Kiri Vehera at Polonnaruwa (කිරි වෙහෙර)

RATE THIS LOCATION :1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (20 votes, average: 3.95 out of 5)

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”. The original name of this has been “Rupavathi Stupa” and this too is a part of Alahana Privena and stands 80 feet in height today.

This stupa is also the second biggest stupa in Polonnaruwa today, the largest being the Rankoth Vehera also a part of the ancient Alahana Pirivena. Also, it is the only stupa to survive the 900 years of forces of nature and still is in the original condition.

These two massive stupas were well preserved considering their age when they were re-discovered. Therefore these gave a glimpse of the components of a stupa during the latter part of the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa era.

According to an article written by Paranavithana, the stupa had a well-preserved cylinder above the Hathras Kotuwa measuring 9 feet 6 inches in diameter and 7 feet 8 inches in height. The bases of these cylinders are moulded and its cylindrical surfaces are equally divided into eight parts with pilasters. Between the pilasters are figures of deities with hands in the attitude of adoration. Therefore this cylindrical component which lies between the Hatharas Kotuwa and the Koth Kerella is called Devatha Kotuwa, meaning ‘Enclosure of Deities’. According to him Kiri Vehera is one of the best preserved Devatha Kotuwa and had 16 reliefs telamons supporting the pseudo-entablature which was badly weathered. Unfortunately, these relief sculptures of the deities are not seen on the Stupa today.

There are many restored smaller stupas around Kiri Vehera. These have been identified as burial chambers of high priests and royals. Many of these including Kiri Vehera stupa have been attacked by treasure hunters and their valuables looted.

The two identical stupas south of the Lankathilaka is thought to be built upon the remains of a king and a queen.

Photos before restoration from


  • Paranavitana, S., 1947. Memoirs Of The Archaeological Survey of Ceylon – Volume V – The Stupa In Ceylon. Colombo: The Ceylon Government Press.

Also See

Map of Kiri Vehera at Ancient Capital of  Polonnaruwa

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

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.

Driving Directions to Polonnaruwa Sacred City

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


0-09 m (87) 10-19 m (76) 20-29 m (43) 30-39 m (50) 40-49 m (24) 50-99 m (49) Ambalama (155) Ancient Anicuts (31) Articles (0) Asanaghara (8) Ashtapala Bodhi (5) Attraction Articles (3) Attractions (218) Beaches (9) Biosphere Reserves (3) Botanical Gardens (4) Bridges (34) Cave Art (6) Caving (7) Churches (17) Cities (9) Destinations (15) Dethis Pala Bodhi (15) Devalaya (41) Events Articles (2) Flora and Fauna (48) Forts (49) Heritage (1608) Heritage Articles (28) Historic Events (5) History (7) Hot Springs (9) Hydro Heritage (85) Irrigation Articles (4) Islands (15) Kovils (25) Kuludage (11) Lighthouses (27) Memorials (50) Mile Posts (6) Mosques (3) Museums (8) National Parks (22) over 100 m (20) Pabbatha Vihara (11) Personalities (7) Pillar/Slab Inscriptions (35) Pre Historic Burial Sites (19) Prehistory (38) Prehistory Articles (2) RAMSAR sites (6) Ravana (12) Reservoirs (46) Rock Inscriptions (1) Ruins in Wilpattu (5) Ruins in Yala (25) Santuaries (7) Sluice Gates (11) Stone Bridges (18) Strict Nature Reserves (3) Sumaithangi (3) Survey Towers (13) Tampita Vihara (239) Travel (3) View Points (16) Walawwa (12) War Memorials (23) Waterfalls (375) Wildlife Articles (24) Yathuru Pokuna (4)

Abhayagiri Monastery (21) Ampara District (193) Anuradhapura District (202) Badulla District (113) Batticaloa District (20) Colombo District (73) Galle District (62) Gampaha District (57) Hambantota District (103) India (1) Jaffna District (72) Kalutara District (50) Kandy District (187) Kegalle District (151) Kilinochchi District (13) Kingdom of Anuradhapura (80) Kingdom of Kandy (14) Kingdom of Kotte (9) Kingdom of Polonnaruwa (55) Kurunegala District (168) Maha Vihara (14) Mannar District (47) Mannar Island (10) Matale District (83) Matara District (41) Mihintale (22) Monaragala District (93) Mullaitivu District (20) Negombo (6) Nuwara Eliya District (117) Polonnaruwa District (113) Puttalam District (33) Ratnapura District (156) Trincomalee District (47) Vavuniya District (30) waterfalls in Sinharaja (3) z Delft 1 (5) z Jaffna 1 (20) z Jaffna 2 (24) z Jaffna 3 (12)

Leave a Reply