06-10. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
^ "Canal transport to ease traffic pile up". Chanuka Mannapperuma.
^ "Weather Forecast Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte: Averages (1961-1990)".
Free Meteo. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
Sri Lanka Travel Weather Averages". Weatherbase. Retrieved
^ "National training centre for Football at Beddegana". Sri Lanka
Football. Archived from the original on 2006-11-17. Retrieved
Sri Lanka portal
Find more aboutSri Jayawardenepura Kotteat's sister projects
Definitions from Wiktionary
Media from Wikimedia Commons
News from Wikinews
Travel guide from Wikivoyage
University of Sri Jayawardenepura
1400-1565 A. D
Sri Lankan cities with a 50,000+ population
500,000 and more
Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Metropolitan cities of Sri Lanka
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (Administrative)
Note: * also a Provincial capital, # also a Municipal council
Capitals of Asia
Dependent territories and states with limited recognition are in
North and Central Asia
West and Southwest Asia
Hong Kong (China)
Pyongyang, North Korea
Seoul, South Korea
Diego Garcia, BIOT (UK)
Kotte, Sri Lanka
New Delhi, India
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Dili, East Timor
Flying Fish Cove,
Christmas Island (Australia)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
West Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
West Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine †
Kuwait City, Kuwait
North Nicosia, Northern Cyprus*
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Tskhinvali, South Ossetia*
† Disputed. See: Positions on Jerusalem.