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POLONNARUWA; A fabulous capital of ancient SriLanka

History :

Polonnaruwa is the second capital of SriLanka. Ancient kings who ruled the kingdom Anuradhapura; developed Polonnaruwa as suburb, because Polonnaruwa was rich of facilities of utilizing water and had a fertile soil suited for paddy cultivation. When considering about the safety of the kingdom, Polonnaruwa was situated on a very specific location.

 In 10-11 centuries Soli-pandyan conflicts were started in South India. Solis had the victory and  in 993 A.D. Anuradhapura was invaded by them. Then the capital was shifted to Polonnaruwa. Their reign was continued all over 70 years and due to their ruling system, agricultural economic system was destroyed.

Polonnaruwa was rescued from Soli reign by king Maha Vijayabahu (1055-1110 A.D.) The country was united and all the destroyed irrigation projects were recovered by king Maha Vijayabahu. His ruling subjected to a religious and economical development. King Maha Parakramabahu (1153-1186 A.D.) continued the successful ruling of king Maha Vijayabahu and appointed the country for the apex of the ladder of development. King Nissankamalla (1187-1196 A.D.) also supported for the well-being of the kingdom and the country. But after his reign, economic and administrative collapse occurred due to unsuccessful ruling of weak kings. Kalingamagha (1214 A.D.) made the advantage of this situation and invaded the kingdom and destroyed it. Then the kingdom was shifted to the South-West side of the country and Polonnaruwa covered by the wood. The ruins were revealed and conserved by archeological department during British era. And that process is continuing by Central Cultural Fund. Today Polonnaruwa is nominated as a world heritage city.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  • Pothgul Viharaya                                                                                                                          

It is considered that the Pothgul Viharaya was made by king Parakramabahu and reconstructed by queen Chandravathie. Viharaya was consisted of 4 flats. The building that had constructed with a circular planning at the quadrangular upper flat is the most important character in this place. It was totally built by bricks. 4 sub pagodas can be seen around that pagoda. Evidences were revealed about having wall paintings inside. The door of main entrance is at east. The rocky door frame situated at the front of the construction is a marvelous creature. The buildings situated around are considered as the chambers of monks.                                                                                                                                                                                    

  • The rocky statue                                                                                                                           

The rocky statue is carved on the rock near the Pothgul Viharaya. Its height is nearly around 11 feet and 6 inches. The image carved in the statue isn’t identified yet. But the common recognition is it to be a statue of king Parakramabahu. Ornaments weren’t carved in the statue and an object is held in hands. So many folklores are about that object which isn’t sill recognized. This can be identified as a classical creature among the statues within SriLanka.

  • The tank of Parakrama Samudraya

The tank of Parakrama Samudraya is a unique irrigation construction of king Parakramabahu which reveals the magnificent irrigation knowledge of ancient Sinhalese. It isn’t a one tank, it’s a complex of tanks. The tanks of Thopa, Eramudu, Dumbuthulu, Kalahagala and Bhu belong to that complex. The importance of this massive irrigation scheme is it’s completely done by human hands. The length of current dam of the tank is nearly around 8.5 miles, height is 40 feet , depth is 25 feet.                 

  • The garden of Deepa/ Deepa Uyana

The land next to the tank of Parakrama Samudraya which is full of ruins is identified as Deepa Uyana. King Nissankamalla had built several constructions in this garden. Dual sluice can be seen in here.                                                                                                                                                                                

  • Nissankamalla Rajasabhawa/ Nissankamalla Council

Nissankamalla Council is around 133 feet in length and 63 feet in width. It consists of 3 planes. Outer walls seem to be decorated with the figure carvings of lions and tuskers. 4 rows consist of 12 stone pillars can be seen on the platform in a line. Roof seems to be made up of wood. Nissankamalla Council owns a specific importance due to the notified order of the sittings of the bureaucrats. Seats were arranged at the base of high pillars. The proud lion statue is notified as the heroic throne. Square stone seat is identified as the seat of the sub-king.                                                                                                 

  • Palace of Parakumba

The palace of Parakumba was built on a quadrangular area having a length and width of 150 feet. It      is considered the palace had 7 flats. So that, it was named as “Sathbumupaya”. And as it was filled with all fame and glory as Shakra Bhawana, so thatit is named as “Waijayanthi Prasadhaya”.  Still ruins of 3 flats of this construction can be seen. Ruins of an escalator done with stones which was used to reach for the upper flat can be identified. It is mentioned that the palace consisted of thousand chambers. Melted bricks supply evidences for burning down the palace by Kalingamaga. It is mentioned this palace as the only ancient palace where huge number of ruins still can be seen.                     

  • Parakumba Rajasabhawa/ Parakumba Council

The glorious council of king Parakumba is named as Raja Waishyabhujanga Mandapaya. It consists of 3 flats. 75 feet in length and 33 feet in width. A row of carvings of tuskers in moving postures can be seen in the lower flat. The second flat is decorated with a row of carvings of august lions and the third flat is decorated with pygmy carvings. 4 rows with 12 stone pillars decorated with festoons can be seen in one line at the flat. On those pillars there was a roof done with wood. The base of the stair case is decorated with two moonstones. And two balustrades were used at the two sides of the staircase as a decoration. At the end, two sitting lion statues can be seen.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

  • Kumara Pokuna(Pond) / Shila Pokkharani    

Kumara Pokuna where royalists used to bathe was situated in Nandana Uyana (Garden) beyond the wall. It was created as protruding the center aspect front. The beauty of the pond increases due to the fabulous rocky architraves. Circular lotus is in the middle. Statue of a tusker is on it. Water supply is from the lake near by. Water supplied to the pond by using two dragon mouth shaped pipelines started from the lake. At the end of the pipelines sprinklers were fixed. A sluice done with stones is used to remove dirty water. Ruins of a changing spot and a latrine can be seen near by.

  • Shiva Devale – No.1

According to the archeological facts Shiva Devale seems to be built by Soli rulers. It is built using well prepared granite blocks. Hence plaster wasn’t wanted. This is made according to kovil tradition. Roof was made up of bricks.

  • Watadageya

So many sacred constructions are there in the compound of the Temple of Tooth Relic. Among them Watadageya takes a special place. Watadageya is a circular edifice of relic. It is consisted of two flats. At the base of the door entrance for the upper flat, moonstone guard stones and balustrades. Padoda is on the middle. 4 Samadhi statues of Buddha can be seen turning back to the pagoda and facing the entrances. The wall in the middle was decorated with the carvings of Binara flower. Three rows of stone pillars which were used to bear up the roof can be identified. The most fabulous guard stones that can be seen in Polonnaruwa are in the eastern entrance of the Watadageya.                             

  • Thuparamaya

Thuparamaya is a joss house with a length of 84 feet and 6 inch and width of 52 feet and 2 inch. The thickness of the walls is around 7 feet. It seems the presence of a Samadhi statue of Buddha in the core. Two lintels are there. It is said that the light enters through the eastern lintel touches the eyes of the gem embedded statue and lighten the shrine. The entrance has a shape of horse-shoe. Narrow stair case is there to enter the upper flat.                                                                                                                       

  • Nissanka Latha Mandapaya

It is a marvelous construction done by king Nissankamalla. It is an audience hall used to listen for Pirith. It is with a length of 34 feet and 8 inch and width of 28 feet and 8 inch. A stone lattice is running around the construction. At eastern side a door with a roof can be seen. A small pagoda is on the middle of the stage. 8 monoliths which were folded rhythmically and had an uncommon shape can be seen in three places of the stage. Head of the pillars has a shape of blossomed lotus. Roof must be done with wood.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

  • Atadageya

Atadageya is the Temple of Tooth Relic made by king Vijayabahu with two flats. It is with a length of 75 feet and width of 45 feet. Upper compound was allocated for Tooth relic and Bowl relic. Shrine is in the lower compound. Inside of it two stood statues of Buddha can be seen. Around 54 stone pillars with a height of 8 feet are there inside the construction. Front pillars were decorated with carvings of festoons. A moonstone can be found. At the left side of the building Velakkara epigraph can be found.

  • Hetadageya

Hetadageya is the Temple of Tooth Relic made by king Nissankamalla with two flats. It is with a length of 120 feet and width of 90 feet. Upper compound was allocated for Tooth relic and Bowl relic. Shrine is in the lower compound. Three sitting statues of Buddha in Abhaya Mudra can be found here. Walls were done with stones. Roof must be done with wood. A wall is around the construction. This is the only building where Punkalas(vases) can be seen front.

  • Epigraph of Galpotha

This is the biggest epigraph found in SriLanka. Made by king Nissankamalla. It is with a length of 26 feet and 10 inch and width of 4 feet and 6 inch. This is known as a book as it was divided in to three parts. About 4300 letters can be identified on it. It is mentioned that the rock was brought from Mihinthalaya. At the end of the board, two rows of swans nearly with 200 of them moving from left to right can be seen. This was consisted of the information about king Nissankamalla and his functions.

  • Sath Mahal Paya  

Sath Mahal Paya is a construction with an uncommon shape and nearly around 30 feet in height. Length of one side is around 32 feet and 2 inch. It consists of 7 flats regularly being small in size when considering lower to upper. At the left corner a stair case used to climb up can be seen. 4 doors are there with arch.

  • Pabalu Vehera 

Huge number of beads were found during the excavations done in this pagoda. So that it is named as Pabalu Vehera. This pagoda owns a specific shape. Pagoda seems as two flats. Moonstone, balustrades and guard stones can be found here. Nine joss houses can be found around pagoda. Statues of Buddha were deposited in those.

  • Shiva Devale –  No 2

Built at the beginning of Soli reign. Devale was built with granite and its height is around 31 feet and 9 inch. Walls were decorated with moulding carvings. At the 4 corners of the Devale; Nandhi cattle images can be identified. 

  • Rankoth Vehera

The pagoda with a pinnacle done with gold is called as Rankoth Vehera. Height is around 200 feet. Circumference is around 550 feet. The square of the pagoda was decorated by cycles which demonstrate the sun. vestibules can be seen in four corners. Fabulous doors can be seen in four directions for the entering to the compound.

  • Ancient Hospital

This hospital was made by king Parakramabahu for the usage of monks. Construction is with 2 parts. Two compounds can be seen. Medicine gardens can be seen near by. By the excavations done in here; scissors, knives, operating tools, weighing balances, milling stones were found.

  • Lankathilaka Viharaya

This is the most enormous and fabulous joss house made by king Parakramabahu. According to chronicles it was consisted of 5 flats. Its august increased due to the pillars in two sides. Length of the construction is 124 feet and the width is 66 feet. The height of the statue within the construction is around 41 feet. A walking compound can be seen back to the statue. Inner walls were decorated by paintings.

  • Gal Viharaya

This is known as Uththraaramaya too. Made by king Parakramabahu. Four statues of Buddha were carved in a rock with a length of 180 feet and height of 30 feet. Two of them are Samadhi statues. One is a stood statue. And the rest one is a statue of passing away. This temple is the most adorable and attractive temple situated in Polonnaruwa.

  • Samadhi Statue

The statue was done in the posture of Padmasanaya. Height of the statue is about 16 feet. A pandal was done back to the statue to develop its sacred.

  • Demala Maha Seya

This is the biggest pagoda found in Polonnaruwa. Circumference is about 1500 feet. Consisted of two flats.

  • Nelum Pokuna

Nelum Pokuna is an adorable pond. When it is fully filled with water, it looks like a blossomed lotus. It is built as 8 petals which are going tiny from top to bottom. Its depth is about 4 feet and 6 inch.

  • Thiwanka Pilima Geya

This is a temple done by king Parakramabahu. A stood statue with a height of 35 feet can be found here. It consisted of two flats. The specific feature in here is conserved paintings related to Polonnaruwa era. And also this can be known as a museum of art.    

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ආබාදිත රණවිරුවන් පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට

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පසුගිය 07 වනදා කොළඹ – කොල්ලූපිටිය ප්‍රදේශයේදී කිසියම් පිරිසක් තමන්ට පහරදුන් බව පවසමින් ආබාධිත රණවිරුවෙකු කොළඹ ජාතික රෝහලට ඇතුළත් වී තිබුණා. ඒ කොටුව දුම්රියපොළ ඉදිරිපිටදී පසුගියදා පැවති ආබාධිත රණවිරුවන්ගේ සත්‍යග්‍රහයට සහබාගී වී සිටි ආභාදිත රණවිරුවෙක්.

එම සිද්ධිය සම්බන්ධයෙන් දිවි පිදූ හා ආබාධිත රණවිරු සංවිධානය අද පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට පැමිණිල්ලක් ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇත.

එහි කැඳවුම්කරු නිශාන්ත මහිරාජ් කියා සිටියේ එම පහරදීමේ සිද්ධිය පිළිබඳව ජනාධිපති ලේකම් කාර්යාලය සහ මැතිවරණ කොමිසමද දැනුවත් කිරීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වන බවයි.

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Yapahuwa

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YAPAHUWA : An ancient kingdom of royal majesty

Location:

Yapahuwa is an ancient kingdom of SriLanka that had used to rule the country after the breaking down of kingdom Dhambadeniya. The city of Yapahuwa belongs to North Western province of SriLanka. Nearly Yapahuwa is located in between Kurunegala and Anuradhapura districts. It’s a fortress with a height nearly around 90 meters.

Climate:

Temp – 32 C

Wind – NE at 19 km/h

Humidity – 46%

History of Yapahuwa:

Yapahuwa was an ancient SriLankan kingdom established at the era of (1272-1300)A.D. Nearly around 1270 A.D. with the death of king  Parakramabahu the Second; his son prince Vijayabahu owned the throne. He was famous as Vijayabahu the Fourth and as Bosath Vijayabahu. His reign was limited just for 2 years as he was assassinated due to a rose inter-palace military collusion. After that prince Bhuwanekabahu; the brother of king Vijayabahu crushed the cabal and started his reign in 1272 A.D. He was known as Bhuwanekabahu the First. He can be identified as a victorious king. During the commencement of his reign, he had to face for several foreign attacks. Those attackers were defeated by the king and a decision was made to shift the kingdom to Yapahuwa for further more protection. Bhuwanekabahu the First was keen about mercantile dealings with foreign countries. Around 1284 A.D. he was passed away. After his death; his son Bhuwanekabahu the Second and prince Parakramabahu who was the son of that mentioned king Bosath Vijayabahu had a conflict upon the throne. During this session, A South Indian attacker made the advantage of this conflict and stole the sacred Tooth Relic and fled to India.

After that, prince Parakramabahu moved to India and after making several discussions he came back with the stolen Tooth Relic. He made Polonnaruwa as his kingdom after his arrival from India. Then the kingdom was attacked by prince Bhuwanekabahu the Second and king Parakramabahu was defeated. So that, prince Bhuwanekabahu the Second carried the Tooth Relic to Kurunegala making kingdom there. This remains the end of a legendary kingdom, Yapahuwa.

Facts that make Yapahuwa so eye catching:

Yapahuwa is an ancient rock fortress with external city planning. Still its ruins are available to supply evidences for ancient majesty. This massive creature can be identified as the most inaccessible ancient fortress. Highly warranted defensive system used there is its speciality for receiving that identity. Examples for synchronous city constructions specialized for that era can be recognized at the base of the Yapahuwa rock and over the South and South West sides of the rock.

  • Ruins and Ramparts

When observing the land scape centering the rock, ruins of 3 ramparts can be identified. Those were to be powerful defensive structures used in that era. The area beyond  ramparts can be known as a defensed area which is filled with ruins of ancient buildings. Those ruins are supposed as important city constructions established years ago.

  • Remains of royal residence

Among the ruins of city constructions, a building with a portico can be identified. It is supposed as the palace of royal majesty. At two sides of the palace, ruins of stair cases still remain. Over the both sides of stair cases, walls with a lower height were constructed. On walls, moulding carvings were printed as spreading from bottom to top of the wall. That majesty confirms that construction as the palace of the kingdom.

  • Ruined Temple of Tooth Relic

Another city construction is suggested as the building of a former temple of Tooth Relic. It consists of two aspects as Cottage and Altar. Bricks and stones were used in constructing this creature. Hence, ruins of some aspects of the construction still remain to reveal ancient intuition.

At the door entrances of this building; door frames with gorgeous carvings can be caught. “Makara Thorana”, an arch/gate way full of marvelous carvings also another unbelievable construction that must be admirable.

When considering the era of this constructions, the rocky windows made up with lintels multiple the curiosity of visitors.

And the carvings on the rocky wall around the temple of Tooth Relic occupy another specific significance while revealing archeological importance of Yapahuwa. Among those carvings, dramatical postures of musicians, traditional dancers, drum beaters etc. who walk on a procession still attract visitors eye.

  • Sculptures

Two sculptures of a lion which multiple the archeological value of Yapahuwa,

positioned in between both stair cases mentioned. The skills used in those constructions reveal the relationship between SriLankan and South Indian skills.

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SIGIRIYA

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SIGIRIYA – The Lion’s Rock ;Massive creature of ancient lions

Location :  

        Sigiriya is one of the UNESCO listed world heritage sites situated in Sri Lanka. It is an ancient rock fortress that has subjected to so many chronicles running around Sri Lankan history. It is located in Mathale District, in Central Province of Sri Lanka.

Climate :  

                 Weather: temp.- 24 c

                                   Wind E at 11 km/h

                                   Humidity – 82%

History :

                The name Sigiriya refers to a site full of historical and archeological significance. The roots of the history of this massive creature run upon the era of king Ravana who ruled the country before the arrival of Aryans. According to those ancient sources, Sigiriya is identified as “The city of gods” which was built by the father of king Ravana. In that era Sigiriya was named as “Chithranakuta”. After the death of king Ravana, Vibeeshana owned the throne and became as the king. Then he shifted his kingdom from Sigiriya to Kelaniya. After that, nearly around 3rd century ; Sigiriya was a sacred place for Buddhist monastic settlements. Hence, Buddhist monastic establishments were happened centering Sigiriya.

                 Addition to that, nearly around 477 CE the prince Kashyapa ; a son of king Dhathusena who wasn’t owned throne legally assassinated the king. The prince Moggallana ; brother of Kashyapa was the rightful heir of the throne. He fled to India to escape being assassinated by Kashyapa. King Kashyapa was doubt minded about the revenge of Moggallana. Hence, he wanted a most secure place to shift his kingdom. Then he moved his capital and residence from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya for his prevention. In that case, he made Sigiriya to a powerful fortress and a complex city. Palace, gardens and another defensive structures were some aspects that helped him to be success in the process of supplying novel sketch for this natural rock.

 Significance of the creatures in Sigiriya

                    Sigiriya is an enormous column of rock nearly with a height of 200 meters(660ft). King Kashyapa owns the gratitude for converting this rock in to an attractive creature with a palace on the rock summit. And the sides of this palace were decorated with world famous colourful “Frescoes”. The most attractive significance regarding this place is its gate way. Entrance to this marvelous creature should be done through an enormous structure of a lion carved by the natural rock. Hence its name has been originated as Sinhagiri(The lions rock). Today we call it as Sigiriya as a breaking word from its ancient name. “The mirror wall” also another aspect of Sigiriya which exposes the feelings of ancient visitors. It contains ancient letters and verses written by ancient people of the kingdom. And the gardens which were maintained to carry on the beauty of the palace also play an important role while talking about Sigiriya. Those physical creatures multiple the value of Sigiriya in thousand times.

  • Frescoes

               Frescoes are the colourful paintings that lie on the western face of the rock. Those are painting sketches of beautiful ladies. Here used painting skills and styles differ from Anuradhapura era paintings. About 500 ladies can be recognized while observing these paintings. They were known as escort of the king waiting for religious observances.  Anyhow, those paintings always capable of catching visitors’ eyes towards them. Combination of colours is in an expert manner in those frescoes. It is discovered a close relationship within frescoes and paintings of Ajantha caves in India.

  • Mirror Wall

               Mirror wall is made up of bricks and covered in highly polished white plaster. This wall is partially covered by graffiti written by ancient strange visitors of Sigiriya. History of those written verses run backward nearly for 8th century. Mirror wall points out feelings of those visitors such as love, irony, sorrow and their experiences too. Nowadays it is prohibited to write on mirror wall for the protection of old writings. This mirror wall supplies a massive aid to observe the social status of the livings of that era.

  • Gardens

                Water gardens, boulder gardens and terraced gardens can be discovered in Sigiriya premises. That water gardens were created according to a hydraulic system consisting hidden waterways, channels, pools and lakes. Nowadays whole world wonder about the technology used in constructing this water gardens and plans of cool palaces can be identified next to water gardens. Boulder garden complex consists of royal pavilions, resting places made up of rocks.   

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