Pinthali and Ambalama

Sunday 28th of August 2016

Pinthali and Ambalama 5

The next day Tara and Tarun finished eating their dinner soon.

After that they gathered around Grandma.

Grandma started telling them about people in the olden days.

She said those people were very generous.

“They went out of their way to help the others,” she noted.

She told them about Pinthalis and Ambalamas.

Pinthali was a water pot kept on the wayside for travellers.

People in those days travelled long distances on foot or by bullock carts.

The wayside water pots helped them to quench their thirst.

Besides, people in the olden days also built wayside shelters for such travellers.

They were called Ambalamas.

Ambalamas were usually open structures with a roof held by a few pillars.

The travellers spent the nights in these shelters free of charge.

They often prepared their meals also there.

“There were no motor vehicles then. So some journeys took days!” explained Grandma.

“Now, of course there are enough and more restaurants and guest houses everywhere,” she


Tara thought about the people who kept Pinthalis and built Ambalamas.

“They must be very good people” she thought.

Tara’s father entered the room when they were listening to Grandma.

“Grandma has been telling us about Ambalamas and Pinthalis, Thaththa!” said Tara with


“Good, good!” said Thaththa, smiling.

“Would you like to see an Ambalama by yourself?” asked Thaththa.

“Are they still in existence?” asked a surprised Tarun.

“There are ruins of a few Ambalamas here and there. There are also a couple of ones in good

condition in a few places,” said Thaththa.

“There’s one in Kotte with its original structure!” he remarked.

“Oh, let's go let's go!” pleaded Tara.

“Let’s see this weekend then!” said Thaththa, smiling.

Both Tara and Tarun looked forward to the weekend.


What is a Pinthali?

Why did some journeys take days those days?

Name a place where an Ambalama could be seen even today.