Sir James Emerson Tennen, an Irish politician and traveller, was appointed colonial secretary of Ceylon in 1845, where he remained till 1850. His tax policy caused the Matale Rebellion in 1848. Starting in 1850, he published several books about nature and culture of the island.
In his 2 volume book “Ceylon, Physical, Historical and Topographical” (1859) he wrote about his visit to Mihintale in 1950:
“Sigiri is a hill scarped into a fortress; Mihintala a mountain carved into a temple”.
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