Battaramulla is a suburb of the city of Colombo, situated 5.2 miles from the City Centre at Colombo Fort, near the Parliament of Sri Lanka. It is one of the fastest developing administrative, commercial and residential areas in the Colombo District being home to the country`s elite. By present Battaramulla has been an important town in Sri Lanka, because of the Sri Lanka government decided to locate all the government department head offices in this town.
History of Battaramulla
Battaramulla has always been an adjunct to Kotte, which lay on the opposite side of the Diyawanna Oya. At the time of the Kotte Kingdom, the cooks at the royal palace would travel there daily by ferry across the Diyawanna Oya. The place they embarked was called bat-tota-mulla (`cooked rice-landing-corner`, `cooked rice` being a synonym for a meal), which became `Battaramulla`. Kotiyagoda, a suburb of Battaramulla, derived its name from kotuwe-egoda (`the shore opposite the fortress`). This pattern was followed when the Parliament was shifted to the Doowa island in Kotte, several government offices being set up in Battaramulla thereafter.
After invading the whole country by England, they built a Church in 1850 in Battaramulla, but after that they called the village as Thalangama. The invaders wanted to eliminate the name of the old village Battaramulla and mentioned the area as Thalangama in every legal document. However the old Sinhala Buddhist villages wanted to protect the old village name Battaramulla. In 1887 a temple called Sri Sudharmaramaya was established in Battaramulla and the buddhist monks in the temple emphasized the importance of protecting old name of the village which belonged to the Kotte kingdom earlier. After establishing postal service in Sri Lanka the post office established in Battaramulla, called as Thalangama sub post office. However after getting the independence (in 04th of February 1948), in 1970 this mistake was re-corrected by promoting the sub post office into a main post office called as Battaramulla. (These facts were extracted from a book called ""Eda Saha Ada Battaramulla"")
The Battaramulla, Pelawatte, Koswatte and Kalapaluwawa areas, which comprise Battaramulla was previously governed by a separate municipal structure called the Battaramulla Town Council. It was dissolved and the area is now administered by the Kaduwela Municipal Council. The Battaramulla District Office of Kaduwela municipal council is the administrative office of the area which is located at Pannipitiya road.
In Sri Lanka an area is identified by the name of the main post office to which an area belongs. In that way Battaramulla main post office (Located at Subhuthipura Road) belongs the following villages mainly.
Battaramulla Junction, Battaramulla South, Battaramulla North, Pelawatta, Koswatta, Subhuthipura, Jayanthipura, Rajamalwatte, Polduwa, Mihindupura, Udumulla, Ganahena, Thalangama North, Thalangama South, Heenetikumbura, Nagahamulla, Wickramasinghapura, Jayawadanagama, Akuregoda, Batapotha, Korambe, Aruppitiya.
The Thalawathugoda, Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte, Mulleriyawa and Malabe suburbs mark the borders of Battaramulla.
There are number of public bus services available to reach Battaramulla town from Colombo City. Route number 171 is the main public bus service which is started from Colombo-Fort and ended at Kandawatta Junction (Palan Thuna Handiya). Route number 152 buses come to Denzil kobbekaduwa Mawatha via Kolonnawa and Mulleriawa side. Additionally you can reach to Battaramulla town by route no 170 - Athurugiriya, route no 190 - Meegoda, route no 174 Kottawa, route no 186 - Jayawadanagama and route no 177 - Kaduwela buses from the Colombo city.
From Dehiwala town, which is located on the Colombo - Galle main road you can take route no 163 buses to reach to Battaramulla. These buses come via Nugegoda and Kotte. From Kandy city or Kurunegala town you can take route no 17 - Panadura buses. These buses come more than 100 km from Kandy and Kurunegala via main towns like Peradeniya, Kadugannawa, Mawanella, Kegalle, Polgahawela, Allawwa, Warakapola, Nittambuwa and Kaduwela. If you come from Panadura side, you can reach to Battaramulla by route no 17 - Kandy or Kurunegala buses and they come via Moratuwa, Rathmalana, Galkissa, Dehiwala, Nugegoda and Kotte.
A government bus runs inside the town area under route no 374 which starts from Battaramulla main junction and ends at Pelawatta junction via Ganahena, Robert Gunawardhana Mawatha, Korambe, Batapotha and Akuregoda.
In addition to the public bus services there are office time bus services which arrive to Battaramulla town, in the morning and depart from the town in the evening only in government office working days. These buses come to the Battaramulla town from Kurunegala (Route No.17), Avissawella (122/1), Panadura (Via Hirana, Kesbewa - Route no 457/1), Ingiriya (Route No 125), Divulapitiya (Via Jaela, Colombo city - Route no 171/5), Bandaragama (Route no 162), Dodangoda, Matugama, Kalutara, Minuwangoda, Ganemulla, Gampaha, Nittambuwa, Negombo, Moratuwa (via Maharagama), Horana (via Kottawa and via Kohuwala, Nugegoda).
In the past there were another four bus services from Battaramulla as route no 160 Mattakkuliya, route no 714 Borella (via Mulleriyawa, Kolonnawa), route no 198 Galkissa, route no 179 Bambalapitiya.
A notable expatriate population and affluent nationals of Sri Lanka live in Battaramulla. The rapid increase in the elite and affluent moving into the area has contributed to the economic boom in the area.The population of Battaramulla is 75633 according to the GeoNames geographical database.Majority is Sinhalese.
By early 80`s there were many traditional villagers in the area, but the rapid increase of the land value in the area has followed with them selling off and moving to areas further from Colombo.
The Oldest International school in Sri Lanka, catering exclusively to the expatriate community and a few select nationals; The Overseas School of Colombo (formerly the Overseas Children`s School) has been relocated to Battaramulla from its previous site in Colombo 02.
Sri Subhuthi Central College (national school), which is located at Robert Gunawardhana Mawatha is the main government school in the area. There are number of government schools located in the area like Lanka Sabaha Junior School (established in 1870), Indrajothi Vidyalaya (established in 1905), M. D. H. Jayawardhana Vidyalaya etc. Number of private international schools are also located in Battaramulla.
Government Departments and other Main Government Offices
After establishing the new parliament in Kotte, Government of Sri Lanka decided to move all the government offices in Colombo City to Battaramulla Town. Now the area facilitates home to numerous Ministries, Government departments and Administrative Boards being in close proximity to the Parliament of Sri Lanka. ""Sethsiripaya"" is an administrative building complex where number of government offices have been established, located at the main street of the town. The education department of Sri Lanka is also located in Pelawatta junction of this town and the building is called ""Isurupaya"". Foreign Employment Bureau is another important government office and it is located at Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha. Even if the Parliament of Sri Lanka located at an island that belongs to Kotte town, the main road that leads to the parliament lies through Battaramulla town.
Golf is a pastime that has increased in popularity in the area. The Waters Edge Country Club is an 11-hole golf course located at Battaramulla. Its infrastructure includes: Restaurant/dining room/ballroom/conference hall, driving range with 20 bays - 300 metres in length and floodlit for practice at night, chip and putt area with bunkers, swimming pool, spa, gym, games arcade, beauty salon and a Karaoke lounge.
Places to Visit
A beautiful and very attractive park called ""Diyatha Uyana"" is located at Polduwa junction, near the Waters Edge hotel.The park has been constructed on a marshy land on the banks of the Diyawanna Oya. It sits between the Parliamentary complex and the Diyawanna Oya at the Polduwa junction.
Battaramulla Fork Art Center is another important place to visit. A model of a Sri Lankan traditional village can be seen inside the Fork Art Center.It is called as ""Ape Gama"". ""Ape Gama"" ( our village) is a replica of traditional old day Sri Lanakan village. This is located close to parliament ground. Ape Gama displays traditional industries, village life style and how self-sufficient old day Sri Lankan society functions in those days
Akuregoda Lake (Thalangama Wewa) and the Batapotha Paddy Fields are at one end of the town and that area still shows the quality of traditional Sinhalese village of Sri Lanka.