Dhavalagaraya (Polonnaruwa)

The ruined edifice situated near the Audience Hall of Nissankamalla in the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka is popularly called by the locals as Dhavalagaraya (lit: White Edifice; Sinhala: ධවලාඝරය, පොළොන්නරුව) or the Mausoleum (Wikramagamage, 2004).

Dhavalagaraya before conservation
This monument has not yet been properly identified (Wikramagamage, 2004). Some believe that this is the Dhavalaghara built by King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.). In the Sinhala language, the word Dhavala means white and the Ghara means the house/edifice. Remains of the original white colour lime plaster on the exterior walls of this edifice could have caused such interpretation.

Another opinion identifies this edifice as a mausoleum of a member of royalty. However, some have interpreted this building as the symbol of Mahameru, the central mountain of the universe.

The building
The present remains indicate that this brick-built building was a storied edifice with a cruciform ground plan. The building has no signs of windows and the walls still preserve some red, blue and white colour fragments of the original plaster. (Wikramagamage, 2004).

Dhavalagaraya Dhavalagaraya
1) Dawalagaraya by Mresh92 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

1) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.205.

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This page was last updated on 14 November 2022
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