Matale is a town in the hill country of Sri Lanka, 142 kilometres (90 miles) from Colombo and 26 kilometres (17 miles) from Kandy. It is an area steeped in history and village living. The mayor of Matale is Hilmy Careem, as of May, 2006.
The Matale administrative district also contains the historic Sigiriya rock castle, Aluwihara rock cave temple and Dambulla Cave Temple. Surrounding the town are the Knuckles foothills called Wiltshire. It is a mainly agricultural area, where tea, rubber, vegetable and spice cultivation dominate. The Knuckles Mountain Range is a special landmark of Matale.
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 ola (palm) leaves. Situated near Aluvihara are numerous monastery caves, some of which exhibit fine frescoes.ex:- The Embiliviharaya temple at Hulangamuwa, The Watagoda Temple, The Kawatayamuna temple
Matale was a site of a major battle in 1848 when the Matale Rebellion started and the British garrison in the Fort Macdowall in Matale was placed under siege by the rebels lead by Weera Puran Appu & Gongalegoda Banda who are renowned national heroes in Sri Lanka.
This Historical city was also home to Monarawila Keppetipola, another national hero who lead the Wellasa rebellion against the British troops. His ancestral home, the Kappetipola walawuwa is still present at Hulangamuwa, Matale.
Christ Church, Matale was consecrated by Bishop James Chapman on 30 December 1860. The Church site chosen was Fort McDowall, commanding a view of the entrance to Matale via Trincomalee. The Church having been erected and furnished, the Revd William Frederick Kelly, Minister and Chaplain in Matale, and 36 others sent their petition to the Rt Revd James Chapman, D.D., to dedicate and consecrate Christ Church. The Parsonage was opened on 16 August 1862. The 75th Anniversary was celebrated in 1935. The centenary was celebrated on 28 and 29 January 1961. The 125th Anniversary was celebrated on 6 September 1986. The church was gutted by fire in 1985 and was completely restored. Services were held in the Baptist Church in the interim period.
On 22 June 1911, there was a special service held in this church in connection with the Coronation of His Majesty King George V, and Queen Mary. The offertory on that was given to the King Edward VIII. Anti Tuberculosis Fund. (Ref. Ceylon Churchman Report for the year ending 20 June 1911)
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