Sin: കടക്കരപ്പള്ളി kaḍugannāva
‘Sword-drawing Point’ CP, Sri Lanka
From Sin: kadu, ‘sword’; and gannawa, ‘take’.
The Kadugannawa Pass was a key observation post for the Kandyan Kingdom, the right sort of place to draw swords in readiness. It marked the frontier between the hill country and the coastal regions.
With the Balana (‘viewpoint’) Fort as the first line of defence, it held foreign powers at bay for five centuries.
This steep mountain pass rises more than 800m, an imposing barrier for advancing enemy troops.
An old Sinhalese saying foretold that unless invaders pierced the mountains the Kandyan kingdom would never be conquered. In a retrospective gesture, it is said, the British drilled a tunnel at Kadugannuwa (for the new Colombo-Kandy road in 1823) to fulfil the prophecy.
For related place names see Sri Lanka Place names.