Yapahuwa kingdom of solitary staircase is a magnificent place that offers its visitors a tranquil and calm feeling with its solitary staircase that stands up to the sky.
The story of Yapahuwa rewinds back to 12th century when the King Bhuvenakabahu changed the island’s capital, from Polonnaruwa to Yapahuwa. He bought the Sacred Tooth Relic when he established the new Kingdom. However, after the king’s death, monks inhabited the abandoned kingdom. It is built on a huge rock boulder resembling the shape of the world famous rock, Sigiriya. It was king’s palace and a military stronghold against those wanted to capture the Sacred Tooth Relic.
You can see a small yet beautiful temple on the way to the fortress. There are many small caves with shrines, drawings of Buddha and Brahmi script inscriptions. The temple is easily reachable from the main route. One should not miss visiting this breathtaking Kingdom to witness the proud yet isolated history of this unique place which was once a magnificant palace.
The archaeological site of Yapahuwa
The archaeological site of Yapahuwa located in the Mahawa Divisional Secretariat takes a prominent place in history. The Bodhivamsa mentions that Yapahuwa was known as Sundara Giri Pavuvva In third century B.C during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa. It was named as Subhavala and Subhagiripura when General Subha converted it in to a fortress for security reasons. In the Dalada Pujavaliya it is known as ‘Ayo Parvata’.
Yapahuwa abound a variety of features of archaeological importance. The fortification and the moat, which extend from west end of the Southern part of the rock are connected to the other side of the rock in the shape of a horse shoe. There are no buildings of any historical value in the outer city. Tiles, potsherds and bricks are strewn everywhere in the vicinity of the outer city.
The fortress is 4m in height and 22m in width. Bastions may have existed on the rampart as suggested by the square shaped structures on it. The well planned citadel consists of a rampart and a moat. The stone slabs are put in place on both sides of the rampart and had been filled with metal. In the citadel where the water is being collected, two sluices made of stone are built to take away the collected water to the nearby drain.
Yapahuwa, Department of Archaeology, retrived from source
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