Palace of Parakramabahu I (Panduwasnuwara)

Panduwasnuwara Palace of Parakramabahu I
Panduwasnuwara Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu I (Sinhala: පඬුවස්නුවර පරාක්‍රමබාහු රජ මාළිගය) is situated in the middle of Panduwasnuwara Ancient City in  Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

This is the royal palace of the ancient Parakramapura (presently called Panduwasnuwara), the city of Dakkhinadesa founded by King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.) when he was the sub-king of this territory (Nicholas, 1963).

The palace building
The basic ground plan of the Panduwasnuwara palace shows similarity to that of the 12th-century palaces at Anuradhapura (Palace of Vijayabahu), Polonnaruwa (Palace of Parakramabahu I, and Palace of Nissankamalla), and Galabedda [(Palace of Sugala) Prematileke, 1990; Ray, 1960]. All these palaces have a rectangular area enclosed by galleries with an entrance facing the east (Prematileke, 1990; Ray, 1960). The Panduwasnuwara palace mainly consists of two parts; the main court and the courtyard in front (Prematileke, 1990). The main court constitutes the central edifice with galleries and the front spacious courtyard with free-standing columns indicates that it may have been used as a sitting and reception room of the palace (Prematileke, 1990). The galleries measure 268 feet east to west and 168 feet north to south; the central edifice is 113 feet east to west by 91 feet north to south (Devendra, 1956; Ray, 1960). A large soakage pit about 7 ft. in depth is also found inside the palace building (Devendra, 1956).
A pillar containing an inscription of King Udaya II (887-898 A.D.) was discovered near this palace building, close to the east entrance to the Panduwasnuwara Viharaya (Ranawella, 2001).

Panduwasnuwara Palace stone seat inscription of Nissankamalla
A slab inscription King Nissankamalla (1187-1196 A.D.) is found placed in front of the palace premises. Once damaged by treasure hunters, it has now been repaired (Devendra, 1956). The top surface of the slab is engraved as usual with Nissankamalla on similar blocks of stone at Polonnaruwa and Kantale (Devendra, 1956). Dated in the 9th regnal year of the king, it states his acts by way of introduction to the principle statement indicating the stone seat which he occupied whilst watching the artistic feats after his return from his campaign in India (Ranawella, 2007).
Panduwasnuwara Palace stone seat inscription of Nissankamalla
Reign: Nissankamalla (1187-1196 A.D.)
Period: 12th century A.D.
Scripts & Language: Mediaeval Sinhala
Content: In the 9th year of his reign, on the full-moon day of the month of Navam (January-February), King Nissankamalla seated here watching dances and songs. He donated five Tulabhara (gave ornament to his own weight) annually and subjugated the South Indian territories of Kalinga, Pandya, and Chola.
References: The information board at the site by the Department of Archaeology and the Ministry of National Heritage.

Panduwasnuwara Palace Panduwasnuwara Palace Panduwasnuwara Palace .
See also

1) Devendra, D. T., 1956. Guide to the Ancient Parakramapura now called Panduvas Nuvara. Archaeological Department. Colombo. pp.10-14.
2) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.104.
3) Prematileke, L., 1990. The architecture of the Polonnaruwa period 800-1200 A.D. Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief). Archaeological Department centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative series: Volume III: Architecture. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). p.41.
4) Ranawella, S., 2001. Inscription of Ceylon. Volume V, Part I. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 955-9159-21-6. pp.142-143.
5) Ranawella, S., 2007. Inscription of Ceylon. Volume VI. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-91-59-61-2. pp.111-112.
6) Ray, H. C. (Editor in Chief), 1960. University of Ceylon: History of Ceylon (Vol 1, part II). Ceylon University Press. p.601.

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This page was last updated on 14 May 2023

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