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Palace of King Parakramabahu

An iconic feature on the historical canvass of Polonnaruwa, the palace of King Parakramabahu the Great rests as an exquisite architectural beauty, attesting to the grandeur and prosperity of the Kingdom at the time.

The structure comprised seven stories and is believed to have housed a thousand chambers during its time. Thus the magnitude and complexity of the age-old fortress are left to the imagination of modern day architects and viewers.

Relics from this once magnificent castle remain even today, including the enormous walls built with solid rock that lead up to about 30 feet (9 meters) in height and the main staircase that proceeds to the upper floors.

Visitors can step inside the building and witness fragments of brick walls that show traces of melting due to the scorching heat. Massive cavities in the internal walls that may have encased wooden constructions that shaped the floors of the upper levels are also in view for guests to observe.  Credit must be given where it is due. The plastering on the walls is still intact to this day, which is a true testament to impeccable craftsmanship.

Another attraction of the place is the remains from other erections that belonged to ministers, soldiers and attendants.

Deemed during its day as the central location of power and authority in the nation, the Royal Court of King Parakramabahu the Great is an edifice not to be missed.  Situated in front of the great palace, the court is built on three layers of rock carrying intricate designs on their borders.  While the first layer displays images of beautifully carved elephants, each in a different posture, the second layer presents masterfully engraved lion figurines, followed by the third layer replete with pictures of ‘wamana.’  Such are the sophisticated stone imprints at this destination.

Furthermore, two charmingly carved lions greet sightseers upon entering this space, while the interior houses forty-eight elegant stone pillars laid in four rows.

At a glance, ‘A remarkable historical monument showcasing unfathomable artistry and craftsmanship’ can be the definition of this ancient royal citadel.

Title image by: Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau

Type

Culture and Heritage

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