Ancient Sanitary and healthcare facilities in Sri Lanka

Sanitary and healthcare facilities in Sri Lanka varied according to the status of social groups. You could still see some of the rock masterpieces of urinals and lavatories belong to Anuradapura and Polonnaruwa eras.

The remains of the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa demonstrate the attention they paid to the environment, sanitary conditions and health care with water management in the environs, during two monsoon rains.

The techniques of the construction of toilets and lavatories developed over several stages. A highly developed stage in this process is discernible in the constructions at the Abhayagiri complex in Anuradhapura and at the Baddhasimapasada and the Alahana Parivena hospital complex in Polonnaruva.

The toilets and baths at Abhayagiri have been constructed at a distance from the residences of the monks while those at the Baddhasima Pasada and the Alahana Pirivana hospital complex have been built adjoining the residential quarters of monks. Extra toilets with ring-well pits have been built in the periphery of the hospital, most likely for the use of staff and visitors.

An interesting location of Biso Pokuna or Princess pond situated at Galebadda village between Moneragala and Siyambalanduwa road has Archaeological remains of the foundation of a building was also noticed on the side of the pond together with an interesting archaeological remains of an attractively carved toilet.

The pond is said to have been used by a local princess call Sugala Devi in 12th century A.D. It is made out of solid rock and has 4 water inlets shaped as dragon mouths. These inlets are presumed to be fed by a system of tunnels.

The remains of urinals and lavatories at Colombo Museum also provide evidences of sanitary and health care facilities that time with cesspits, underground clay pots, wash stones with foot steps and curtain-stones.

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