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Ran Masu Uyana: Fact and fiction



 The Sakvala Chakra at Ran Masu Uyana

When factual or scientific analyses on certain phenomenon are not satisfactory, human mind often tend to let the imagination run wild in to the realms of fantasy. Human mind is such that when things are beyond comprehension, it envisions seemingly endless possibilities and theories which sometimes could turn out to be preposterous or absurd.

As bizarre as it may sound, the ‘Stargate Theory’ regarding the inscriptions on Anuradhapura Ran Masu Uyana (Gold Fish Pond) suggests that those inscriptions were used as interfaces between humans and some intelligent species from outer space. The theory hypothesizes that the other so called ‘Stargates’ are in Egypt and Peru. In a sense, the theory tries to draw comparisons between Egyptian and Sri Lankan inscriptions.

The map-like inscription in the Ran Masu Uyana is called ‘Sakwala Chakra’. Though the theory may sound absurd, it created a sense of fascination that induced further archaeological probing into Ran Masu Uyana. The theory was published on web and was even telecasted as a documentary programme in a television channel.

However strongly rejecting the ‘Stargate Theory’, Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology Senior Lecturer Professor Raj Somadeva said in an interview with Daily News, “The theory is absurd and does not have any logical base.”


Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology Senior Lecturer Professor Raj Somadeva

Architect Shereen Amendra

He explained that analogical reasoning involves the use of few variables. “If we want to compare Anuradhapura Gold Fish Ponds with Egyptian architecture, we have to take the geographical and chronological elements in to account.

But we can’t see any analogical similarities between the two eras and it is not justifiable to make such comparisons.”

Counter-arguing the ‘Star-gate Theory’, he further noted that such theories implicitly try to convey the fact that ours was also an offshoot of Egyptian civilization, undermining our national heritage.

“If someone is bringing up such a theory, he is doing it to full fill neo-colonial goals.” He further explained that Europeans believe that their civilization evolved from Egypt. Therefore by comparing Sri Lankan civilization with that of the Egyptians, they are perhaps trying to implicitly convey the fact that we are also offshoots of Egyptian Civilization.

Ours is an island civilization and we have our own identity and we do not need to yield to such theories,” he noted.

Joining in with the discourse, Architect Shereen Amendra, a well known architect and a writer of many scholarly articles about architectural mechanism on Ran Masu Uyana and Sigiriya explained, “Archaeologists are absolutely pragmatic and factual, before they put forward a theory.

But there can be more to it than what could be explained by science. Furthermore we should not stop asking ourselves whether we are the only intelligent life forms in the universe. We are just a tiny dot in the universe.

There is lot we don’t know. Yet one has to be careful not to make wild statements which go on to the realm of fantasy. We should not portray fantasy as reality. That is where the academia is important; they know that they should not go on conjecturing.”


A sketch of the chart

However shedding light on the mysteries behind the inscriptions and cryptic theories about alien connections to the Ran Masu Uyana, Prof Raj Somadeva explained that the Sakvala Chakra could turn out to be one of the earliest world maps.

“Most of the archaeologists agree with the theory presented by Prof Senaka Bandaranayaka. He assumed that Sakvala Chakra signifies one of the earliest world maps. 

It is a graphic expression of the way world used to be. It is believed that the inscriptions represent the way in which Tantric Buddhist monks perceived the world. It is believed that they used them for meditation purposes as well.

Still the controversies regarding Sakvala Chakra are endless. Some even argue that it is an astronomical or Buddhist cosmographic chart.

However Shereen Amendra looks at the Sakvala Chakra from the architect’s perspective. She believes that it could turn out to be an early conceptual plan drawn for other grand projects like ‘Sigiriya’.

“I am not disagreeing with the fact that it is an astronomical or cosmographic chart. Even if it is a cosmographical chart, it could still generate architectural concepts. The architecture derives from different aspects. There is an even building which derives from Mandala graphics; architecture can be derive from different sources. Perhaps the charts have several possibilities, one being the early conceptual plans for Sigirya.”

However, the Sakvala Chakra inscriptions are not the only fascinating feature about Gold Fish Ponds. Unlike in modern times where we level down slopes and barriers to fulfil our constructional purposes, the Gold-Fish Pond signifies the way in which our ancestors designed grand architectural structures without interfering with nature’s irregularity.

The map-like inscription in the Ran Masu Uyana is called ‘Sakwala Chakra’.  Though the theory may sound absurd, it created a sense of fascination that induced further archaeological probing into Ran Masu Uyana. Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology Senior Lecturer Professor Raj Somadeva said in an interview with Daily News, “The theory is absurd and does not have any logical base.”

Explaining his archaeological expertise Prof Somadeva explained, “They built everything according to the way the land was shaped. We level our lands with Bull-Dozers, before we start building something, but they did not do that. They built everything according to the way land was shaped.”

The fact that we possess such a great heritage is obvious. Therefore one could always wonder as to whether brining up such ambiguous theories would do any justice to the grandeur of our early ancestors.

The technology and the architecture that they believed in were more advanced and superior than modern times. Yet, we pride ourselves for living in a modern high-tech world.

“What do we call advanced technology? We are being very arrogant to think that we are in a stage of advanced technology. We do not know what has happened before; we can’t make comparisons believing on what we don’t know.

We know about the Stone Age and early evolution about man and based on that we compare ourselves with those beings and call ourselves advanced.

We still don’t know for sure how the Pyramids were built,” says Shereen Amendra.

The controversies and theories will rage on. The history will always fascinate those who are interested.

But no one should mutilate the grandeur of history by making wild hypothetical, fabled assumptions.

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