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It was an urban village with some beautiful villas in gardens shaded by trees.

The roads which ran through fertile cinnamon and coconut gardens were narrow cart-tracks. There was a small market place where people could buy and sell. Mervyn Herath, whose recently published book Colonial Kollupitiya and its Environs dips into a past when our colonial masters, the Portuguese, Dutch and the British reigned supreme, and Lankan society was largely feudal.

Gardens stretched out from residence to residence, lush green and perfumed with every variety of flora, manicured by careful and loving hands of specialist gardeners.

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This fact is mentioned in several places in Historical Relations of Ceylon by Robert Knox whose imprisonment in our island owed itself to this capricious monarch.

The remnants of some stone columns still stand in a thick bamboo grove flourishing in a plummeted valley where British tea planters had later grown tea, a site that cannot be reached by vehicle now.

In colonial times, Mutuwal, Hultsdorp, Grandpass, the Pettah and Fort, in Colombo, were the main urban residencies and business areas where leading citizens lived, loved and traded.

By the latter part of the 19th Century people had begun to move south towards Kollupitiya (Colombo-3) and Cinnamon Gardens (Colombo-7) and even further to Slave Island (Colombo-2), Bambalapitiya (Colombo-4), Havelock Town (Colombo 5) and Wellawatte (Colombo-6).

One of the conspirators was Udanuwara Ambanwela Appuhamy.

When the plot failed, the king had two of the rebel leaders beheaded.

Nillambe is also sited at the other end of the Hantane mountain range that overlooks the city of Mahanuwara or Kandy and the king would have fled to Nillambe along the mountain pass.

Nillambe is said to derive its name from Nil Ambe, the Blue Waters of the Mul Haluwa Oya river flowing through this terrain. According to other historical sources as well as according to Madyama Lanka Puravrththa' it was to flee the wrath of some rebel leaders. Very despotic and capricious he ruled according to his own whims and fancies and his decision to suspend a long standing procession in Kandy had been the last spark to ignite the inflammable situation.

, And that it was named after a Kandyan chief who had unsuccessfully sought to de-throne the last king of Kandy? The year was 1664 and the king was Rajasinghe II whose cruel acts embittered by his subjects.

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