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Kandy Lake's decorative wall is often misquoted as 'Walakulu Bamma'( Cloud Drift Wall) but the correct term for it is ' Diyareli Bamma' (Wave Swell Wall). Professor Anuradha Seneviratna (1938-2009), a prominent Sri Lankan researcher and expert on Kandyan history, archaeology, and architecture, quotes this in his much praised book titled "Kandy" ( Central Cultural Fund – 1983 ).
“The ornamental wall round the lake was designed to resemble a wave- swell and is therefore called Diyareli bemma as opposed to the Walakulu bemma or cloud-drift found in the Dalada Maligawa parapets.”
The decorative wall mainly serves as a safety precaution for the observer of the Lake by creating a safety barrier between the lake’s water and the observer. It had been cleverly designed in such a way that it has only enhanced the beauty of this man made lake. The conceptual design of this decorative wall is attributed to the celebrated Kandyan Master craftsman Devendra Mulachari who is credited with the design of the Pattirippuwa or the Octagon of the Temple of the Tooth which has the similar wall design in the moat next to the Pattirippuwa, that was constructed prior to building of the Lake. There is also a Walakulu Bamma constructed at a higher elevation of the Pattirippuwa.
The width of the Wave swell wall at Dalada Maligawa side is about 3 feet. The height is about 4 feet. Pattern constructed from stone (rubble) and finally plaster finished. The triangular shaped cavities were used for placing coconut oil lamps when there were major activities at the Dalada Temple.
At the Temple of the Tooth, the two types of Decorative Walls can be identified clearly. Wave swell wall (Diyareli Bamma)around the moat and the Cloud Drift wall (Walakulu Bamma) at an upper elevation.
This photograph taken from the famous Arthur's View Point emphasis how the Decorative Wall (Diyareli Bamma) has added beauty to the Kandy Lake.
View of the Kandy Lake's Island through thr Diyareli Decorative Wall