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Matale

Matale Sri LankaMatale is a town in the hill country of Sri Lanka, 142 kilometres (90 miles) from Colombo and 26 kilometres (17 miles) from Kandy. It is an area steeped in history and village living. The Matale administrative district also contains the historic Sigiriya rock castle, Aluwihare Temple and Dambulla Cave Temple. Surrounding the town are the Knuckles foothills called Wiltshire. It is a mainly agriculural area, where tea, rubber, vegetable and spice cultivation dominate. Knuckles mountains are special landmark of Matale.
Distance From Colombo : 140 km
The Aluvihare Temple, on the North side of the town, is the historic location where the Pali Canon was first written down completely in text on ola (palm) leaves. Situated near Aluvihare are numerous monastery caves, some of which exhibit fine frescoes.

Matale was a sight a of a major battle in 1948 when the Matale Rebellion started and the British garrison in the Fort Macdowall in matale was placed under siege by the rebels.

Christ Church, Matale is a historical church well worth a visit which was built in 1860.

Matale is a name given by the 'Hela' people; 'Hela' is how the Sinhalese were known in ancient times. In Pali, Matale has been referred to as 'Maathula' and means 'Uncle'. In the Hela language, it means a large group of people, a very large plain and a large fountain.

The history of Matale could be traced back to King Pandukabhaya. We find the word 'Maatuka' in one of the cave inscriptions written in the Brahmi script. That is the oldest word used for Matale.

Historians are of the view that Matale was a settlement established by 'Shiva', a minister and an uncle of King Pandukabhaya. It was established at the same time other settlements like Upatissa, Uruwela, and Anuradha etc were established in Sri Lanka.
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