Polonnaruwa Vatadage belongs to the Polonnaruwa Kingdom. It is a structure which is built encircling the stupa for protection. It is believed that the structure was built during the reign of King Parakramabahu I (1123–1186) to hold the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. However, this has been renovated during the reign of King Nissanka Malla (1187 – 1196).
This is the most famous Vatadage among the other Vatadage structures found in Sri Lanka. It has two stone platforms and only single entrance is there to access the lower platform. There is four entrance to the upper platform facing four cardinal points and four Buddha statues are located facing to each entrance. The stupa is placed at the center of the upper floor in between the Buddha statues.
Two Guard stones ( Muragala) and a Moonstone (the Sandakada Pahana) are located at the beginning of staircases. Compared to the Moonstones carved in Anuradhapura period, the symbol of bull is missing in these moonstones. Historians believe that the removal of bull from Moonstone in Polonnaruwa period occurred due to the influence of South Indian customs and traditions during this period.
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