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Sigiriya is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka.
Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is probably the most visited tourist destination of Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya Citadel Rock
The palace is located in the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level.
Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters higher than the surrounding jungles.
Its view astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between the nature and human imagination.
The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains.
The surrounding territories of Sigiriya were inhibited for several thousand years.
Since 3th century BC the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the second half of the 5th century king Kasyapa decided to construct a royal residence here.
After his death Sigiriya again became a Buddhist monastery until the 14th
The second city listed in Sri Lanka‚Äôs long line of kingdoms, Polonnaruwa became the kingdom in 1070 AD after the fall of Anuradhapura, the western point of the Cultural Triangle. Among its many attractions, the Parakrama Samudra (sea) is a landmark. Created by King Parakramabahu, it is the largest man-made rainwater reservoir in the country, spanning an area of 2,500 ha and remains a primary source of water for agriculture in the district.
South of this vast expanse of water is the standing statue of its creator carved out of rock with the king holding a stack of manuscripts written on ola leaves. There are many other effigies in the city among the fascinating ruins, including a 16m carving of Buddha, all of which can be viewed. There are also some ancient Hindu temples in the ruined city.
The city of Polonnaruwa was named the capital of Sri Lanka by its first king, Vikayabahu I who is popular for defeating the Chola invaders in the year 1070. Moving the country‚Äôs capital to Polonnaruwa from Anuradhapura was considered to be a successful strategic move.
However it is believed that the real hero of Polonnaruwa was king Parakramabahu I who ruled through the golden age of
Temple of the Sacred Tooth
Literary sources indicate that the sacred Tooth Relic was received by king Vimaladharmasuriya I with great veneration and placed in the new three ‚Äď storied shrine built by him near the royal palace. The Dutch Plan of 1765 shows the ground plans of two shrines. The one at the back should be the original one built by the king. His successor was Senarat (1603 ‚Äď 1634), a brother of the deceased king had to face severe opposition from the contenders. He had to live in such distant places as Mahiyangana. He was able take the Tooth Relic to a safe location at Madamahanuvara in the hills enveloped with thick forest cover. Even under these difficult conditions, king Senarat was able to give due honor to the sacred Tooth Relic by placing it in a suitable shrine. Rajasimha II (1634 ‚Äď 1686) succeeded king Senarat. As the Portuguese interference in local political affairs was intensified, Rajasimha sought the aid of the Dutch to circumvent the situation.
This action did not meet the approval of the people and a chaotic situation arose again, even to the extent of ceasing the holding of the annual Tooth Relic festival and the king leaving the palace. However he was able to rebuild the
Dambulla Cave Temple
History of the Dambulla Cave Temple
The history of the Dambulla cave temple dates back to the reign of King Vattagamini Abhaya (103 BC and 89-77 BC). Originally, the Dambulla cave temple was used as a place of retreat by King Vattagamini Abhaya whom the sinhalese called Valagamba. King Valagamba fled for his safety to this cave , abandoing his Kingdom at Anuradhapura, during the South Indian invasion and had done so for 12 years. Once the King regained power over his kingdom, King Valagamba converted these magnificant caves into a place of worship-a temple. This was done so by constructing walled partitions under the rock overhang which spans the entire area as a single large cave. He got drip ledges made along this large cave and made it suitable to withstand rainy weather and avoided water seeping inside the caved areas.The three cave temples named as Devarajalena, Maharajalena and the Paccimalena were constructed by him.
After several centuries King Vijayabahu I (1055-1110 AD), who made Polonnaruwa his kingdom,¬ renovated the Cave temples and it is believed that monks dwelled in this cave during the times.¬
King Keerthi Sri Nissankamalla (1187-1196 AD ) was much involved in