Sin: කුරුඳුගහහැතැප්ම kurun̆dugahahætæpma

Cinnamon Tree Milepost’  SP,  Sri Lanka

From Sin: kurundu, ‘cinnamon’; gaha, ‘tree’; and  hæthækma, ‘mile, milepost’.

In ancient Sinhalese measurement a hæthækma  is roughly 2 hoo sadde duras (the distance a ‘hoo’ cry can be heard) or 500 dunnas (the maha-dunna or great bow has a fixed measure of 9ft); which means the hæthækma is approximately one mile.

In practical terms, the hæthækma is the distance a coolie can travel without becoming ‘breathless’, hetikekktima, and needing to stop for a break.

Hence the term milepost, which marked one of a series of resting places and shelters for weary travellers: in this case, the welcoming shade of a cinnamon tree. Kurundugahetekma, according to a friend of mine, is the longest Expressway road sign in Sri Lanka, 112 hoo cries from Colombo.

For related place names see Sri Lanka Place names.