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Ruins

Dambadeniya Maligagala

  Province North western
  District Kurunagala
  Nearest Town Narmmala
  Period 12th Century
  Ruler King Vijayabahu III

Introduction

Dambadeniya period was the 'Golden Era' of Sinhalese Literature.

One of Sri Lanka’s ancient capitals in the mid -13 th century. Excavations have uncovered remains of the temple of the tooth relic and the Royal palace, ponds and Garden layouts, moats and city walls. This was the kingdom of King Vijayabahu the iii (1232-36). The king of the Dambadeniya dynasty fought the invaders and established Dambadeniya. Dambadeniya Rajamaha Viharaya had been built by this king and the King Parakramabahu 11 (1236-1271) had lodged the Sacred Tooth Relic in this capital.

History

Dambadeniya, about 30 km south-west of Kurunegala, became prominent in the mid-13th century. It was selected as the capital of the kingdom of Sri Lanka by King Vijayabahu III (1232–36). The sovereignty of the country was at stake as a result of invasions, which dislodged Polonnaruwa as the capital. Vijayabahu, the king of the Dambadeniya dynasty, fought the invaders and established Dambadeniya. On the summit of the Dambadeniya rock he built fortifications and sturdy walls and gates. The city was made secure by a moat, a marsh and ramparts around the royal palace. During the reign of King Parakramabahu (1236–70), Dambadeniya reached the zenith of its glory. Little remains of the palace buildings. Excavations have uncovered remains of the temple of the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha and the Royal Palace and the gardens, moats, and city walls. The double-storey temple of the Tooth Relic has Buddha images, and is identified as the Vijayasundaramaya. It has some interesting wall paintings dating from the 18th century, when it was restored.