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Kurunegala

(4.3/5 based on 65 reviews for 4 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, historic sites, shopping
Kurunegala is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of the North Western Province and the Kurunegala District. Kurunegala was an ancient royal capital for 50 years, from the end of the 13th century to the start of the 14th century. It is at the junction of several main roads linking to other important parts of the country. It is about 94 km from Colombo and 42 km from Kandy.Located at an altitude of 116 meters above sea level, Kurunegala is surrounded by coconut plantations and rubber estates. There are eight very noticeable large rocks that encircle and dominate the city. Kurunegala's rocks rise from the plain below and have characteristic names, six of which come from the animals that they are imagined to represent. The largest among them is Ethagala or the "Elephant Rock", reaches 325 meters. The shape of Ethagala resembles an elephant.EtymologyKurunegala has been named after the Elephant rock . "Kurune" means tusker or an elephant with protruding teeth and gala in Sinhala means rock. Kurunai means tusker or an Elephant and gal in Tamil means rock or hill. Kurunegala's old name was Hasthishaila-pura, which can be translated as 'The City of the Elephant Rock' in Sanskrit. In some ancient literature the word Athugal-pura is employed to describe the city of Kurunegala.
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