Atadage at Polonnaruwa (පොලොන්නරුව අටදාගේ)

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Atadage Dalada Maligaya is the house of the tooth relic of Buddha built by King Vijayabahu I (1070-1110). This building is built on 54 stone pillars. The tooth relic has been kept on the second floor probably made out of wood. The access to the second floor is through a staircase. A few stone steps still remain of this staircase which led to the upper chamber of the building. There are three Buddha statues at the bottom and only the center one remains today.

Also, this is thought to be the only surviving building of King Vijayabahu I. “Ata” in Atadage means eight. In this case, this building would have been called by this name probably because of it housed eight relics including the main tooth relic, or because it was completed in eight days. It is possible that this was built in eight days as there are indications that this building has used parts of other buildings in the Anuradhapura era. The moonstone is a good example. This has been brought from Anuradhapura to be placed here.

The “Velikkara” inscription stone on the left of this building is of significance. This is written in Tamil language and explains that the protection of the tooth relic was done by a hired Tamil army and not by the Sinhalese.

There are six finely carved stone pillars at the entrance hall.


  1. Maldeniya, S.G. (2016) පොලොන්නරුව පැරණි ස්මාරකයන්හි චිත්‍රගත සැරසිලි මෝස්‌තර . Kadawatha, Sri Lanka: Sarath Gnanasiri Maldeniya.

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Map of Atadage at Polonnaruwa

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Driving Directions to Polonnaruwa Sacred City (Atadage at Polonnaruwa)

The modern town of Polonnaruwa is also known as New Town, and the other part of Polonnaruwa remains the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.

Route from Colombo to Polonnaruwa Sacred CityRoute from Kandy to Polonnaruwa Sacred City
Through : Central Highway – Kurunegala – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo :230 km
Travel Time : 4.45 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Matale – Dambulla – Habarana
Distance : 140 km
Travel Time : 3.5 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa Sacred CityRoute from Batticaloa to Polonnaruwa Sacred City
Though : Maradankadawala – Habarana
Distance : 103 km
Travel Time : 2 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Though : Chenkaladi – Valachchena
Distance : 97 km
Travel Time : 2 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map


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