Tag: polonnaruwa

Ruins at 19th Post at Polonnaruwa – 19 කණුව පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්ථානය

Ruins at the 19th post - An ancient stupa resembling a mound of earth

The ruins identified as the “19th post ruins” on a regular archaeological board lies between Polonnaruwa and Kaduruwela, about 1.7 km from the Polonnaruwa clock tower.

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Swastika Pokuna in Ancient city of Polonnaruwa – ස්වස්තික පොකුණ – පොලොන්නරුව පුරාණ අගනගරය

Swastika Pokuna at Polonnaruwa destroyed by treasure hunters

Lying inside the inner city with the Palace Complex, passing the Royal Court of King Parakramabahu you can reach this Kumara Pokuna pond made out of stone slabs. This tank has been used during the period of King Parakramabahu ( 1153-1186).

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Mahaweli Floodplains National Park – මහවැලි පිටාර තැන්න ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය

Kumana National Park

Size 17,350 hectares Main attractions Birds, Elephants and other wildlife The Floodplains National Park was established in 1984 as one of the 4 National Parks established under the Mahaweli Project. It  spans the Mahaweli Ganga in Polonnaruwa district in the North

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Wasgamuwa National Park – වස්ගමුව ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය

Wasgamuwa National Park

Size 37,062 hectares Main attractions Large herds of Elephants, spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking deer and Langur, Wild Bow, Crocodiles, Water Buffalo, Peacocks and many migratory birds. The Wasgamuwa National Park lies within the Polonnaruwa and Matale Districts. Its eastern boundary is

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Somawathi National Park – සෝමාවතී ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය

Somawathi National Park

Size 37,645.5 hectares Main attractions Large herds of Elephants, Deer, Wild boar, Bear, Birds and Fish The Somawathi National Park is one of the four national parks set aside under the Mahaweli River development project. The other three national parks

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Minneriya National Park – මින්නේරිය ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය

Minneriya National Park

Situated 182 km from Colombo, Minneriya National Park is dominated by the Minneriya tank. This is another park where you will find the Elephants in large numbers.

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Maduru Oya National Park – මාදුරු ඔය ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය

On the way to Maduru Oya National Park - road between Aralaganwila and Maduru Oya

Maduru Oya National Park is located 314km away from Colombo in the Dry zone and is well known for its elephant habitat.

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Kaudulla National Park – කවුඩුල්ල ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය

Kaudulla National Park

Size 6,900 hectares Main attraction Large herds of Elephants, Deer, Sambur, Wild boar, Leoperdm Bear, Birds and Fish Situated about 190 km from Colombo, Kaudulla National Park is dominated by the Kaudulla Tank built by the sister of the famous

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Henanigala Raja Maha Viharaya – Dehiattakandiya – හේනානිගල රජමහා විහාරය – දෙහිඅත්තකන්ඩිය

5 feet tall Balustrades at the entrance to the Image House - Senanigala (Henanigala) Raja Maha Vihara - Dehiattakandiya

Henanigala Raja Maha Viharaya ( sometimes referred as Senanigala Raja Maha Viharaya) is a temple complex believed to be one of the 64 temples built by King Kawanthissa in the 3rd Century BC.  Due to the strategic location, the temple

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Pulligoda [2] – Dimbulagala Raja Maha Vihara & Forgotten frescoes at Pulligoda Galge

Pulligoda galge frescos Dimbulagala

Can you tell us where the Pulligoda Galge is? We kept asking bystanders on reaching Dimbulagala 16 kilometres south east of Polonnaruwa. Nobody seemed to have heard of it before and that’s how we met Lionel Mendis a retired employee

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Pulligoda Galge Frescoes – පුල්ලිගොඩ ගල්ගේ සිතුවම්

Frescoes at Pulligoda

Five and a half kilometers south of Dimbulagala temple are the little known Pulligoda galge frescos. Crossing a delightful little lake named Hitcha Pitcha wewa, and circuiting the changing range-scape of Dimbulagala, an unsealed road leads you to this lonely

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Namal Pokuna Aramic Complex at Dimbulagala – දිඹුලාගල නාමල් පොකුණ ආරන්‍යය

A stone oil lamp? Dimbulagala Namal Pokuna Aramic Complex

Dimbulagala Namal Pokuna is an ancient armaic complex lying on a peaceful undisturbed rocky outcrop close to the Popular Dimbulagala Temple. Probably part of the same complex in the ancient times

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Kandegama Kanda Lena Viharaya – කන්දේගම කන්ද ලෙන් විහාරය

The Buddha image vandalized by Treasure Hunters at Kandegama Kanda Len Viharaya

Kandegama Kanda Lena Viharaya (Cave Temple)  Ruins lies about 25-30 kilometers away from Dimbulagala on the road toward the Maduru Oya Reservoir. The road runs through a canopy of green trees south east from Dimbulagala passing through sleepy Mahaweli settlements.

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Giritale Tank – ගිරිතලේ වැව

Sun setting over Giritale Tank

Giritale tank does not aspire to No. 1 and No. 2 nor (may be) to subsequent tanks, by way of the area covered, leaving those priority places to tanks as Minneriya tank and Parakrama Samudra but if one were to give it a priority place by way of fabled history that could turn out to be factual too, Giritale tank comes somewhere among the top.

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Dimbulagala Raja maha Viharaya – දිඹුලාගල රජමහා විහාරය

Dimbulagala Raja maha Viharaya

About 12 miles to the east of the ancient kingdom Polonnaruwa on the east side of the Mahaweli is situated at the beautiful hilly range – Dimbulagala. In our ancient Pali texts this range is referred to as Udumbara –

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Pothgul Vehera (Polonnaruwa) – පොත්ගුල් වෙහෙර

Remains of the Pothgul Vehera in Polonnaruwa

Pothgul Vehera of the ancient Polonnaruwa Kingdom is located some distance from the statue and thought to be a Buddhist library complex and a place where the Buddhist writings were studied and resided.

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Places of Interest in Polonnaruwa

Thivanka Image House - before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

Alahana Privena  Atadage  Badda Sema Malakaya Dalada Maluwa Demala Maha Seya (Stupa of Tamils) Deepa Uyana Eastern Entrance to the Inner City Gal Viharaya (Rock Temple) Gal-potha (Stone Book) Gopala Pabbatha Hetadage Image of Boddhisathwa Kiri Vehera Kuda Gal Viharaya

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Shiva Devalaya (no. 5) – ශිව දේවාලය (අංක 5)

Thivanka Image House - before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

This large devalaya, a place of worship for Hindus and Buddhists has been partially restored and has two main devalas for god Vishnu and god Shiva. Inside the devala you will see a Virgina and a “Shiva Linga” (penis of god Shiva) , both items of worship can bee seen.

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Naipena Viharaya – Vishnu Devala (number 4) නයි පෙන විහාරය – විෂ්නු දේවාලය (අංක 4)

Ruins of the Nai Pena viharaya

This Devala identified as Vishnu Devala (number 4) and also known as Naipena Viharaya has been a place of worship for God Vishnu by the Hindus.

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Thivanka Image House [2] – තිවංක පිලිම ගෙය

Thivanka Image House - before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

If you are looking for ancient art in Polonnaruwa I suggest you take a drive to the Tivanka Pilimage or the Tivanka Image house. or the Northern Temple of H.C.P.Bell.

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Thivanka Pilimage (Image House) – තිවංක පිලිම ගෙය

Thivanka Image House - before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

Thivanka Pilimage was built by King Parakramabahu (1153-1186) and since the 8 meter tall image of Buddha has been curved in 3 places, this has been given the name “Thivanka” which literally means three curves.

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Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Pond) at Polonnaruwa Kingdom – නෙලුම් පොකුණ

Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Pond)

The Nelum pokuna or the Lotus bath is a small stone bath of completely unique design, built in tiers of eight petalled lotuses in descending form.

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Gal Viharaya (Rock Temple) at Ancient Capital of Polonnaruwa – ගල් විහාරය

Gal Viharaya - Polonnaruwa

Gal Viharaya of Polonnaruwa is a magnificent group of statues of Buddha carved in a rock built by king Parakramabahu (1153-1186) which was part of the Uthararama Complex.

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Kiri Vehera at Polonnaruwa – කිරි වෙහෙර

Polonnaruwa Kiri Vehera

This large stupa known as the Kiri Vehera of Polonnaruwa, lying north of Lankathilaka Pilima Ge is said to be built by a queen of king Parakramabahu (1153-1186) called “Subadra”.

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Lankathilaka Image House at Polonnaruwa – ලංකාතිලක පිලිමගෙය – පොලොන්නරුව

Lankatilaka Image House of Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa Lankathilaka Image House is a monolithic Buddha image house built by king Parakramabahu (1153-1186) lying on the South of Kiri Vehera.

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Kuda Gal Viharaya at Polonnaruwa Ancient City – කුඩා ගල් විහාරය

Kuda Gal Viharaya main Cave

On the east to the Badda Sema Malakaya you can see a cave with a carved statue of Buddha. This known as the Kuda Gal Viharaya or the lesser rock temple.

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Badda Sema Malakaya at Ancient Capital of Polonnaruwa – බද්ධ සීමා මාලකය

Badda Sema Malakaya at Ancient Capital of Polonnaruwa

The Baddhasima Malakaya, also known as the Buddha Seema Pasada, was built by Parakramabahu 1 (1153-1186) on the highest platform at the Alahena Pirivena.

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Alahana Pirivena of Polonnaruwa – ආලාහන පිරිවෙණ

Alahana Privena

Alahana Pirivena is the great monastic complex founded by Parakramabahu 1 (1153-1186), said to be built on a cremation ground, hence the name Alahana Pirivena.

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Gopala Pabbatha of Ancient Capital of Polonnaruwa – ගෝපාල පබ්බත

Gopala Pabbatha Cave Complex

Gopala Pabbatha in Polonnaruwa is a small cave monastery and also marks the southern boundary of Alahana Pirivena and lies on the north of Rankoth Vehera.

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Rankoth Vehera of Ancient Polonnaruwa Kingdom – රන්කොත් වෙහෙර

Rankoth Vehera

Rankoth Vehera (Goldern Pinnacle) Stupa, is the 4th largest stupa in the country after Ruwanveli Seya, Jetawanarama and Abhayagiriya in Anuradhapura. Built by King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196), it is 55 meters in height 185 meters in circumference. This is the largest Stupa in Polonnaruwa.

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Shiva Kovil (no 4) of Polonnaruwa Kingdom – ශිව දේවාලය (අංක 4)

Lord Siva

This kovil, identified as Siva Kovil No 4 on the ancient city of Polonnaruwa is in ruins and belongs to the Chola era (1017-1070)

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Menik Vehera – Polonnaruwa – මැනික් වෙහෙර

Menik Vehera - Polonnaruwa

Menik Vehera Aramaic complex of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom is believed to be built on the 8th century. There are indications that some additions to this complex have been made at later stages.

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Eastern Entrance to the Inner City of Polonnaruwa Kingdom – ඇතුල් නගර නැගෙනහිර දොරටුව – පොලොන්නරුව

Eastern Entrance to the Inner City of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa

Passing the Vishnu Kovil 2, on the main root you come to the Eastern Entrance to the inner city of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom. The inner city has been protected by a massive wall where the soldiers patrolled on the top, and a moat.

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Shiva Kovil (no. 3) And Gansh Kovil of Polonnaruwa Kingdom – ශිව දේවාලය (අංක 3) හා ගනේශ් කෝවිල

Shiva Kovil (no. 3) And Gansh Kovil of Polonnaruwa Kingdom

These two Siva Kovil and the Ganesh Kovil is situated on the left side of the inner city entrance of the Ancient Capital of Polonnaruwa.

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Vishnu Kovil (no. 2) of Polonnaruwa Kingdom – විෂ්නු දේවාලය (අංක 2)

Vishnu Kovil (no. 2) of Polonnaruwa Kingdom

This Vishnu Kovil is situated on the right side of the inner city entrance of the Ancient Capital of Polonnaruwa. This kovil has been completely built with granite blocks but only the bottom portion of the building survives today.

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Shiva Kovil (no. 2) of Polonnauwa Kingdom – ශිව දේවාලය (අංක 2)

Shiva Kovil (no. 2) of Polonnaruwa Kingdom

This Shiva Kovil is considered to be one of the oldest buildings of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom to survive the ravages of time. This Shiva kovil is thought to be built by Tamil invaders (10th century) who initially establish their capital in Polonnaruwa.

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Pabalu Vehera at Polonnaruwa – පබලු වෙහෙර

Pabalu Vehera

The origin of this unusually shaped Pabalu Vehera stupa is unknown but it is believed to been built by one of the king Parakramabahu’s ( 1153-1186 AD) consorts, queen Rupawathi.

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Gal Potha (Stone Book) at Polonnaruwa – ගල් පොත

Galpotha

Gal Potha (Stone Book) is one of the famous works of King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) which describes himself, his rule and the eligibility for being a king of Sri Lanka.

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Hetadage at Polonnaruwa – හැටදාගේ

Hetadage of Polonnaruwa

Hetadage is an ancient shrine which housed the tooth relic during the Polonnaruwa Kingdom. According to the inscriptions on a stone slab next to this building, this building has been built by King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) to house the tooth relic of Buddha. But it is unclear whether this was built by king Parakramabahu (1153-1186) and was renovated by Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) or whether Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) himself built it.

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Atadage at Polonnaruwa – අටදාගේ

Buddha Statue inside the building

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.

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Oth Pilimaya at Dalada Maluwa in Polonnaruwa – ඔත් පිළිමය

Oth Pilimaya at Dalada Maluwa

Oth Pilimaya at the ancient city of Polonnaruwa is a ancient statue house lying in the Dalada Maluwa. The Buddha Statue is in a resting position on a pedestal and is made completely of bricks.

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Nissanka Latha Mandapaya of the Polonnaruwa Ancient Kingdom – නිස්සංක ලතා මණ්ඩපය

Nissanka Latha Mandapaya

Nissanka Latha Mandapaya is a square buiding with fine rock cut railing g going all around lying the Dalada Maluwa area of the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa. This building has been built by king Nissanka Malla (1187-1196).

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Thuparama Image House of the Polonnaruwa Ancient Kingdom – ථූපාරාම පිළිම ගෙය

Thuparama Image House in late 1800's or early 1900's

The Thuparama Image House at the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa is one of the few buildings where you can see a roof completely made out of bricks. Almost the whole building has survived over 900 years miraculously.

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Statue of Bodhisattva at Dalada Maluwa of Polonnaruwa – බෝධිසත්ව පිලිමය

Statue of Boddhisathwa

This statue lies in the center of the Dalada Maluwa at a slightly elevated ground. The arms of the statue are missing. It is unclear whether this is a statue of King Nissanga Malla (1187-1196) or a Statue of bodhisattva

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Polonnaruwa Vatadage (The Stupa House) – වටදාගෙය

Polonnaruwa Vatadage

This beautiful Vatadage or Stupa House has been built before the time of Nissanga Malla (1187-1196) but he has carried out major renovations on this building. So what you see today is probably his work.

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Dalada Maluwa at Kingdom of Polonnaruwa – දළදා මලුව

Block of stone at the entrance to the Dalada Maluwa

Dalada Maluwa is an elevated area in the Polonnaruwa Sacred City which many Buddhist buildings are situated. The Entrance to the Dalada Maluwa is through stone steps. Left to these steps is a stone slab with 3 carved figures, A man pointing towards the Dalada Maluwa, a crow and a dog.

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Shiva Kovil (no. 1) of Ancient Polonnaruwa – ශිව දේවාලය (අංක 1)

Entrance to the Kovil (No 01)

Shiva Kovil (no. 1) is the first kovil you will come across after entering the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. The walls of this kovil are made out of a closely fitted stone blocks of a type which is not found anywhere near Polonnaruwa.

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Kumara Pokuna in Ancient city of Polonnaruwa – කුමාර පොකුණ

Kumara Pokuna

Lying inside the inner city with the Palace Complex, passing the Royal Court of King Parakramabahu you can reach this Kumara Pokuna pond made out of stone slabs. This tank has been used during the period of King Parakramabahu ( 1153-1186).

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Palace of King Parakramabahu the Great – වෛජන්ත ප්‍රාසාදය

View of the remains of the palace from front

This is a majestic palace of Parakramabahu I (1153-1186) with seven stories and said to have 1000 chambers. Although the main building possibly couldn’t hold such a number of chambers, when you consider the whole palace complex it is thought that this number is a possibility.

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Palace of King Nissanka Malla – නිස්සංකමල්ල රාජ මාලිගය

Palace of King Nissanka Malla

Remains of palace of Nissanka Malla lies behind the current Polonnaruwa Rest House along with the Audience Hall of of King Nissanka Malla. This place has been probably built mainly with bricks during the reign of King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196)

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