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City of Matale.jpg
Matale is located in Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 7°28′7″N 80°37′22″E / 7.46861°N 80.62278°E / 7.46861; 80.62278
CountrySri Lanka
ProvinceCentral Province
DistrictMatale District
Divisional SecretariatMatale Divisional Secretariat
 • Municipal CouncilMatale Municipal Council
 • MayorDaljith Aluvihare
 • City181 km2 (70.0 sq mi)
 • Urban
25.65 km2 (9.90 sq mi)
364 m (1,194 ft)
 • Density1,490/km2 (3,900/sq mi)
 • Urban
38,229 (Municipality)
 • Metro
78,864 (Extended)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (Time in Sri Lanka)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+5:30 (not observed)
Postal code
Area code(s)066

Matale (Sinhala: මාතලේ, romanized: Mātalē; Tamil: மாத்தளை, romanized: Māttaḷai) often written as Mathale (pronounced Maathalé), is the administrative capital and largest city in the Matale District, Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is 142 kilometres (88 mi) from Colombo and near Kandy. Surrounding the city are the Knuckles Mountain Range, the foothills were called Wiltshire by the British. It is a mainly agricultural area, where tea, rubber, vegetable and spice cultivation dominate.


The Aluvihare Temple, on the north side of the city, is the historic location where the Pali Canon was first written down completely in text on ola (palm) leaves in 29 BCE.

Matale was a site of a major battle in 1848 when the Matale Rebellion started and the British garrison in the Fort MacDowall in Matale was placed under siege by the rebels led by Weera Puran Appu and Gongalegoda Banda who are considered as national heroes in Sri Lanka.

This historical city was also home to Monarawila Keppetipola, another national hero who led the Wellasa rebellion against the British troops. His ancestral home, the Kappetipola walawuwa is still present at Hulangamuwa, Matale.

Christ Church, Matale was consecrated by Bishop James Chapman on 30 December 1860.

The church site chosen was Fort McDowall, commanding a view of the entrance to Matale via Trincomalee. The church having been erected and furnished, the Revd William Frederick Kelly, Minister and Chaplain in Matale, and 36 others sent their petition to the Rt Revd James Chapman, D.D., to dedicate and consecrate Christ Church. The parsonage was opened on 16 August 1862. The 75th Anniversary was celebrated in 1935. The centenary was celebrated on 28 and 29 January 1961. The 125th Anniversary was celebrated on 6 September 1986. The church was gutted by fire in 1985 and was completely restored. Services were held in the Baptist Church in the interim period.

On 22 June 1911, there was a special service held in this church in connection with the Coronation of His Majesty King George V, and Queen Mary. The offertory on that was given to the King Edward VIII.[1]

The 150th Anniversary was celebrated on 2 October 2010.

Matale is the only district of Sri Lanka, with a book of written history.[citation needed] The book is known as Aithihaasika matale - ඓතිහාසික මාතලේ ("ancient Matale" in English).



Government and private schools:



The population of Matale is a mix of numerous ethnic groups, mainly Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Moor, Sri Lankan Tamils and a small Indian Tamils minority. Others including Burgher, Malay.

Ethnicity in Matale (2012)
Population Percent
Sri Lankan Moors
Sri Lankan Tamils
Indian Tamils
Ethnicity Population % Of Total
Sinhalese 46,639 70.55
Sri Lankan Moors 13,946 17.85
Sri Lankan Tamils 12,003 15.97
Indian Tamils 1,827 2.97
Other (including Burgher, Malay) 499 1.00
Total 74,864 100

Religious Identification in Matale Municipality area [1]
2012 Percentage
Buddhist 45,871 75.10%
Muslim 14,337 18.01%
Hindu 12,480 16.6%
Roman Catholic 1,444 2.2%
Other Christian 724 0.80%
Other 10 0.1%
Total 74,864 100.0%


  1. ^ Anti Tuberculosis Fund. (Ref. Ceylon Churchman Report for the year ending 20 June 1911)
  2. ^ "List of government schools - (as at March 1, 2016)" (PDF). Sri Lanka Ministry of Education. 1 March 2016. p. 39. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Schools Having Bilingual Education Programme" (PDF). Sri Lanka Ministry of Education. Retrieved 31 May 2017.

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