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
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
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
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
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
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
We know about the Stone Age and early evolution about man and based
on that we compare ourselves with those beings and call ourselves
We still don’t know for sure how the Pyramids were built,” says
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.