Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Changing Room, Kumara Pokuna, Polonnaruwa - Photography-Anu Weerasuriya

Located next to the Kumara Pokuna in Polonnaruwa is this small structure which is the remains of the changing room. A double platformed building of stone slab walls, the walls of the inner chamber are carved with lions, each one looking in a different direction. At the entrance are steps with a plain balustrade and a moonstone elaborately carved with three rows of animals in accordance with the moonstones of the Polonnaruwa period, the cow having being omitted as it is sacred to the Hindus.

The Kumana Pokuna lies next to King Parakramabahu’s State Council Chamber and close to his Palace.

Kuchchaveli - Photography-Christopher Silva

There is this boulder on the beach, the villagers told us. It has been lying there for years and we took no notice of it. Then the tsunami came. Pushed by the waves the boulder had turned over. And then we saw what had been lying hidden in the sands.

Carved on the side that was now revealed was a grid of sixteen dagobas. All of equal size within equal squares. It is not a contemporary discovery however. According to the Register of Ancient Monuments wherein the existence of this stone carving is recorded, this site may have been a monastery dating back to the Anuradhpura period. A torso of a limestone Buddha statue in Amaravati style and a sanskrit inscription of the 8th century has also been found here. - Anu, Sept 2005

The shrine complex is situated between the present Rest House and the Police Precinct. Ruins are found in the coast where many circular shaped small rock peaks are situated. The first eye-catching archaeological piece is a carving of a few stupas on the face of a rock at the side of a cave on a panel 4’x4’. Sixteen squares are engraved where we find ten carvings of miniature stupas. Sculpture of this nature not being so common in Sri Lanka can be believed to be of Mahayana origin. They were in pleasing form when I visited them in 1966, but when I again saw them in 1978, the upper parts of most of them were destroyed.

- Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera, The Sinhala Buddhist Heritage in the East and the North of Shri Lanka, 2005

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