The Kat Bitha

Winner of the State Literary Award for Best Novel (1998)

kat bitha book cover

Kat Bitha is a work of historical fiction based on the 5th century rock citadel sigiriya, seen through the eyes of two young boys in 10th century Sri Lanka.

The official story of Sihigiri says that it was built as a rock fortress by the parricide, king kasyapa, to hide away from his brother, who was the legal heir to the throne.

prof. Paranavithana, Sri Lanka's best known archeologist has told a different story of what happened at sigirya. After several years of studying stone inscriptions, he had discovered a set of interlinear inscriptions, written by Anandasthavira, which is said to contain the true story of Sigiri.

One of the young boys, a recently ordained buddhist monk, is travelling from the south of Sri Lanka to Sigiriya in the company of a teacher monk. he meets another young boy who acts as a tour guide for the visitors who come to Sigiriya to see the rock paintings and the palace on the summit.

The Kat Bitha is a wall forming a passage to the summit of Sigiriya, which is made of highly polished plaster, that it is like a mirror. The young boy sees the story of sigiriya through this mirror, as he sits before the wall.

The 10th century life in Sri Lanka has been described as accurately as possible, from available data on ancient inscriptions, literature and archaeological findings.

Kat Bitha. &nbsp &nbsp ISBN 955-96508-1-5

Daya Dissanayake

An electronic version Available as a PDF at the Saadhu's bookstore