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2000 Rupees 2005, Sri Lanka

in Krause book Number: 121a
Years of issue: 02.11.2005
Edition: 28 768 482
Signatures: Minister of Finance: Sarath L. B. Amunugama, Governor: Sunil Mendis
Serie: 2001 - 2006 Issue
Specimen of: 02.11.2005
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 164 x 82
Printer: De la Rue Lanka Currency and Securities Print (Pvt) Ltd, Malawana

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

2000 Rupees 2005



watermark lion

The cornerstones.

The Sri Lanka Lion holding a sword (from the coat of arms) (Panthera leo sinhaleyus), also known as the Ceylon Lion, was a prehistoric subspecies of lion, endemic to Sri Lanka. It appears to have become extinct prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans, c. 37,000 years BC.

This lion is only known from two teeth found in deposits at Kuruwita. Based on these teeth, P. Deraniyagala erected this subspecies in 1939. However, there is insufficient information to determine how it might differ from other subspecies of lion. Deraniyagala did not explain explicitly how he diagnosed the holotype of this subspecies as belonging to a lion, though he justified its allocation to a distinct subspecies of lion by its being "narrower and more elongate" than those of recent lions in the British Natural History Museum collection.

N.G Krasnodembskaya, R.D. Senasinha "The Image of the Lion in the Mythology and Symbolism of the Sinhalese Singhals" (From Prehistory to the Present) ".

“The image of a lion is inseparable from the culture of Sri Lanka and its main population, the Sinhalese. On behalf of the lion (in Sinhala,“Sinha”), their self-name is “Sinhala”, which is directly translated as“ lions ”, and descriptively, with the disclosure of the true meaning - people of the lion's race". One of the ancient names of the island is Sinhala-dvipa, that is, the“ Island of the Lions”, and it was from him that the Arabian Serendib and European Ceylon, Zeylan, Ceylon, and others. Afanasy Nikitin in his book“ of the sea ”called it“ Silyan Island. ”Often, Sinhalese names and surnames include as an element, the word "sinha", as can be seen in the name of one of the authors of this article (it can be translated as "lion among the soldiers"). It is considered proven that the ancestors of the Sinhalese were from northern India. According to the anthropological type, the Sinhalese belong to southern (dark-haired) Caucasians, although Sri Lankan scholars like to emphasize the prevalence among them of Australoid features. Sinhalese belongs to the new Indian branch of Indo-European languages ​​(its close relatives are modern Indian languages ​​like Mar Athi, Gujarati, Bengali). The fact of the ancient migration of a certain wave of Indo-Aryans from the territory of India to Lanka is clothed in a legendary form: the Sinhalese consider their progenitor Vijay, the prince of the northern Indian kingdom, who was expelled from his native lands for "pranks". After long sea wanderings, the legend says, Vijaya, together with his companions, reached the shores of Lanka and found refuge there. It happened around the middle of the first millennium BC. But Vijaya still has its legendary, "lion", backstory. It is most vividly recorded in the Sinhalese Buddhist chronicle, called "Mahavansa." This text was recorded in the V or VI. AD The image of a lion in the mythology and symbolism of the Sinhalese Sri Lankitradition seems to have existed for many previous centuries). Lankan scientists adhere to the version that it was in the VI. he was transferred from Old Sinhala to the language of Buddhist scholarship fell. Several of the opening chapters of the Mahavans are devoted to the most ancient history of the Sinhalese. However, it describes a time that is already far enough for those who testify about it. Therefore, the events of that time, in fact the prehistory of the Sinhalese, take on a legendary mythological form. In fact, the first historical person mentioned in the chronicles is Devanampiya Tissa (247–207). At the time of his reign, according to these historical legends, Buddhism was perceived by Sinhals from the missionaries of Ashoka, the Indian emperor, who reigned in the second half of the 3rd century. BC. This date is the main one on which scientists rely in studying the history of Lanka. In general, it is believed that the main relocation of the Sinhalese ancestors from Northern India to Lanka occurred in the 5th – 6th centuries. BC. The “lion's” theme is related to even more ancient times, and the events connected with it occurred (if they did) even on Indian territory.

The legend is this: From the marriage of King Vanga to Princess Kalinga [the names of the ancient Indian kingdoms] a daughter was born, distinguished by her wayward character and fervor of feelings. At the whim of her desires, she set off on a journey, joining the merchant caravan. A lion attacked the caravan on the way, and everyone fled, except for the princess who loved the adventure. However, the lion did not harm her, but, on the contrary, he felt a surge of tenderness and humbly approached her. The princess fearlessly touched the beast, and a keen love feeling pierced him. Then the lion grabbed the princess, sat him on his back and sped into his cave. So the princess became the wife of the king of beasts (which, by the way, was predicted by her at birth). From this marriage were born twins, a daughter and a son, who, instead of arms and legs, had lion's paws, therefore he was given the name Sihabab, that is, Lion's Hand. When the children were sixteen years old, they, together with their mother, fled from the cave in which the lion kept them locked up, and went to Wang. On the border of the kingdom, they were met by one of the commanders of King Vanga, who, as it turned out, was the cross-cousin of the former wife of the king of the forests. He was conquered by the beauty of a relative, took her to the capital Vanga, and there he married her (the marriage between the Crossuzees was resolved). In the meantime, a lion left alone was scouring the woods and trees in search of the missing wife and children and terrified the inhabitants. His son, seduced by a large reward (three thousand monetary units) decided to take part in the hunt for a lion, and then King Vanga (he was a grandfather to the young man) promised him to return the whole kingdom, if successful. The hunt was crowned with a victory over a lion, but Prince Lion's Hand ceded the kingdom to his uncle, husband to his mother (and his grandfather had already died by this time). Lion's Hand himself returned to the forest where he was born and founded the city of Sihapur (the Lion City) there, and around, in the forest, hundreds of yojans (Yojana is an ancient Indian measure of length, the size of which ranged from 7 to 20 km.) many villages: so the kingdom of Lal was formed, where he began to rule with his sister, marrying her. This couple was born sixteen pairs of twins, all - sons, and the eldest of them, who later became the heir to the throne, was called Vijaya (Victorious), and the second - Sumitta (The Good Friend). However, the young heir to the throne loved to “fool around”, and with his antics in a company with 700 friends he caused a lot of anxiety to his subjects. The Lion's Hand was forced to expel him from his kingdom. Vijay and his comrades were put on a ship and sent to the sea. After long wanderings friends arrived in Lanka. “Prince Vijaya, a brave man, stuck,” the chronicle said, “to the shore of Lanka, in the land called Tambapanni, on the day when Tathagata (the Finding Path) was one of the definitions of a Buddha, lying between two similar trees of fat, preparing go to nirvana. " On the shore, which pleased them deserted and, therefore, the lack of danger, Vijaya and his companions met with yakkhini demoness. The first to meet them was a demon servant in the shape of a dog, carried along one of the companions Vijay (he thought that the presence of a dog spoke about the proximity of the village) and led to her mistress, demon Kuvanna, who was sitting under a tree and spinning like a pious recluse. With her magic, Kuvanna lured the whole "retinue" of Vijay, and then he himself appeared. Between him and the demoness there was a skirmish, which ended in peace. After this, Kuvanna, demonstrating her humility, returned Vijay his people, promised to get him a kingdom and share a bed with him. She provided Vijaya and his companions with provisions looted from passing merchants. At the common meal, Vijaya invited the demoness herself and even, as stated in the chronicle, "offered her the first piece." Very flattered, the demoness took for the sake of Prince Vijai the appearance of a charming sixteen-year-old girl, smartly dressed and decorated with jewels. The demoness kept all her promises: Vijaya withdrew her kingdom from the demons; she bore him a son and a daughter. However, later, seeking to become the “legitimate” king of the new state, Vijaya was forced to think about the “legitimate” spouse. She became a princess from Madura (South India), the daughter of King Pandu. She also brought with her friends and wives to comrades Vijay. Having married a princess from Madura, Vijay forgot the leprosy of his youth and reigned "royally and safely" all of Lanka from her capital Tambapanni for thirty-eight years. (Н. Г. Краснодембская, Р. Д. Сенасинха "Образ льва в мифологии и символике сингалов Шри Ланки" (От предыстории до современности) .rus")


2000 Rupees 2005

Degaldoruwa Rajamaha Viharaya

In lower left corner is the fresque of procession, with elephant and flag.

These Fresques are situated in Amunugama, a village near Kandy town, the Degaldoruwa Rajamaha Viharaya was built in 1771 AD by ‘King Rajadi Rajasinha’. This temple is considered a cave temple and has paintings which depict the Kandyan era it was from.

The temple is built in a place where two rocks touch each other from above and below. The rock as a height of 40 feet and a cave was made by breaking the rocks to accommodate a shrine room for Lord Buddha’s statues.

The paintings are the works of four painters and are recognized as some of the best examples of the Kandyan period paintings. The shrine room ceiling as a rock surface which the painting of Lord Buddha and the ‘Mara’ and his forces. There is also a painting of ‘Mahi Kantawa’ or the earth Goddess on the ceiling.

There is a Bo tree and a stupa at the terrace of the summit and a path carved out which leads to the lower terrace. (

Esala Perahera

Nesrby the fresque of procession is the festively decorated temple elephants, in Kandy, at the Esala Perahera festival - an elephant with a gazebo.

Why with a gazebo? Read below ...

Only once a year there are organized many-day grandiose ritual processions - the festival of Esala Perahera, with fakirs and musicians, dancers and torches. Then, on the largest temple elephant, decorated with silver and precious stones, a sacred relic is taken out in a golden casket. Thousands of thousands of Buddhists and curious travelers flood Kandy these days.

The Kandy Esala Perahera (the Dalada Perahara procession of Kandy) also known as The Festival of the Tooth is a grand festival celebrated with elegant costumes and is held in July and August in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This historical procession is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. A unique symbol of Sri Lanka, the procession consists of many traditional local dances such as fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances, in addition to the elephants who are usually adorned with lavish garments. The festival ends with the traditional diya-kepeema ritual, a water cutting ceremony which is held at the Mahaweli River at Getambe, Kandy.

The Esala is believed to be a fusion of two separate but interconnected "Peraheras" (Processions) – The Esala and Dalada. The Esala Perahera, which is thought to date back to the III century BC, was a ritual enacted to request the gods for rainfall.


The Dalada Perahera is believed to have begun when the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka from India during the IV century CE, eight hundred years after the passing away of Lord Buddha.

According to tradition, the Tooth Relic was taken in procession to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala & Prince Dantha.

After the Kandyan Kingdom fell to the British in 1815, the custody of the Relic was handed over to the Maha Sanga (the Buddhist Clergy). In the absence of the king, a chief lay custodian called the "Diyawadana Nilame" was appointed to handle routine administrative matters concerning the relic and its care.

The Kandy Esala Perahera begins with the Kap Situveema or Kappa, in which a sanctified young Jackfruit tree (Artocarpus integrifolia) is cut and planted in the premises of each of the four Devales dedicated to the four guardian gods Natha, Vishnu, Katharagama and the goddess Pattini. Traditionally it was meant to shower blessing on the King and the people.

For the next five nights, the "Devale Peraheras" take place within the premises of the four Devales with the priest of each Devale taking the pole every evening, accompanied by music and drumming, flag and canopy bearers, spearman and the Ran Ayudha (gold Armaments), the sacred insignia of the Gods.

On the sixth night, the Kumbal Perahera begins and continues on for five days. Initially, the Devale Peraheras assemble in front of the Temple of the Tooth, which is Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist Shrine and where the Buddha’s Sacred Tooth Relic has been kept since the 16th Century, with their insignias placed on the ransivige (a dome-like structure) accompanied by the Basnayake Nilames (the lay custodians of the Devales).

The relic casket, which is a replica for the Tooth Relic, is placed inside the ransivige affixed to the Maligawa Elephant, the Maligawa Perahera joins the awaiting Devale Peraheras and leads the procession. Whip-crackers and fireball acrobats clear the path, followed by the Buddhist flag bearers. Then, riding on the first elephant, is the official called Peramuna Rala (Front Official). He is followed by Kandyan Drummers and Dancers who enthrall the crowd, and are themselves followed by elephants and other groups of musicians, dancers and flag bearers. A group of singers dressed in white heralds the arrival of the Maligawa Tusker carrying the Sacred Tooth Relic. The Diyawadana Nilame (traditionally required to do everything in his power to ensure rain in the correct season) walks in traditional Kandyan-clothed splendor after the tusker.

The second procession is from the Natha Devale, which faces the Sri Dalada Maligawa and is said to be the oldest building in Kandy, dating back to the XIV Century.

The third is from the Vishnu Devale (Vishnu being a Hindu god), also known as the Maha Devale. It is situated in front of the main gate of the Natha Devale.

The fourth procession is from the Katharagama Devale (dedicated to the God of Kataragama deviyo, identified with the warrior god Skanda) which is on Kottugodalle Vidiya (a street in Kandy). This procession includes Kavadi, the peacock dance, in which the pilgrim-dances carry semicircular wooden contraptions studded with peacock feathers on their shoulders.

The fifth and final procession is from the Pattini Devale (Pattini being a goddess associated with the cure of infectious diseases and called upon in times of drought and famine), which is situated to the West of the Natha Devale. This is the only procession that has women dances.

The following important times are announced by the firing of cannonballs, which can be heard all across Kandy.

The commencement of the Devale Peraheras

The placing of the casket on the tuskers back

The commencement of the Dalada Perahera

The completion of the Perahera

The Randoli Perahera begins after five nights of the Kumbal Perahera. Randoli refers to palanquins on which the Queens of the ruling Kings traditionally traveled. 2018 Kandy Esala Maha Perahera (Randoli Perahera) was held on 25 August 2018, the full moon poya day with the participation of hundreds thousands people.

After a further five nights of the Randoli Perahera, the pageant ends with the Diya Kepeema, which is the water cutting ceremony at the Mahaweli River at Getambe, a town a few miles from Kandy. A Day Perahera is held to mark the ceremony.


Sigiriya or Sinhagiri (Lion Rock Sinhala: සීගිරිය, Tamil: சிகிரியா, pronounced see-gi-ri-yə) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 ft.) high.[citation needed]

According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477–495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure — Sīnhāgiri, the Lion Rock (an etymology similar to Siṃhapura, the Sanskrit name of Singapore, the Lion City).

The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the XIV century. Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site.It is also declared by UNESCO as the eighth wonder of the world. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning.

Legendary past.

Lal Srinivas and Mirando Obesekara described Sigiriya as a post-historical archeology turning point of Ravana. According to them, Sigiriya may be the Alakamandava (City of the Gods) that was built up before 50 centuries ago by King Kubera who was the half-brother of Ravana (Ravan) as described in the Ramayanaya.

According to the Palm Leaf Book (Puskola Potha) of Ravana Watha (about Ravana) the architect of the Sigiriya was a Danava called Maya Danava. He built up Sigiriya on the instructions given by King Visthavasa (Vishravasamuni) the father of Ravana. During that period the Sigiriya was called Alakamandava and during the period of King Kuwera it was called Cithranakuta. After the death of Ravana, Vibeeshana became the king and he shifted the kingdom to Kelaniya. As per this book, Chiththaraja had used Alakamandava as his residence. Chiththaraja was a relation of Vibeeshana and a Patrician of Yakka. It was also stated that Chiththaraja was one of the individuals who helped Prince Pandukabhaya to get the kingship. Parents of Pandukabhaya were descended from the tribe of Chiththaraja.

In addition, Ravana Watha was also described that Prince Kassapa who was the son of King Daathusena has selected the Chithrakuta as his residence due to the fact that her mother was a follower of Yakka belief and also she descended from them. King Kassapa was the only king who did reconstruction and maintained the Chiththakuta as done by the king Ravana. The famous wall paintings in the Chiththakuta (Later Sigiriya) can be treated as displaying about the Sinhala Land i.e. Sri Lanka. The Ravana Watha explains that the picture of blue coloured lady represents the Yakka Tribe and other ladies represent the Tribes of Nāga (Serpentine), Deva (Divine) and Gandabhbha (Celestial Musicians) and the beautiful flowers show the unity of the country.

Historical past.

The environment around the Sigiriya may have been inhabited since prehistoric times. There is clear evidence that the many rock shelters and caves in the vicinity were occupied by Buddhist monks and ascetics from as early as the 3rd century BCE. The earliest evidence of human habitation at Sigiriya is the Aligala rock shelter to the east of Sigiriya rock, indicating that the area was occupied nearly five thousand years ago during the Mesolithic Period.

Buddhist monastic settlements were established during the 3rd century BCE in the western and northern slopes of the boulder-strewn hills surrounding the Sigiriya rock. Several rock shelters or caves were created during this period. These shelters were made under large boulders, with carved drip ledges around the cave mouths. Rock inscriptions are carved near the drip ledges on many of the shelters, recording the donation of the shelters to the Buddhist monastic order as residences. These were made in the period between the 3rd century BCE and the 1st century CE.

In 477 CE, Kashyapa I, the king’s son by a non-royal consort, seized the throne from King Dhatusena, following a coup assisted by Migara, the King’s nephew and army commander. The rightful heir, Moggallana, fearing for his life, fled to South India. Afraid of an attack by Moggallana, Kashyapa moved the capital and his residence from the traditional capital of Anuradhapura to the more secure Sigiriya. During King Kashyapa’s reign (477 to 495 CE), Sigiriya was developed into a complex city and fortress. Most of the elaborate constructions on the rock summit and around it, including defensive structures, palaces, and gardens, date from this period.

The Culavamsa describes King Kashyapa as the son of King Dhatusena. Kashyapa murdered his father by walling him up alive and then usurping the throne which rightfully belonged to his half-brother Moggallana, Dhatusena's son by the true queen. Moggallana fled to India to escape being assassinated by Kashyapa, but vowed revenge. In India he raised an army with the intention of returning and retaking the throne of Sri Lanka, which he considered to be rightfully his. Expecting the inevitable return of Moggallana, Kashyapa is said to have built his palace on the summit of Sigiriya as a fortress as well as a pleasure palace. Moggallana finally arrived, declared war, and defeated Kashyapa in 495 CE. During the battle Kashyapa's armies abandoned him and he committed suicide by falling on his sword.

The Culavamsa and folklore inform us that the battle-elephant on which Kashyapa was mounted changed course to take a strategic advantage, but the army misinterpreted the movement as the king's having opted to retreat, prompting the army to abandon him altogether. It is said that being too proud to surrender he took his dagger from his waistband, cut his throat, raised the dagger proudly, sheathed it, and fell dead. Moggallana returned the capital to Anuradhapura, converting Sigiriya into a Buddhist monastery complex, which survived until the XIII or XIV century. After this period, no records are found on Sigiriya until the XVI and XVII centuries, when it was used briefly as an outpost of the Kingdom of Kandy.

Alternative stories have the primary builder of Sigiriya as King Dhatusena, with Kashyapa finishing the work in honour of his father. Still other stories describe Kashyapa as a playboy king, with Sigiriya his pleasure palace. Even Kashyapa's eventual fate is uncertain. In some versions he is assassinated by poison administered by a concubine; in others he cuts his own throat when deserted in his final battle. Still further interpretations regard the site as the work of a Buddhist community, without a military function. This site may have been important in the competition between the Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist traditions in ancient Sri Lanka.

Sesath or Sesatha attached to Mura Audaya (spear)

Right of center is the traditional ceremonial sunshade and fan - Sesath or Sesatha attached to Mura Audaya (spear). Same colored Sesath is on background of banknote.

Denominations in numerals are in top left and lower right corners, in words - in lower left corner and on top.


2000 Rupees 2005

fresque Sigiriya

Sigiriya fresco, from the VI Century AD, depicting a topless female holding flowers in her hands

"The Sigiriya Ladies: Who were they, why were they painted?

The theories and views on the subject of the paintings may be divided into two broad categories:

firstly they portray human beings, i.e., queens, princesses and maids of the court of Kassapa I (Kashyapa I) (AC 479-497) in a secular or religious milieu (Bell 1897, 14; Wijesekera ND 1943, Raghavan MD 1948; Chutiwongs, Prematilleke, Roland Silva 1990).

Secondly, they depict celestial beings - either semi-divine nymphs known as apsaras, or a class of divine beings, i.e. goddesses (Coomaraswamy 1927; Hocart 1929; Paranavitana 1947; Deraniyagala PEP 1948, Ratnasuriya MD 1950; Mirando AH 1955; de Silva Raja 1990, 2002; Bandaranayake S. 1999)., The majority of interpretations of the second category too are based on the attribution of the paintings to Kassapa." (By former Archaeological Commissioner Dr. Raja De Silva)

Nymphaea nouchali

Left of center is vertical gold band with a repeated lotus motif - stylized Star lotuses - national flowers of Sri-Lanka.

This aquatic plant is native in a broad region from Afghanistan, the Indian subcontinent, to Taiwan, southeast Asia, and Australia. It has been long valued as a garden flower in Thailand and Myanmar to decorate ponds and gardens. In its natural state, N. nouchali is found in static or slow-flowing aquatic habitats of low to moderate depth.

It was also the National flower of the former defunct Hyderabad State. N. nouchali is the national flower of Bangladesh. A pale blue-flowered N. nouchali is the national flower of Sri Lanka, where it is known as nil mānel or nil mahanel (නිල් මානෙල්).

In Sri Lanka, this plant usually grows in buffalo ponds and natural wetlands. Its beautiful aquatic flower has been mentioned in Sanskrit, Pali, and Sinhala literary works since ancient times under the names kuvalaya, indhīwara, niluppala, nilothpala, and nilupul as a symbol of virtue, discipline, and purity. Buddhist lore in Sri Lanka claims that this flower was one of the 108 auspicious signs found on Prince Siddhartha's footprint. It is said that when Buddha died, lotus flowers blossomed everywhere he had walked in his lifetime.

Claire Waight Keller included the plant to represent Sri Lanka in Meghan Markle's wedding veil, which included the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country.

N. nouchali might have been one of the plants eaten by the Lotophagi of Homer's Odyssey.

In the upper left corner is the face value by numeral "2000". Centered are the inscriptions in Sinhala, Tamil and English, "Central Bank of Sri Lanka". At the bottom of the banknote is an inscription - "Two thousand Rupees" in Sinhala, Tamil and English.