Palace of Vijayabahu I (Anuradhapura)

Vijayabahu I Palace
The ruins of the temporary Palace of King Vijayabahu I (Sinhala: පළමුවන විජයබාහු රජුගේ අනුරාධපුර රජ මාළිගය) is located in the ancient Anuradhapura city in Sri Lanka.

The Anuradhapura Kingdom, named after its capital city, was the first established kingdom in Sri Lanka. It was founded in the 4th century B.C. and lasted till the 11th century A.D. Cholas who came from South India conquered Anuradhapura completely in 1017 A.D. and marked the demise of the kingdom. 

Cholas ruled the country for 53 years until they were expelled by King Vijayabahu I (1055-1110 A.D.). Vijayabahu I defeated Cholas and established the Sinhalese kingdom again in the country after the end of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. He celebrated his coronation as the king at Anuradhapura but shortly afterwards transferred the capital to Polonnaruwa.

This ruined building has been identified as the palace built by Vijayabahu I for his coronation and his temporary residence in Anuradhapura (Jayasuriya, 2016).

The building
Palace of Vijayabahu I (Anuradhapura)
As evident by the stone flight of steps, this is thought to be a two-storied building (Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004). It has typical architectural features of the palaces of the Polonnaruwa Period such as the Panduwasnuwara Palace (Wikramagamage, 2004). At the entrance of the palace are two guard stones representing Sankha and Padma, the two attendants of Kuvera, the god of wealth (Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004). The headdress of these two attendants is notable. The headdress of Padma is made of a lotus (Padma) while the Sankha's one is made of a conch [(Sankha) Jayasuriya, 2016]. 

The palace which was rectangular in shape measures 38.4 m on the north and south and 19.2 m in the east and west directions (Wikramagamage, 2004). The walls are constructed with clay bricks and the moldings have been fixed with a mortar mixture. Several traces of paintings have been found on the walls of the palace building (Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004)

See also

1) Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by Sasha India is licensed under CC BY 2.0

1) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. pp.47-48. 
2) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.49-50.

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This page was last updated on 7 January 2023

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