Thursday, 29 March 2018

Menik Vehera, Polonnaruwa

Menik Vehera
Menik Vehera (lit: The gem temple) is a Buddhist monastic complex located in the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.

The history of this complex is not known. But according to the architectural features it has, the complex is dated back to the 8-9 centuries A.D. The structures indicate at least two stages of development belonging to the 8-9 century A.D. and the 12-13 century A.D.

The temple is situated outside the Northern gate of the city and has been built on a terraced layout (Wikramagamage, 2004). The top-most terrace includes the Stupa, the Bodhighara (Bodhi tree shrine), the image house, and the Uposathagharaya. The remains are located on the lower terrace.

Built on a high terrace surrounded by a high wall, the Stupa of this complex is considered a rare piece of work. The terraced design of this Stupa shows similarities to the design of the Indikatuseya Stupa at Mihintale. The carved stone door frame at the entrance and the terracotta tablets of squatting lions on the plinth are also considered special features. 

Near the Stupa is a Gandhakuti type image shrine. It has a square-shaped chamber with a porch in front. The three standing Buddha statues in the image shrine perhaps represent the Buddhas of the past, present and future. This shrine possibly has been built following the design of the Medirigiriya image house.

Squatting lion figures The image house

1) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites: Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka, p. 213.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 14 March 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


Post a Comment