Nalanda College, Colombo

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Nalanda College Colombo
නාලන්දා විද්‍යාලය, කොළඹ
Nalanda College Colombo Logo.png
Sri Lanka
Type National School
Motto "අපදාන ශෝභිණී පඤ්ඤා"
Aapadana Sobhini Pangna
"Character Illumines Wisdom"
‍"යහපත් චරිතයෙන් ප්‍රඥාව ඔපනැංවේ"
Established 1 November 1925
Founder Patrick de Silva Kularatne
Principal Thilak Waththuhewa
Grades Class 1 - 13
Gender Boys
Enrollment 5,000
Colour(s) Maroon and Silver         
Affiliation Buddhist
Alumnus Old Nalandians

Nalanda College Colombo[1][2][3][3][4] (Sinhala:නාලන්දා විද්‍යාලය, කොළඹ) is a public Buddhist national school in Colombo, Sri Lanka which is controlled by the central government. The School was established by Mr. P. de S. Kularatne as an offshoot of Ananda College Colombo and was registered as a separate school on 1 November 1925.[5]


Main Entrance to College

In 1922 a section of Ananda College was moved to Campbell Place, Colombo on a proposal made by Mr P. de. S. Kularathna (Patrick de Silva Kularatne), a leading Buddhist Educationist of the time. Mr L. H. Methananda was placed as Principal of this institution which was called as Ananda branch. Mr.W..E. Fernando was the Head master and Most Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Therea became its first Buddhist teacher.

Nalanda College Oldest Buildings

In 1924. Mr P. de. S. Kularathna has spent Rs. 5,500/= to purchase a quarter acre of land close to the Campbell place playground and built 16 class rooms for the new school. Governor Gregory Thompson laid the foundation stone for a building to have 16 class rooms. Out of 16 class rooms he has used two rooms for the Principals office and staff members another two rooms for the Laboratories and balance 12 rooms for the classes. Three Hundred and thirty students of Ananda were transferred under Mr L. H. Mettananda in 1924.[6]

Malalasekara Theatre

Mr S Kularathna was the Chief person in all these activities was instrumental in getting the institution registered as a separate school on 1 November 1924. The new school was given its motto Apadana Sobhini Panna , and the school name NALANDA also proposed by Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero . The English and the Sinhala versions are Character Illumines Wisdom and Yahapath Charithayen Praggnawa Opanangwe respectively. Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thera has selected this motto from the "Anguttara Nikaya, Tika Nipatha, Bala Waggo Lakkana Sutta.[7]

Thakshila Building

On 1 January 1926 Mr Kularathna has appointed Dr. Gunapala Mallasekara as Principal of the Nalanda College and transferred Mr. L.H. Metthanada to Ananda College as Vice Principal. Nalanda was fortunate in having its second principal the renowned scholar Prof. Gunapala Malasekera (Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera). Later Prof Gunapala Malasekara set about his duties with much enthusiasm and launched several projects. He made plans for the collection of funds for the construction of buildings, later commenced a bulletin titled "NALANDA". Also arranged 15 minutes Buddhist talk at the daily students assembly and took many steps to promote the Buddhist environment in the school.

Mr P. de S. Kularathna has laid the foundation stone for second building on 30 March 1926. End of 1926 Nalanda students were increased to 550. Later he has borrowed money from Anagarika Dharmapala. to purchase a land for primary section which was settled by Dr. Gunapala Mallasekara. The College student assembly hall is named Malalasekara Theatre after him.[8][9]


Language Laboratory

The college is equipped with facilities such as science and computer laboratories, lecture halls, auditoriums, hostels, etc., including Malalasekara Theatre.[10][11] The main medium of education at Nalanda is Sinhala while students have the option to select English from year seven onwards.[12] Nalandians have excelled academically, achieving high grades at Ordinary Level and Advanced Level exams and also in sports.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24]

Swimming Pool

In 2011 Nalandian students won First Place in the world at the Oracle Thinkquest Application Development and First place for International Students Biotechnology Competition and the 14th International Convention on Students Quality Control Circles, held in Lucknow, India.[25][26][27][28][29] Students of Nalanda College Colombo also have excelled in research activities.[30][31][32][33][34]. In 2017 a student of Research Forum won a silver medal for his research, Deposition of air pollutants on pollen grains and occurrence of respiration allergies among humans at The International Conference of Young Scientists -2017 in Germany. where Sri Lanka participated for the first time at the event as a competitive country.[35][36]


At Nalanda College Colombo there are many endowed prizes and awards to felicitate its students who achieve immensely in education, sports and other extracurricular activities. Felicitation ceremonies are conducted each year.[37][38][39][40]

  • Annual Prize Giving - All Nalandians who gained unique academic achievements in education are felicitated.
  • Annual Colours Awarding Ceremony - Ceremony to felicitate students who performed and achieved national and international victories during a year.
  • International Awarding Ceremony - Ceremony to award students who gained high recognition in the international arena.
  • Nalanda Puthra Abhinandana Award – Service to the nation awarded to M. J. Perera in 1992.
  • Nalanda Keerthi Sri - Dr. Jayaweerage Samantha was the founder of the Nalanda Keerthi Sri Award Festival. As the media Secretary of the Nalanda College Old Scouts’ Association (2003–2004), the first edition occurred on 27 September 2003. The award is aimed at recognising alumni who have excelled in their respective profession and thereby contribute to the school's legacy and enhance the morale of its students.[41][42][43][44][45]

Award recipients include: Kala Keerthi Dr Henry Jayasena, President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa, Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara, Dr Sarath Gunapala, Professor Chandana Jayarathne, Kuppiyawatta Bodhananda Thera, Dr Gunadasa Amarasekara, Professor Pathmajeewa Ganepola, Professor K. N. O. Dharmadasa, Air Chief Marshal Gagan Bulathsinghala, Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy.

Clubs and societies[edit]


Nalanda College occupy a playground at Campbell Place,[66][67][68] a modern sports complex,[69][70] a modern squash court,[71][72] swimming pool,[73] shooting range[74] and other sports facilities.[75]

Battle of the Maroons[edit]

Ananda – Nalanda (Ananda versus Nalanda cricket match) is played between Ananda College, Colombo and Nalanda College Colombo since 1924. Over the years Nalanda College has produced many world-famous cricketers such as Bandula Warnapura, Roshan Mahanama, Kumar Dharmasena, Mahela Jayawardena.


Name From To
L. H. Meththananda[106]
Prof. Gunapala Malalasekara
G. K. W. Perera
J. N. Jinendradasa
D. C. Lowris
M. de S. Jayarathne
M. W. Karunananda
K. M. W. Kuruppu
D. J. Edirisinghe
Gunapala Wickramaratne
Sugunadasa Athukorala
Dharma Gunasinghe
D. G. Sumanasekera
Edward Ranasinghe
Hemantha Premathilaka
Ranjith Jayasundara
Thilak Waththuhewa[107]
to date

Notable teachers[edit]

Nalanda College had notable teachers in tutorial staff in the likes of: Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayake Thero, S. Mahinda, Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, Edward Jayakody, Premasara Epasinghe, Siri Perera


Past students who have studied at Nalanda College Colombo are referred to as Old Nalandians. The school has produced some distinguished figures in the caliber of: Former President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa, Maithripala Senanayake, I. M. R. A. Iriyagolla, M.D Banda, Wilfred Senanayake, Deshabandu Dr Hudson Silva (Founder of Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society), Piyadassi Maha Thera, M. J. Perera (First Ceylonese Director General of Radio Ceylon), B. D. Rampala (First Sri Lankan Chief Mechanical Engineer Sri Lanka Railways), Professor Abhaya Induruwa (Pioneer of academic Internet in Sri Lanka), Dr Vajiranath Lakshman De Silva (Founder of Saukyadana Movement of Sri Lanka), Karunaratne Abeysekera (world's first cricket commentator in Sinhala language)

War Memorial and remembrance[edit]

Each year students and alumni commemorate the loss of 41 brave alumni who died in the Sri Lankan civil war.[108][109][110][111] A war memorial is situated between the main oldest buildings of the college.[112]

Nalanda College Junior Old Boys Association[edit]

The Association is the alumni association for the college. Its objective is to enhance the interests of the College, past students and present students by maintaining relationships among alumni and with their alma mater. Each year the union organises many events such as Future Minds, Nalanda Walk, Olcott Memorial old boys cricket tourney, Ranaviru Upahara, etc.[113][114][115]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ PARTI : SEC. (IIA) – GAZETTE OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA – 12.09.2014 Page 6 Archived 5 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ PART I : SEC. (IIA) – GAZETTE OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA – 27.06.2014 Page 14 Archived 5 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b G 498 Gazette Extraodinary of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Election) 1.p65
  4. ^ "News". 
  5. ^ "History of Nalanda". Nalanda College Colombo. 
  6. ^ Character illuminates wisdom at Nalanda
  7. ^ Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero
  8. ^ Nalanda College - A repository of Buddhist values
  9. ^ Its beginning and history
  10. ^ "Programme to make Nalanda College the most beautiful school in the island". The Sunday Times. 27 June 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "President commends Sri Lankan expats". Ministry of External Affairs Sri Lanka. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Nalanda Facts". 6 February 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Only half qualify for A/L". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "A cut above the rest". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  15. ^ "Best A/L students get excellence awards". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "Raveen tops Bio stream". 1 February 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "Four students who came Island first at A’ Levels". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "President With A/L Stars". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  19. ^ Hiran (29 September 2008). "Gold medalists of the 2008 Sri Lankan Biology Olympiad". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "World record-holder Mahanama Observer Schoolboy Cricketer in 1983 and 1984". 6 April 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "Cricket’s gentle giant". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  22. ^ "‘Gura’". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  23. ^ "GCE O/L Stars Island's first wants to be an engineer". Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  24. ^ "Student ranked country’s 1st in GCE O/L Exam visits News1st Centre". Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  25. ^ "Nalandians win two international competitions". 11 September 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  26. ^ "Lankan students take top honours: Think Quest International Competition". 12 July 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  27. ^ "Nalanda students shine at ThinkQuest competition". 15 October 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  28. ^ "Nalandians win coveted ThinkQuest World Championship in San Francisco". 12 October 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  29. ^ "‘Application Development’-Nalanda College best in the world". 11 July 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  30. ^ "Cancer cure breakthrough by Nalanda student". Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  31. ^ "Cancer repellent in Ceylon Tea". Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  32. ^ "Nalanda student finds cure for Leukemia from green tea". Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  33. ^ International achievers of Nalanda to be honoured Archived 13 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ "Nalandians Rakitha and Rananjaya win Gold at ISPRO 2015". 
  35. ^ Smart work!
  36. ^ Childhood allergies lead to award winning research
  37. ^ Host of activities mark Nalanda's 90th anniversary Archived 12 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  38. ^ Annual Prize Giving
  39. ^ International Awarding Ceremony
  40. ^ Annual Prize Giving 2014
  41. ^ Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara nominated for Nalanda Keerthi Sri 2010
  42. ^ Nalanda Keerthi Sri Award for Prime Minister
  43. ^ Nalanda Keerthi Sri
  44. ^ Air Force Commander receives 'Nalanda Keerthi Sri 2015" Award
  45. ^ Nalandians’ Tribute to the Commander of the Air Force
  46. ^ "Geared for take off". 
  47. ^ "Nalanda College Buddhist Association Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  48. ^ "Nalanda College Communication Unit Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  49. ^ "Nalanda College Computer Society Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  50. ^ "Nalanda College bags CA Sri Lanka Challenge Trophy at the Royal College Quiz Competition". 
  51. ^ "Nalanda College Commerce Society Committee Video". [dead link]
  52. ^ "Sambhasha (Media Day)". 
  53. ^ "Raveen tops Bio stream". 
  54. ^ "The making of Alan". 
  55. ^ "Nalanda College Interact Club Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  56. ^ "Leo Club of Nalanda College". 
  57. ^ "Nalandian saves student from drowning in Tissa Wewa". 
  58. ^ "Nalanda lifesavers honoured". 
  59. ^ "Paranormal Investigation and Research Club Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  60. ^ "New Board of Prefects' Guild". 
  61. ^ "Nalanda College Junior Prefects' Guild Secretariat". 
  62. ^ "Photographic & Art Society Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  63. ^ "Nalanda College Science Society". 
  64. ^ "32nd Colombo Nalanda College Scout Troop Official Site". Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  65. ^ "Western Music Association of Nalanda College". 
  66. ^ "Ananda and Nalanda–A symbol of Sri Lankan Cricket". Asian Tribune. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  67. ^ "Fresher - laden Nalanda has tough job against Ananda". Sunday Observer. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  68. ^ "President commends Sri Lankan expats". Dailynews. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  69. ^ "Captain Cool?". Daily FT. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  70. ^ "President commends Sri Lankan expats". Dailynews. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  71. ^ "New squash court for Nalanda". Dailynews. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  72. ^ "Nalanda to popularise squash among schools". Sunday Observer. 28 November 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  73. ^ "Nalanda College Swimming Pool". Wikimapia. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  74. ^ "Rifle shooting hits schools at last". Sunday Times. 27 November 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  75. ^ "The school playground opening". NJOBA. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  76. ^ A lad for all seasons Archived 12 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  77. ^ "Easy target". 
  78. ^ Nalanda junior archers champs
  79. ^ "Feature: Archery – Getting closer to the target : Mirror Sports". 
  80. ^ "Badminton at Nalanda". 7 June 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  81. ^ "Nalanda – the best shuttlers". 
  82. ^ "Baseball at Nalanda". 7 June 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  83. ^ ""i want to study " - Baseball star". Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  84. ^ "Nalanda wins U-17 Baseball C’ship". 
  85. ^ "Security Check Required". 
  86. ^ Senal Warnakula. "Education Times - Character illuminates wisdom at Nalanda". 
  87. ^ NTC parade ends on high note
  88. ^ "Security Check Required". 
  89. ^ Girls High School, Nalanda win senior chess titles Archived 12 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  90. ^ "The Sunday Leader Online". 
  91. ^ "The Island". 
  92. ^ Nalanda and Vijaya college are joint champs
  93. ^ "Rugby Football at Nalanda". 1 May 2006. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  94. ^ "Security Check Required". 
  95. ^ "Rifle shooting hits schools at last". 
  96. ^ "Nalanda and Devi Balika on top". 
  97. ^ Dharmaraja Invitation Soccer Tournament starts today
  98. ^ Inaugural squash tourney at Nalanda
  99. ^ Nalanda to popularise squash among schools
  100. ^ Nalanda College. "Nalanda College, Colombo, Sri Lanka - Swimming Pool". Nalanda College, Colombo, Sri Lanka. 
  101. ^ Nalanda swim through to claim Triangular title
  102. ^ St. Peter’s dominate the school tennis scene again
  103. ^ Thimira turns draws into wins Archived 12 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  104. ^ "DS Senanayaka College win Gratien Gunawardena Challenge Trophy". Dailynews. 
  105. ^ "Security Check Required". 
  106. ^ Principals of Nalanda Archived 18 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  107. ^ Childhood allergies lead to award winning research
  108. ^ Ranaviru Upahara at Nalanda College by Sarath MALALASEKERA[permanent dead link]
  109. ^ Nalanda Ranaviru Upahara Ulela Archived 5 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  110. ^ Administrator. "Ranaviru Upahara Highlights". Nalanda Junior Old Boys Association. 
  111. ^ Administrator. "Ranaviru Upahara 2011". Nalanda Junior Old Boys Association. 
  112. ^ Administrator. "Ranaviru Upahara Highlights". Nalanda Junior Old Boys Association. 
  113. ^ Olcott Memorial old boys cricket tourney by Upananda Jayasundera
  114. ^ Carnival to raise funds for Nalanda sports complex by Asanga Warnakulasuriya Archived 26 April 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
  115. ^ "Nalanda Walk 2014 - Facebook". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 6°55′20″N 79°52′29″E / 6.92222°N 79.87472°E / 6.92222; 79.87472