Sin: හංවැල්ල haṁvælla – Tam: ஹன்வெல்லை haṉvellai
‘Sand Junction or Ford’ WP, Sri Lanka
From Sin: sam, ‘union, with, together’; and vælla, ‘sandbank’, ‘sandy plain’, ‘shore’
This is the site of an ancient ford across the Kelani Ganga which linked the main access roads to Colombo and Kandy.
Cave informs us that it was on the ‘twenty-first mile-post from Colombo’.
Malwana Fort was built to defend the ferry crossing.
Commercial sand dredging has lowered the river bed so dramatically that seawater now reaches this far, more than 30km upstream from Colombo.