Mahanama College

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Mahanama College
මහානාම විද්‍යාලය
R. A. D. Mel Mawatha
Colombo 03

Coordinates6°54′22″N 79°51′15″E / 6.90611°N 79.85417°E / 6.90611; 79.85417Coordinates: 6°54′22″N 79°51′15″E / 6.90611°N 79.85417°E / 6.90611; 79.85417
Mottoවිද්වාන් සර්වත්‍ර පූජ්‍ය‌ෙතේ
(විද්වතා සෑම තැනකදීම පැසසුම් ලබයි)

Vidhwan Sarvatra Poojyate
(A scholar is reputed everywhere)
FounderVen. Vahalle Dhammananda thero
PrincipalA. C. Perera (2021-present)
Grades1 to 13
Colour(s)Gold, silver, black    
Songසිරි ලක වොරදන

Mahanama College is a Sinhala Buddhist boys school in Colombo, Sri Lanka which was established in 1954. As a public, national school, it is controlled by the central government, as opposed to a provincial council. It provides both primary and secondary education.



Mahanama College is located in Kollupitiya. College's main entrance is located at R. A. D. Mel Mawatha, Colombo 3 while the south premise is situated right next to C.M.S. Ladies' College.


The institution was founded in 1954 by W. A. K. Gunawardana in Sri Wardanarama, Colombo, with just five students in the class. In 1958, the school was registered as a government-assisted junior school. The number of students gradually increased to 163 with four staff members and, on 1 January 1960, J. D. A. Jayakodi was appointed as the first principal of the school. By 1969, there were 14 staff members and 373 students.

With the rapid increase in student enrollment, the school moved to a nearby location, Valukarama. Primary classes were held in a nearby building, Thurstan College. In 1974, during T. N. Silva's time as principal, the junior school at Thurstan College moved to its present location, Mahanama College. In 1975, 130 students sat for the national General Certificate of Education, and 107 students passed the exam. The government donated 7 acres (28,000 m2) of land as the school expanded. By 1976, the site contained several two-story buildings.

During the early 1970s, principal N. E. Fernando made improvements to the school's facilities, including the construction of a dental unit and additional classrooms, as well as the first two-story building. Principal K. N. P. de Silva retired on 5 February 1986 and was succeeded by D.G. Sumanasekera. Sumanasekera was the first SLEAS Class-1 principal to head Mahanama. During his four years in office, he laid the foundation for the present school.

K. K. Rathnadasa became principal in 1990 and, during his time at the college, several three-storey buildings were constructed, a computer section was established, and a children's park was created. The annual carnival 'Foot-Loose' was also organised during his tenure.

In 1999, G. Liyanage became principal. He added a three-storey building with an art gallery to the existing campus. During his tenure, the school laboratories and computer sections were improved and buildings renovated. The Battle of the Golds also known as "Big Match" between Mahanama College and its friendly rival D. S. Senanayake College, Colombo, was inaugurated.[1]

Administration and Education[edit]

Mahanama College Auditorium
Mahanama College Auditorium
College playground and the auditorium

As it is a national school, college is funded by the Ministry of Education. Ministry appoints principal, the head of the administration. The principal is assisted by Vice principals and academic staff. Like other Sri Lankan colleges, the school is divided into three sections named primary, middle and upper school. Each section under its own sectional head who controls the specific sector of the school. School also appointed prefects to maintain the discipline. Prefects are pupils who have been given limited authority over other pupils in the school, similar to the authority given to a hall monitor or safety patrol member.

Mahanama college only consists of Buddhist and Sinhala students. Sinhala is the official language used in the school. However, students can choose Sinhala or English medium to do their higher educations.


  • Ven. Vahalle Dhammananda (1954–1960)
  • J. D. A. Jayakody (1960–1968)
  • N. E. Fernando (1968–1974)
  • T. S. Silva (1974–1976)
  • K. N. P. de Silva (1976–1986)
  • D. G. Sumanasekara (1986–1990)
  • K. K. Ratnadasa (1990–1999)
  • G. Liyanage (1999–2003)
  • W. H. Premalal Kumarasiri (2003–2012)
  • U. M. Prasanna Upashantha (2013–2016)
  • L. M. D. Dharmasena (2016–2020)
  • R. A. R. M. Rathnayake (2020–Present)

Extra curricular activities[edit]

School houses[edit]

Students are divided into four houses, whose names are derived from Sanskrit language.

House Colour Code Meaning
Benevolence, friendliness, amity, friendship, goodwill, kindness.
The Buddhist concept of compassion.
Means joy. It is especially sympathetic or vicarious joy, the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people's well-being.
The Buddhist concept of equanimity.

Battle of the Golds[edit]

Battle of the Golds DS-MC is the annual cricket contest between D. S. Senanayake College and Mahanama College. It began in 2007, and is commonly referred to as the "Big Match." The contest revives their[who?] age-old cricketing tradition. The "Golden parade" of Mahanama College is a parade of vehicles that runs through the streets of Colombo. It is organized by the Old Boys Association of Mahanama College. Every year large crowds from both schools gather at the SSC Cricket Ground to witness the encounter. Below are listed the winners to date:

Year Winner
2007 D.S Senanayaka College
2008 Mahanama College
2009 D.S Senanayaka College
2010 Mahanama College
2011 D.S Senanayaka College
2012 Mahanama College
2013 Mahanama College
2014 No result
2015 D.S Senanayaka College
2016 Mahanama College
2017 Mahanama College
2018 Mahanama College
2019 Mahanama College
2020 Mahanama College

Notable Events[edit]

In 2014, Mahanama College's 60th anniversary and annual prize-giving was held under the patronage of former President Mahinda Rajapakse and Minister Bandula Gunawardena. The president awarded students and teachers who had excelled in various fields.[2]


  1. ^ "History". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  2. ^ "President at 60th anniversary celebrations of Colombo Mahanama College". Department of Government Information, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 11 November 2014.

External links[edit]