Kurunagala, the capital of the north western province, has a historical name -Hasthishilapura(Elephant rock city).
It was the royal capital city of Sri Lanka and is full of legend, romance and history. Tooth relic temple of Kurunagala was once very famous, but now only the remains of the temple are there. Kurunagala is a naturally beautiful town with a lake in middle of the city and colossal Elephant rock in the background.
There are seven famous rock in here. Ethagala (Elephant rock),Tortoise rock, Eel rock, Goat rock, Lady bird rock, Yakdessa gala and Monkey rock. Ethagala, a black rock is the famous among these rocks.
Archeological remains of this site are few, but give a glimpse of its past glory and comprise the handsome stone entrance ,steps rock pillars and ruined walls of the royal palace and the palace of the tooth relic.
A large man made water reservoir constructed by ancient kings. The lake is located in the outskirts of the central business district near to the Kurunagala, Dabulla road. The tank is also used as a water supply source to the city.
The Kurunagala clock tower was built in 1992 as a tribute to the officers, who went from the Wayamba province and sacrificed their lives in the first world war. The tower memorial plaque has the following inscribed.
"This clock tower was erected in memory of those who went from the North western province at the call of duty and gave their lives for the empire in the world war in 1914-1918"
However soon after 1945,the tower was also dedicated to the valiant officers who sacrificed their lives in the second world war.
Ridi Viharaya (temple)
Ridi Viharaya 18Km off Kurunagala, is known for its ancient Buddhist temple site rock cave hermitages and an image house with Kandyan paintings. Most of Ridi Viharaya has relations to the 18th century. Those who are interested in architecture can witness Buddha idols, a door frame elegantly carved and inlaid with ivory and a curious altar bedecked by Dutch tiles with Biblical figures, An artificial lake at the foot of the hills would also interest you.
It is an ancient sylvan forest monastery in a beautiful serene setting. A large complex meditation hall , stone pathways, alms halls and rock caves lie in the forest which are used by the meditating monks of the monastery. This is believed to have been the heritage of the famed hermit-monk, Arahat Maliyadeva. Another rock close to arankale is Yakdessagala, associated with the ancient legend almost 2500 years ago when Kuveni, the native queen of vijaya, the first king of Sri lanka, shouted her curse and leapt death when deserted by him for an Indian princess, as one of the story has it