Vatadageya – Polonnaruwa

Vatadageya - Polonnaruwa
Vatadageya – Polonnaruwa

There is a point to know when we talking about the construction of Sri
Lanka. The former tax payers had engaged in construction and repairs as a
method of paying tax. These tax payers were used in Polonnaruwa as well.
However, the high quality of the design indicates that most of the work
done by skilled sculptures. In the Polonnaruwa era, the architecture of the
Vatadage type designs was high, and the Polonnaruwa Vatadage is considered to be its ultimate development.

Highly designed architecture

Some of the most attractive elements in the design are its complex
carvings. The moonstone in the northern entrance and the balustrade in the
eastern barrack are considered as the best examples of such architectural
creations belonging to the Pollonnaruwa era. These ornamental elements were
commonly found in the entrance to monastic buildings in ancient Sri Lanka
and historically it is believed that the moonstone depicts the life cycle
in Buddhism. According to Bell, it is clear that works of carving on the
sides of the upper platform can not be found in Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa or possibly any other Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka.

Evidences found in excavations

The direct, symmetrical stone columns found in the Polonnaruwa Vatadage are
very similar to those found in buildings of the Anuradhapura era. Each foot
of a piller is carved into a lotus flower. Archaeologist Senarath
Paranavithana has speculated that these stone columns had carried a wooden roof. Most people admit this opinion, and nails and tiles which were used at that time have been found in excavations. However, the other view is that the Vatadage had no roof and that the stone columns had been used to hang lamps, curtains or Buddhist symbols.

Beautifully decorated paintings

Although the brick wall around the stage is considerably preserved,
some parts of it are broken. Its thickness is 2 feet 6 inches (0.76
meters), presumably had made to protect the stupa. There is evidence that
the inner surface of the wall was beautifully decorated with paintings. Its
lower part is covered with stone tablets engraved with flower patterns. The
side of the upper platform, as well as the side of the lower platform below
the wall is decorated with carvings.

Visit Vatadageya when you come to Polonnaruwa

The four Buddha statues sculpted with stone are the dyana seal. Two of them
are still stable, but the other two has destroyed. However, instead of the
traditional three rings around the stupa, there are only two. If you come
to Sri Lanka, visit Vatadageya in Polonnaruwa.

(Regarding artical Hatadageya and Atadageya. Refer them too.)

Written By – Jeewana Pahan Thilina & Chandana Ponnamperuma Translated by – Umesha Sewwandi