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Ruins

Panduwasnuwara

  Province North western
  District Kurunagala
  Nearest Town Hettipola
  Period 1153 – 1186 A.D.
  Ruler King Parakramabahu

Introduction

As per the legend, Panduwasnuwara was formally known as “Upathissa Pura”. When the King Panduwasdew came to the throne & made his capital there, this was renamed as Panduwasnuwara. The king Panduwasdw was a nephew of the King Wijaya & been the second king in our Rajawaliya. And he was the grand father of the King Pandukabhaya, the first Sri Lankan King. When the King Pandukabhaya won the throne, he made Anuradhapura as his capital & forgot his birth place which was not given shelter for him even for a day from his childhood. As a result Panduwasnuwara, the capital for 51 years of the country was neglected for 100 years.

History

Panduwasnuwara is an ancient city in the North Western Province which functioned as the capital of Sri Lanka for a very brief period. King Parakramabahu set up his temporary capital in this city during the 12th century. Although Panduwasnuwara is not as spectacular a sight as the capital cities Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa, it is still worth exploring. The site which contains the ruins of ancient buildings is spread over an area of 20 hectares, of which some sections have still not been excavated.

The first thing that visitors can see as enter the site is the six-metre wide moat and the huge wall of the citadel. The compound contains remnants of many dagobas, image houses, meeting halls, accommodation quarters for monks and even ancient latrines.

Even though the temple is one of the most important features of the ancient city, the highlight is the round-shaped palace situated inside the circular moat. It is believed to have had several storey’s during its heyday and is still a sight to behold. Many legends have been woven around this palace and about the people who are said to have lived there. Some believe that it imprisoned a princess, the then king Panduvasdeva’s daughter, Unmadachitra (King Abhaya’s mother) who had to be shielded from the eyes of men. According to legend, Panduwasnuwara was the capital of king Panduvasdeva, who succeeded Vijaya, the first king of Sri Lanka. (circa 5th century B.C. ) A forested mound is also identified as the tomb of king Vijaya.