Saturday, August 15, 2020

Polonnaruwa - The second kingdom of ancient Sri Lanka


Rich with sea like irrigation reservoirs, magnificent monuments reflecting workmanship in ancient Buddhist culture, the city of Polonnaruwa is full of graceful sceneries. It is the second kingdom of ancient Sri Lanka. In addition, Angagammadilla, Dimbulagala, Somawathi Chethiya, are picturesque sites.

By capturing the king Parakrama Pandu and removing his eyes alive and torturing him to death, the invasive South Indian king Kalinga Magha destroyed and burnt the mediaeval capital to the ground.  Many ancient books were dragged out, piled up and burnt. The Portuguese who came after 1505 too looted, what was left in the city.

Polonnaruwa was known to have had human settlements, long before Prince Vijaya landed on the shores of the island.

Kings of Polonnaruwa

Vijayabahu 1 (Vijayaba)                                                                    1055 – 1110

Jayabahu                                                                                            1110 – 1111

Wickramabahu                                                                                   1111 – 1132

Gajabahu                                                                                            1132 – 1153

Parakramabahu                (The Great)                                                1153 – 1186

Vijayabahu 11                                                                                     1186 – 1187

Nissankamallala                                                                                  1187 – 1196

Wickramabahu                                                                                    1196

Chodaganga                                                                                        1196 – 1197

Leelawathi queen (Queen of Parakramabahu)                                    1197 – 1200

Sahassamallala                                                                                     1200 – 1202

Kalyanawathi (Queen of Nissankamallala)                                         1202 – 1208

Dharmashoka                                                                                       1208 – 1209

Anikanga Mahadipada                                                                         1209

Queen Leelawathi                                                                                1209 – 1210

Lokeshwara                                                                                          1210 – 1211

Queen Leelawathi                                                                                1211 – 1212

Parakrama Pandu                                                                                 1212 – 1215

Kalinga Magha (Kalinga Vijayabahu)                                                 1215 – 1236

The King Parakramabahu was an erudite person, an expert statesman, and great ruler of mankind and a warrior, with an extra ordinary energy and discernment, and also a brilliant physician. He established the peace and harmony in the country. It was a golden era of architecture and many of his architectural creations have not yet identified.


The Vatadage (Circular Relic House)

Vatadage is one of the most remarkable architectural monuments to be seen in Polonnaruwa.  


Siva Devale

The South Indian architecture Cola style kovil built in the 13th century.


Parakramasamudraya (Sea of Parakrama) is the unique creation of king Parakramabahu the Great.

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