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Nature

Bogoda Roofed Bridge

  Province Uva
  District Badulla
  Nearest Town Hali-ela
  Area -
  Period 16th century
  Ruler -
  Introduction

Bogoda Roofed Bridge was Built in 16th century; this 900 years old bridge is belived to be the oldest surviving wooden bridge in the world. The bridge is made of wood, and even the nails used are wooden. It is built across Gallanda Oya (stream) and spans 50ft in length, 6ft high and 8 feet high. Next to the bridge is the Bogoda temple, a Buddhist temple which is said to date back to 1st century BC.

It is said to have been built by a father-son pair

Bogoda, with its ancient temple and wooden bridge lies some 30 kilometres from Bandarawela and 10 km from Badulla, off the Hali-ela junction. Bogoda bridge dates back to the 1600s, but the temple just by it, has a much longer history, going back to the 1st century BC.

The bridge built across the Gallanda Oya, as it gushes down the mountain to meet Uma Oya in Uva Paranagama (a tributary of the Mahaweli Ganga) is on an ancient route, which linked Badulla and Kandy.

In the famous literary work, Sandesha Kavya (1612-1624), a chapter called Maga Salakunu (Land marks) spells out the route from Badulla to Kandy by foot, and invites other travellers to worship at the Bogoda temple on their way. Across the bridge lies the hamlet of Mahakumbura and the route then leads to Uva Ketawela. The bridge is still the road link used by many villagers around.

The first bridge was probably a few logs thrown across the stream, said head priest, Ven. Attampitiye Rahula Thero. The base consists of a single standing log, a huge kumbuk tree 35 feet in height. Three huge jak trunks were flung across the stream to form the platform, on which, during the Kandyan era the elaborate wooden structure came into being. The roof has distinctly Kandyan style tiles and even the modest decor on the wooden pillars holding up the roof is reminiscent of that era.

Side Seems

• Temple

• Vishnu Devale

• Makara Thorana

• Gallanda Oya