This is the latter part of the previous Post. I’m still in the Quadrangle Polonnaruwa.
I found a stone monument between 1 Recumbent Image House and 2 Atadage and took some pictures. But I did not know what it is. The guide didn’t explain about it at all. Later, according to my research, it was a monument of great king Vijayabahu I in the Middle Ages.
Vijayabahu I of Polonnaruwa (ruled 1055–1110) was a medieval king of Sri Lanka.
Born to a royal bloodline, Vijayabahu I grew up at a time when, part of the country was occupied by invaders from the Chola Kingdom of Tamilakam. He took over rulership of the Ruhuna principality in the southern parts of the country in 1055. Following a seventeen-year-long campaign, he successfully swept away the Chola out of the island in 1070, reuniting the country for the first time in over a century.
During his reign, he re-established Buddhism in Sri Lanka and repaired much of the infrastructures which were damaged during the wars. Vijayabahu died in 1110, having reigned as king of Sri Lanka for fifty-five years. He was then known as “Mahalu Vijayabahu” (Vijayabahu the old) due to his age and long rule of the country. He is really a national hero of Sri Lanka.
9 Latha-Mandapaya (Nissanka Latha Mandapaya or The Lotus Mandapa )
Nissanka Latha Mandapaya, this lovely little pavilion was built by Nissanka Malla so he could sit within it and either listen to chanting of Buddhist scriptures or worship the Tooth Relic.
The most important feature of this building is the shape and the carvings of the stone pillars. These pillars are carved in the shape of a lotus stork and the top of the pillars take form of a lotus flower.
At the center of the platform, flanked by the stone columns, is a small stupa. This is also made from stone, but the top part of it has been destroyed. Its base is decorated with a carved design.
8 Bodhisattva Shrine; Bodhisattva (Bodhi-Sattva) means that Buddhist worthy of nirvana who postpones it to help others.
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is either an enlightened existence or an enlightenment-being or, given the variant Sanskrit spelling satva rather than sattva, “heroic-minded one for enlightenment.”
10 Bodhi Tree Shrine; just the foundations and a few pieces of stone pillars remain today.
Bodhi tree (the holy tree) of Gautama Buddha; The founder Gautama Buddha of Buddhism got enlightenment sitting at the base of the tree.
11 Thuparama Gedige; The desolate shrine has still roof completely. The whole buiding survived over 900 years miraculously. The roof is a semi-cylindrical in shape. (Gedige is a vaulted shrine in Sinhala.)
The original name and the builder of this shrine is not known well, but it is said that it was built by a minister of King Parakramabahu or by king Vijayabahu the first to house the holy tooth relic.
The walls of the shrine are about 2 meters thick and inside some large Buddha statues have been kept.
Some small windows on the thick walls, but it is quite dark in the room and difficult to take pictures.
The left and right statues are followers of Buddha, the central seating statue is the Gautama Buddha.
7 Vatadage; Vatadage is a unique and ancient Buddhist structure found in Sri Lanka. Vatadages were commonly built of stone and brick and adorned with elaborate stone carvings. They may have also had a wooden roof, supported by a number of stone columns arranged in several concentric rows. Only ten vatadages now remain in Sri Lanka.
This beautiful Stupa House has been built before the time of Nissanga Malla (1187-1196) but he has carried out major renovations on this building.
On the side of stair case some of most beautiful guard stones and moonstones in this area can be seen.
The guard stones on the eastern side of the temple is said to be the best guard stone in t he Polonnaruwa era.
On the centre is a small stupa and on the four sides, there are beautifully carved Buddha statues.
One of the Buddha statues on the upper platform, positioned next to the stupa. The brick wall is visible on the background.
The Vatadage is a sacred place for the locals, but it is an amusement park for monkey.