Historic bell tower needs repairs

By Saman Kariyawasam

The beautiful and historic gantara thorana (belfry) at the entrance to the 250-year-old Sri Sudharmarama Maha Vihara in Ambalangoda, is installed in a structure 75 ft in height and 40 ft in breadth.

It is a unique monument that attracts locals and tourists alike, but is now in need of renovation.

The bell weighs five cwts and is rung via a machine connected to it and installed on the ground floor. The structure is the work of one Juwanwadu Endoris Silva, begun in 1876. His son Ondiris took over from where his father left while it was completed by Dinorishamy, another artiste. The money for the structure was donated by persons who sold their land or from the sale of their rice over some period. But today the structure is facing ruin due to neglect. Fortunately the Archaeology Department has now undertaken its renovation.

Those wishing to make a contribution to the renovation programme are requested to send their remittances to AC No 1–047323–6 at the Bank of Ceylon Ambalangoda branch.

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