Kurunegala is a beautiful historical city that is located quite high up and provides picturesque surroundings to tourists. Travellers visit Kurunegala for its charming beauty with a lake in the middle of the city and huge rocks in the background. The largest of these rocks is the dark rock, Etagala or “Elephant Rock” of about 325m, having a sitting Buddha statue.
Kurunegala, located about 42km northwest of Kandy amid steep hills, is a busy commercial hub surrounded by rubber estates and coconut plantations. Kurunegala is described as a crossroads town because it is located on the junction of routes between Kandy to Puttalam and between Colombo to Anuradhapura.
History of Kurunegala
Kurunegala was a royal capital of Sri Lanka for about half a century, from the end of the 13th century to the start of the next. Kurunegala was ruled by King Bhuvanekabahu II, (from 1293 to 1302), and then his successor Parakramabahu IV(until 1326).
Before this Kurunegala was strategically placed in the middle of other majestic strongholds such as Yapahuwa to the north, Dambadeniya to the south and Panduwasnuwara in the east. The famous tooth relic was housed in Kurunegala before it was moved for safety to Polonnaruwa, and the remains of the place where the relic was housed can still be seen.