Hetadage at Polonnaruwa – හැටදාගේ

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Outer carvings on the walls of Hetadage
Outer carvings on the walls of Hetadage

This 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. Reason for this doubt is the description of a large relic house built by Parakramabahu (1153-1186) in the chronicles and inability to find this in the Polonnaruwa area. Also King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) is well-known for taking the 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 relic 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 moon stone. Generally the lion and the bull is not seen in the moonstones in the Polonnaruwa Era.

Also See

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 as the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.

Route from Colombo to Polonnaruwa Sacred CityRoute from Kandy to Polonnaruwa Sacred City
Though : Central Highway – Kurunegala – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo :226 km
Travel time : 4.45 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Matale – Dambulla – Habarana
Distance from Colombo : 145 km
Travel time : 3.0 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps
Route from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa Sacred CityRoute from Batticaloa to Polonnaruwa Sacred City
Though : Maradankadawala – Habarana
Distance from colombo : 105 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Chenkaladi – Valachchena
Distance from colombo :100 km
Travel time : 1.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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