Hetadage at Polonnaruwa (හැටදාගේ)

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This is an ancient shrine that housed the tooth relic during the Polonnaruwa Kingdom. According to the inscriptions on a stone slab next to this building, this building was 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. The reason for this doubt is the description of a large relic house built by Parakramabahu (1153-1186) in the chronicles and the inability to find this in the Polonnaruwa area. Also, King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) is well-known for taking credit for things others have done by just doing renovation work.

This building is much larger than the Atadage and is surrounded by solid stone walls. In design, it is similar to Atadage with two floors. Stone steps to the upper floor are still in place. The upper floor has been probably made out of wood and the tooth relic would have been housed here. On the ground floor remains of three standing Buddha statues can be seen.

“Heta” means sixty and because of this, it is presumed that this building was called by this name because it was completed in sixty days or it housed sixty relics with tooth relics of Buddha.

Another important factor of this building is the Sandakada Pahana (the moonstone) at the entrance. This is a rare instance of a lion appearing on the moonstone. Generally, the lion and the bull are not seen in the moonstones in the Polonnaruwa Era.

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Map Hetadage at Polonnaruwa

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Driving Directions to Polonnaruwa Sacred City (Hetadage)

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 : Maradankadawala – Habarana
Distance: 103 km
Travel Time: 2 hours
Driving Directions: see on Google map
Route from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa Sacred CityRoute from Batticaloa to Polonnaruwa Sacred City
Through : Maradankadawala – Habarana
Distance: 103 km
Travel Time: 2 hours
Driving Directions: See on Google map
Through : Maradankadawala – Habarana
Distance: 103 km
Travel Time : 2 hours
Driving Directions: see on Google map

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