Ambalangoda is a coastal town located in Galle District, Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Governed by Ambalangoda Urban Council, the town is famous for its ancient devil masks and devil dancers. It is approximately 107 kilometres (66 mi) south of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 13 metres (43 ft) above the sea level.
Ambalangoda is served by Sri Lanka Railways' Coastal Line. Ambalangoda Railway Station is a major station on the line, and is connected to the major cities Colombo and Galle by rail. It is served by the A2 highway, which runs through the town. Kurundugahahetekma entrance of the E01 expressway is 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from Ambalangoda and it takes about 45 minutes to travel via the Southern Expressway from Ambalangoda to Kottawa, a suburb of Colombo.
Some of the schools situated in Ambalangoda are listed below:
- Dharmasoka College
- Sri Devananda College
- Prajapathi Gothami Balika Vidyalaya
- P. De S. Kularathna Maha Vidyalaya
The town is renowned for the manufacture of wooden masks and puppets. The traditional masks are carved from light Balsa like Kaduru wood (Nux vomica). Kaduru trees grow in the marshy lands bordering paddy fields. The wood is smoke dried for a week in preparation. The hand carved and hand painted masks in traditional dance dramas are both vibrant and colorful. Masks are created for three different types of dancing rituals: 'Kolam', which tell mocking stories of traditional Sri Lankan colonial life; 'Sanni', or devil dancing masks, used in a type of exorcism ceremony to heal people of persisting illnesses believed to be inflicted by demons; and 'Raksha' masks, which are used in festivals and processions. The Naga Raksha (Cobra demon) mask of the 'Raksha Kolama' (demon dance), consists of a ferocious face with bulging, popping & staring eyes, a bloodthirsty carnivorous tongue lolling out of wide mouth armoured and armed to the hilt with set of fanglike teeth, all topped by a set of cobra hoods.
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- Tukkawadu Gunadasa Ancestral Home (Traditional Mask & Dance)
- Ambalangoda Mask Museum
- Bandu Wijesooriya School of Dancing
- Galgoda Sailatalaramaya Maha Vihara Temple - South Asia’s longest sleeping Buddha (35 metres (115 ft))
- Sunandaramaya Mahavihara - one of the earliest Buddhist temples on the south coast, with the largest thorana (gateway) in Sri Lanka
- Madu Ganga Wetlands - the 915-hectare Madu Ganga Estuary is connected by two narrow channels to the Randombe Lake, forming a complex wetland system encompassing 64 mangrove islets. It is a RAMSAR classified wetland.
- "Ambalangoda Population".
- West Coast-At a Glance Sri Lanka Tailor Made
- Kaviratne, W.T.J.S. (17 February 2013). "The Dying Art of Puppetry". Sunday Observer. Retrieved 17 July 2014.