Shelters called Ambalamas are a characteristic element of Sri Lankan culture. Ambalamas are refuges for local farmers and for itinerant pilgrims alike. Many of them, particularly those close to temples, are built of stone. But the loveliest Ambalamas are wooden sructures. Asked, which is the best example of such a wooden Ambalama, the answer is clear: Panavitiya’s wooden hall has woodcarvings that are only second to Embekke, which is Sri Lanka‘s most famous wooden temple.