Nalanda College, Colombo

For other uses, see Nalanda College.
Nalanda College Colombo
නාලන්දා විද්‍යාලය, කොළඹ

"අපදාන ශෝභිණී පඤ්ඤා"
Aapadana Sobhini Pangna
"Character Illumines Wisdom"
‍"යහපත් චරිතයෙන් ප්‍රඥාව ඔපනැංවේ"
Sri Lanka
Type National School
Established 1 November 1925
Founder Patrick de Silva Kularatne
Principal Ranjith Jayasundara
Grades Class 1 - 13
Gender Boys
Enrollment 5,000
Colour(s) Maroon and Silver         
Affiliation Buddhist
Alumnus Old Nalandians

Nalanda College Colombo[1][2][3][3][4] (Sinhala:නාලන්දා විද්‍යාලය, කොළඹ) is a public Buddhist national school in Colombo, Sri Lanka which is controlled by the central government. The School was established by Mr. P. de S. Kularatne as an offshoot of Ananda College Colombo and was registered as a separate school on 1 November 1925.[5]


Main Entrance to College

In 1922 a section of Ananda College was moved to Campbell Place, Colombo on a proposal made by Mr P. de. S. Kularathna (Patrick de Silva Kularatne), a leading Buddhist Educationist of the time. Mr L. H. Methananda was placed as Principal of this institution which was called as Ananda branch. Mr.W..E. Fernando was the Head master and Most Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Therea became its first Buddhist teacher.

Nalanda College Oldest Buildings

In 1924. Mr P. de. S. Kularathna has spent Rs. 5,500/= to purchase a quarter acre of land close to the Campbell place playground and built 16 class rooms for the new school. Governor Gregory Thompson laid the foundation stone for a building to have 16 class rooms. Out of 16 class rooms he has used two rooms for the Principals office and staff members another two rooms for the Laboratories and balance 12 rooms for the classes. Three Hundred and thirty students of Ananda were transferred under Mr L. H. Mettananda in 1924.

Malalasekara Theatre

Mr S Kularathna was the Chief person in all these activities was instrumental in getting the institution registered as a separate school on 1 November 1924. The new school was given its motto Apadana Sobhini Panna , and the school name NALANDA also proposed by Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero . The English and the Sinhala versions are Character Illumines Wisdom and Yahapath Charithayen Praggnawa Opanangwe respectively. Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thera has selected this motto from the "Anguttara Nikaya, Tika Nipatha, Bala Waggo Lakkana Sutta.

Thakshila Building

On 1 January 1926 Mr Kularathna has appointed Dr. Gunapala Mallasekara as Principal of the Nalanda College and transferred Mr. L.H. Metthanada to Ananda College as Vice Principal. Nalanda was fortunate in having its second principal the renowned scholar Prof. Gunapala Malasekera (Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera). Later Prof Gunapala Malasekara set about his duties with much enthusiasm and launched several projects. He made plans for the collection of funds for the construction of buildings, later commenced a bulletin titled "NALANDA". Also arranged 15 minutes Buddhist talk at the daily students assembly and took many steps to promote the Buddhist environment in the school.

Mr P. de S. Kularathna has laid the foundation stone for second building on 30 March 1926. End of 1926 Nalanda students were increased to 550. Later he has borrowed money from Anagarika Dharmapala. to purchase a land for primary section which was settled by Dr. Gunapala Mallasekara. The College student assembly hall is named Malalasekara Theatre after him.


Language Laboratory

The college is equipped with facilities such as science and computer laboratories, lecture halls, auditoriums, hostels, etc., including Malalasekara Theatre.[6][7] The main medium of education at Nalanda is Sinhala while students have the option to select English from year seven onwards.[8] Nalandians have excelled academically, achieving high grades at Ordinary Level and Advanced Level exams and also in sports.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

Swimming Pool

In 2011 Nalandian students won First Place in the world at the Oracle Thinkquest Application Development and First place for International Students Biotechnology Competition and the 14th International Convention on Students Quality Control Circles, held in Lucknow, India.[21][22][23][24][25] Students of Nalanda College Colombo also have excelled in research activities.[26][27][28][29][30]


At Nalanda College Colombo there are many endowed prizes and awards to felicitate its students who achieve immensely in education, sports and other extracurricular activities. Felicitation ceremonies are conducted each year.[31][32][33][34]

Award recipients include: Kala Keerthi Dr Henry Jayasena, President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa, Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara, Dr Sarath Gunapala, Professor Chandana Jayarathne, Kuppiyawatta Bodhananda Thera, Dr Gunadasa Amarasekara, Professor Pathmajeewa Ganepola, Professor K. N. O. Dharmadasa, Air Marshal Gagan Bulathsinghala, Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy.

Clubs and societies

  • Aeronautical Society[40]
  • Adventure Club
  • Astronomical Society
  • Amadhyapa Sangamaya
  • Agriculture Society
  • Archaeological Society
  • Buddhist Association[41]
  • Cinema Club
  • Communication Unit[42]
  • Computer Society[43]
  • Commerce Society[44][45]
  • Dancing Circle[46]

  • Drama Society
  • English Debating Society[47]
  • English Literary Association
  • English Drama Circle[48]
  • Environmental Society
  • Health Club
  • Interact Club[49]
  • Leo Club[50]
  • Life Saving Club[51][52]
  • Paranormal Investigation and Research Club[53]
  • Prefects Guild[54][55]
  • Photographic & Art Society[56]

  • Quiz Club
  • Road Safety Unit
  • Science Society[57]
  • Scouts Troop[58]
  • Shakespeare Drama Society
  • Social Services Association
  • Sinhala Literary & Art Society
  • Sinhala Oratory & Debating Society
  • Saukyadana Unit
  • United Nations Club
  • Western Music Association[59]
  • Wild Life & Environmental Conservation Society


Nalanda College occupy a playground at Campbell Place,[60][61][62] a modern sports complex,[63][64] a modern squash court,[65][66] swimming pool,[67] shooting range[68] and other sports facilities.[69]

Battle of the Maroons

Main article: Ananda-Nalanda

Ananda – Nalanda (Ananda versus Nalanda cricket match) is played between Ananda College, Colombo and Nalanda College Colombo since 1924. Over the years Nalanda College has produced many world famous cricketers such as Bandula Warnapura, Roshan Mahanama, Kumar Dharmasena, Mahela Jayawardena.


Name From To
L. H. Meththananda[100]
Prof. Gunapala Malalasekara
G. K. W. Perera
J. N. Jinendradasa
D. C. Lowris
M. de S. Jayarathne
M. W. Karunananda
K. M. W. Kuruppu
D. J. Edirisinghe
Gunapala Wickramaratne
Sugunadasa Athukorala
Dharma Gunasinghe
D. G. Sumanasekera
Edward Ranasinghe
Hemantha Premathilaka
Ranjith Jayasundara
to date

Notable teachers

Nalanda College had notable teachers in tutorial staff in the likes of: Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayake Thero, S. Mahinda, Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, Edward Jayakody, Premasara Epasinghe, Siri Perera


Past students who have studied at Nalanda College Colombo are referred to as Old Nalandians. The school has produced some distinguished figures in the caliber of: Former President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa, Maithripala Senanayake, I. M. R. A. Iriyagolla, M.D Banda, Wilfred Senanayake, Deshabandu Dr Hudson Silva (Founder of Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society), Piyadassi Maha Thera, M. J. Perera (First Ceylonese Director General of Radio Ceylon), B. D. Rampala (First Sri Lankan Chief Mechanical Engineer Sri Lanka Railways), Professor Abhaya Induruwa (Pioneer of academic Internet in Sri Lanka), Dr Vajiranath Lakshman De Silva (Founder of Saukyadana Movement of Sri Lanka), Karunaratne Abeysekera (world's first cricket commentator in Sinhala language)

War Memorial and remembrance

Each year students and alumni commemorate the loss of 41 brave alumni who died in the Sri Lankan civil war.[101][102][103][104] A war memorial is situated between the main oldest buildings of the college.[105]

Nalanda College Junior Old Boys Association

Main articles: Future Minds and Nalanda Walk

The Association is the alumni association for the college. Its objective is to enhance the interests of the College, past students and present students by maintaining relationships among alumni and with their alma mater. Each year the union organises many events such as Future Minds, Nalanda Walk, Olcott Memorial old boys cricket tourney, Ranaviru Upahara, etc.[106][107][108]

See also


  3. 1 2 G 498 Gazette Extraodinary of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Election) 1.p65
  4. "News".
  5. "History of Nalanda". Nalanda College Colombo.
  6. "Programme to make Nalanda College the most beautiful school in the island". The Sunday Times. 27 June 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  7. "President commends Sri Lankan expats". Ministry of External Affairs Sri Lanka. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  8. "Nalanda Facts". 6 February 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  9. "Only half qualify for A/L". Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  10. "A cut above the rest". Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  11. "Best A/L students get excellence awards". Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  12. "Raveen tops Bio stream". 1 February 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  13. "Four students who came Island first at A' Levels". Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  14. "President With A/L Stars". Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  15. Hiran (29 September 2008). "Gold medalists of the 2008 Sri Lankan Biology Olympiad". Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  16. "World record-holder Mahanama Observer Schoolboy Cricketer in 1983 and 1984". 6 April 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  17. "Cricket's gentle giant". Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  18. "'Gura'". Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  19. "GCE O/L Stars Island's first wants to be an engineer". Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  20. "Student ranked country's 1st in GCE O/L Exam visits News1st Centre". Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  21. "Nalandians win two international competitions". 11 September 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  22. "Lankan students take top honours: Think Quest International Competition". 12 July 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  23. "Nalanda students shine at ThinkQuest competition". 15 October 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  24. "Nalandians win coveted ThinkQuest World Championship in San Francisco". 12 October 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  25. "'Application Development'-Nalanda College best in the world". 11 July 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  26. "Cancer cure breakthrough by Nalanda student". Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  27. "Cancer repellent in Ceylon Tea". Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  28. "Nalanda student finds cure for Leukemia from green tea". Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  29. International achievers of Nalanda to be honoured
  30. "Nalandians Rakitha and Rananjaya win Gold at ISPRO 2015".
  31. Host of activities mark Nalanda's 90th anniversary
  32. Annual Prize Giving
  33. International Awarding Ceremony
  34. Annual Prize Giving 2014
  35. Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara nominated for Nalanda Keerthi Sri 2010
  36. Nalanda Keerthi Sri Award for Prime Minister
  37. Nalanda Keerthi Sri
  38. Air Force Commander receives 'Nalanda Keerthi Sri 2015" Award
  39. Nalandians’ Tribute to the Commander of the Air Force
  40. "Geared for take off".
  41. "Nalanda College Buddhist Association Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  42. "Nalanda College Communication Unit Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  43. "Nalanda College Computer Society Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  44. "Nalanda College bags CA Sri Lanka Challenge Trophy at the Royal College Quiz Competition".
  45. "Nalanda College Commerce Society Committee Video".
  46. "Sambhasha (Media Day)".
  47. "Raveen tops Bio stream".
  48. "The making of Alan".
  49. "Nalanda College Interact Club Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  50. "Leo Club of Nalanda College".
  51. "Nalandian saves student from drowning in Tissa Wewa".
  52. "Nalanda lifesavers honoured".
  53. "Paranormal Investigation and Research Club Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  54. "New Board of Prefects' Guild".
  55. "Nalanda College Junior Prefects' Guild Secretariat".
  56. "Photographic & Art Society Official Site". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  57. "Nalanda College Science Society".
  58. "32nd Colombo Nalanda College Scout Troop Official Site". Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  59. "Western Music Association of Nalanda College".
  60. "Ananda and Nalanda–A symbol of Sri Lankan Cricket". Asian Tribune. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  61. "Fresher - laden Nalanda has tough job against Ananda". Sunday Observer. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  62. "President commends Sri Lankan expats". Dailynews. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  63. "Captain Cool?". Daily FT. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  64. "President commends Sri Lankan expats". Dailynews. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  65. "New squash court for Nalanda". Dailynews. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  66. "Nalanda to popularise squash among schools". Sunday Observer. 28 November 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  67. "Nalanda College Swimming Pool". Wikimapia. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  68. "Rifle shooting hits schools at last". Sunday Times. 27 November 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  69. "The school playground opening". NJOBA. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  70. A lad for all seasons
  71. "Easy target".
  72. Nalanda junior archers champs
  73. "Feature: Archery – Getting closer to the target : Mirror Sports".
  74. "Badminton at Nalanda". 7 June 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  75. "Nalanda – the best shuttlers".
  76. "Baseball at Nalanda". 7 June 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  77. ""i want to study " - Baseball star". Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  78. "Nalanda wins U-17 Baseball C'ship".
  79. "Security Check Required".
  80. Senal Warnakula. "Education Times - Character illuminates wisdom at Nalanda".
  81. NTC parade ends on high note
  82. "Security Check Required".
  83. Girls High School, Nalanda win senior chess titles
  84. "The Sunday Leader Online".
  85. "The Island".
  86. Nalanda and Vijaya college are joint champs
  87. "Rugby Football at Nalanda". 1 May 2006. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  88. "Security Check Required".
  89. "Rifle shooting hits schools at last".
  90. "Nalanda and Devi Balika on top".
  91. Dharmaraja Invitation Soccer Tournament starts today
  92. Inaugural squash tourney at Nalanda
  93. Nalanda to popularise squash among schools
  94. Nalanda College. "Nalanda College, Colombo, Sri Lanka - Swimming Pool". Nalanda College, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  95. Nalanda swim through to claim Triangular title
  96. St. Peter’s dominate the school tennis scene again
  97. Thimira turns draws into wins
  98. "DS Senanayaka College win Gratien Gunawardena Challenge Trophy". Dailynews.
  99. "Security Check Required".
  100. Principals of Nalanda
  101. Ranaviru Upahara at Nalanda College by Sarath MALALASEKERA
  102. Nalanda Ranaviru Upahara Ulela
  103. Administrator. "Ranaviru Upahara Highlights". Nalanda Junior Old Boys Association.
  104. Administrator. "Ranaviru Upahara 2011". Nalanda Junior Old Boys Association.
  105. Administrator. "Ranaviru Upahara Highlights". Nalanda Junior Old Boys Association.
  106. Olcott Memorial old boys cricket tourney by Upananda Jayasundera
  107. Carnival to raise funds for Nalanda sports complex by Asanga Warnakulasuriya
  108. "Nalanda Walk 2014 - Facebook".

Coordinates: 6°55′20″N 79°52′29″E / 6.92222°N 79.87472°E / 6.92222; 79.87472

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