Mathale is a town in the hill country. Situated 142km from Colombo and 26km North of Kandy, It is an area steeped in history and natural beauty. The Mathale administrative district also contains the historic Sigiriya Rock Castle, Aluvihara Rock cave Temple and Dambulla Cave Temple. Surrounding the town are the Knuckles foothills called Wiltshire. It is mainly an agricultural area, where Tea, Rubber, Vegetable and Spice Cultivation dominate. The Knuckles Mountain range is a special landmark of Mathale.
The Aluvihara Temple, on the North side of the town, is the historic location where the Pali canon was first written down completely in text on old (palm) leaves. Situated near Aluvihara are numerous monastery caves, some of which exhibit fine frescoes.
Mathale was a site of a major battle in 1848 when the Mathale Rebellion started and the British garrison in the Fort McDowall in Mathale was placed under siege by the rebels led by Weera Puran Appu and Gongale Godabanda who are renowned national heroes in Sri Lanka. The Kappetipola Walawuwa is still present at Hulangamuwa, Mathale. With the Christ Church, Mathale was consecrated by Bishop James Chapmon on 30th December 1860. The Church site chosen was Fort Mc Dowell, commanding a view of the entrance to Mathale via Trincomalee.
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