Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Medieval Capital of Sri Lanka - Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. It comprises, besides the Brahmantic monuments build by the Cholas, the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.
While the Wijayabahu’s victory and shifting og kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considerd significant, the real Polonnaruwa Hera who whent down the annals of history was his grandson Parakramabahu I. It was his regin that is considered the golden Age of Polonnaruwa, when trade and agriculture flourished under the patronage of the king, who was adamant that no drop of water falling from the heavens was to be wasted, and each be used toward the development of the land; hence, irrigation systems far superior to those of the Anuradhapura age were constructed during Parakramabahu’s reign.
This systems to this day supply the water necessary for paddy cultivation during the day season in the East. The greatest of these  systems is the Parakrama Samudrayaor the Sea Of Parakrama, a tank so vast that it is often mistaken for the ocean.
The kingdom of Plolnnaruwa was completely self-sufficient during King  Parakramabahu’s reign. The city was abandoned following the Kalinga invention by King Kaling Magha in 1214.
Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom’s first rulers. Polonnaruwa is the 2nd largest city in north central province
Gal Viharaya also known as the Cave of the Sprits of knowledge, this is one of the most important Buddhist shrines. It Takes the form og three colossal Buddha images carved out of a granite cliff.Most prominent is the standing image, 7M (23 ft) tall, which was at one thime thought to represent Ananda, the Buddha’s first disciple, bus is now regarded as being a Buddha image like the others. Next to it is an enormous 14 m (46 ft) reclining Buddha. Two smaller, less skillfully carved Buddhaimages occupy niches in the rock nearby.