You have visited Sri Lanka many times and think you know all the amazing sites? But what’s this? Where is that boulder shown on the photo above? It’s not in Myanmar/Birma, where the famous balancing rock of Kyaiktiyo is a gilded granite boulder and, admittedly, even more spectacular than that one shown on this photo.
Of course, the bove photo is taken in Sri Lanka. But don’t think, you only missed it, because that logan is situated in a remote part of the island! Not at all, it’s in only 10 m distance from Yakkala, which is a village at the Colombo-Kandy mainroad A1. Petthagangala - that’s the name of the temple - is only 40 km away from Colombo’s town centre. Petthigala – that’s the name of the balancing rock - is one of the attractions in the surroundings of Maligatenna. There are many interesting destinations in the wilderness of the Siyane Korale area in Gampaha District near Colombo.
The word “Petthagangala”, stressed on the first syllable, does simply mean “rocking stone” or “balancing boulder”. Indeed, the granite boulder lies on a slope in very short distance to a vertical slope. Like the Kyaiktiyo “Golden Rock” in Myanmar, Sri Lanka’s Petthagangala balancing rock carries a small dagoba (chedi) on top of it. The forest temple’s full name is transcribed “Pettha gam gala aranya senasnaya”.
As with other overhanging rocks in Sri Lanka, small sticks were attached by pilgrims to the Petthagangala rock, which apparently help to keep it in balance. These “pillars” are votive offerings of faithful pilgrims, who symbolically help to balance the rock, This way the devotees earn spirtual merits and share the aura of the sacred place. Actually, the reason why the balancing rock can remain stable in this position is: It’s definitely a miracle!
Find more about the exact location of Petthagangala here...
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka