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Old City of Polonnaruwa PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lanka Nest   
Sunday, 09 March 2008

Image You find Buddhist temples, Hindu Kovils, Royal Gardens, Palaces , Administrative buildings , Sewage  systems, road networks etc inside the old city.  Only very limited Archeological excavations had been carried out inside the old city. Looking at what remains now in the old city one can clearly  visualize a highly developed  civilization that existed in Polonnaruwa   when it was the capital of Sri Lanka.

There are two walls constructed out of both bricks and stone, to safeguard the inner city and the outer city. There were 14 gates in the city walls. They were named as Raja, aeth ( tusker) Sinha ( Lion),  Indra, Hanumnath, Maha Kuwera,  Chandi, Raksha, Sarpa ( serpant) , Jala (water)  Gandhabba, Maya, Udyana ( parks) and Maha Thittha.

Polonnaruwa was a well planned city. According to historical records, King Parakramabahu the Great had built several housing complexes. The houses of the rich would have been made out of brick while the  poor would have  lived in houses made of wattle and daub or timber with thatched roofs.Image

That may be the  reasonwhy we cannot find any remains of these houses now.When you look at the buildings of Polonnaruwa as a whole, you can see architectural styles of the ancient period as well as those of the medieval period, in almost all the buildings. Most researchers in archeology agree that these constructions have been,  to a great extent,   influenced by  contemporary   Hindu and Tamil  architectural  traditions of South India. But we cannot fullly agree with this view.  This is specially so  due to these constructions  having  various features which could be considered to be indigenous.  Therefore  there  could be  different r points of view on this subject. It is also possible  that these Hindu Kovils and other places of  Hindu worship were , built by South Indian technicians  for the use of the South Indian Courtiers of  Sinhala Kings of that time.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 April 2008 )
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