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Rituals, Cities and Heterotopia: An Exploratory Study on the Significance of Dalada Perahera to the City Morphology of Kandy, Sri Lanka

Part 2 Dissertation 2021
Santhusha Neligama
City School of Architecture | Sri Lanka
Rituals, Cities and Heterotopia has been researched with the passion and enthusiasm given for the Dalada Perahera, a grand Sri Lankan festival/ritual that has been conducted for the past 1711 years. During the period of this event, it takes the city of Kandy to a different dimension altogether creating a Heterotopia.

The research explores the city in the past during the ritual in comparison to the city in the present context and reveals that the morphological changes taken place are detrimental for the spirit of the spatial transformation. This was explored at a macro level in relation to the cosmic relevance and ritual circumambulation, and at a micro level in relation to the experiential quality and the permeability of the built morphology towards the event. Thus
generating the key factors for the notion of a heterotopia.

The above was studied via literature evidences, pictorial comparisons, mapping and interviews. The analysis reveals that the direct links between the event and the host city are weak. The hierarchy of the city morphology acts as a driving force for the perahera. Hence, reviving it towards supporting the spatial transformation has been a point to consider for the City Development Plan of Kandy.

Santhusha Neligama

Tutor(s)
Rashika Abeyawardana
Ranjith Alahakoon
Chaminda Munasinghe
Jeewanthi Senadheera
Tanya Wickramasinghe
2021
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