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Gampaha is a major city in Gampaha District, Western Province, Sri Lanka. It is situated to the north-east of the capital Colombo. It is the sixth largest urban area in Western Province, after Colombo, Negombo, Kalutara, Panadura and Avissawella. Gampaha is also the second largest urban centre in Gampaha district, after Negombo. According to the facts of central index prepared by urban development authority (UDA), Gampaha develops around 95% although the population is less than in Negombo. Gampaha has a land area of 25.8 hectares and is home to the offices of 75 government institutions.NamesakeThe name "Gampaha" in Sinhala (ගම්පහ) literally means “Five Villages”. The five villages are known to be Ihalagama, Pahalagama, Medagama, Pattiyagama and Aluthgama. However, at present the location of Pattiyagama can no longer be identified within the town limits of Gampaha and remains disputed. Gampaha was also formerly known as Henarathgoda.HistoryDuring reign of Portuguese, the main route to the hill country had been laid through the Gampaha area and in the period of Dutch, this area was served as centre for the collection of cinnamon. But before year 1815, it is said that Gampaha was a dense forest. The 5th Governor of Ceylon, Sir Edward Barnes made a visit to Gampaha in 1825, on the way to observe the construction work of the Negombo-Colombo main road. When British built the “Moragoda” catholic church in 1828, Gampaha and surrounding areas slowly became inhabited. Gampaha is in Western Province. Make the most of your holiday in Gampaha by finding out about its attractions and choosing what to see using our Sri Lanka vacation planner.
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