Royal Palace of King Vijayabahu I in Anuradhapura (විජයබාහු රජ මාලිගය)

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King Vijayabahu I ascended to the throne in 1055 CE in the Rohana and 18 years after that and 3 years after defeating the Colas from India he celebrated his consecration in Anuradhapura. However, he selected to rule from Polonnaruwa and shifted the capital there.

The Royal Palace of King Vijayabahu I we see today is said to be the temporary palace he constructed for the celebrations of his coronation ceremony held in Anuradhapura. This building as it stands today measures 128×216 feet (39×66 metres). The site is presently known as Mahawatte-raja-gedara.

The architectural features of this building compare well with those of the palace at Panduwasnuwara. It had been constructed as a multi-storied building. Ruins of the staircase leading to the upper floor have been discovered. It is also evident that there were architectural features such as a moonstone, guardstones, and balustrades at the entrance. The guardstones at the entrance to the palace represent “Sankhanihi” and “Padmanidhi” (Sanka and Padma), the two attendants of Kuvera. There is evidence of the existence of paintings on the walls of the palace.

Today the road cuts across the courtyard of the palace and the gate-house lies on the other side of the road.

References

  1. Seneviratna, A., (1994). Ancient Anuradhapura. 1st ed. Colombo: Archaeological Survey Department, Sri Lanka.
  2. Wikramagamage, C., (2004). Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Also See

Map of the Royal Palace of King Vijayabahu I in Anuradhapura

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Photos before restoration from www.imagesofceylon.com

Palace of Vijayabahu
Palace of Vijayabahu

Driving Directions to the Royal Palace of King Vijayabahu I in Anuradhapura

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Bus

Anuradhapura is easily reached by bus, train or private transport. Air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses start at the Colombo Fort Main Bus Station. There are luxury busses which start from various places in Colomb travelling past Anuradhapura, to Vavuniya and Jaffna. However, you need to search the web and book a seat. These luxury buses mostly travel at night reaching their final destination early in the morning.

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Train

5 daily trains are starting from Fort Railway Station to Anuradhapura. Generally, the first train leaves at 9.40 am and the last train at 8.30 pm. Travel time is 4-5 hours depending on the number of stops of the particular train.

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Car or Van

Anuradhapura can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttalam (Puttalama) and through Kurunegala. Travelling from Puttalam, you will pass the scenic Wilpattu area. There are two main routes to Anuradhapura from Kurunegala. The most common route is through Dambulla. The other route is through Galgamuwa. Out of all the routes, the most commonly used is the Kurunegala-Dambulla route (Route 2).

Route 01 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute 02 from Colombo to Anuradhapura
Through : Negombo – Chilaw – Puttalam
Distance from Colombo : 210 km
Travel time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo : 223 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route 03 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute from Kandy to Anuradhapura
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Narammala – Wariyapola – Padeniya – Thambuthegama
Distance from Colombo :203 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katugastota – Matale – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo :136 km
Travel Time : 3.5 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map

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