The island of Sri Lanka has a long and rich history which depicts itself in
the colossal stupas and palatial stone structures. Organised history harks
back to more than 2000 years. There have been times of wars, events of
religious significance, and significant political and social turns. Sri
Lanka has been island and it has been closely connected to Indian with the
giant landscape influencing the life in the island in big ways. Sri Lanka
has fallen in the path of an important naval trade way and this has also
played a part in its evolution.
Winds of Changes
With the course of history so many kingdoms took birth and developed in Sri
Lanka and also got wiped out. New kingdoms grew and vanished in places like
Colombo, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura and Kandy. Every time a new
kingdom emerged the former ones crept into obscurity. Number of kingdoms
existed throughout the island of sri lanka at various periods of time.
Hundreds of monuments were erected during these items. Structures associated
with Buddhism and Hinduism, monuments built for aesthetic, medicinal
purposes and for no other reason but to show the power of the rulers.
Every wind of change brought up a wave of new monuments. All these places
hold archaeological importance and tell something or the other about their
times. These monuments give us the opportunity to peek into those days. The
kings following Buddhism expressed their faith by building temples which had
some specialities. Here are mentioned some 'What To See' among Sri Lankan
remnants related to archaeology.
What To See
a colossal structure of globular shape
containing relics of lord Buddha.
a structure like dagaba, but containing bodily
relics of monks.
a circular shrine enclosing a small stupa.
a flat semi circular stone found at entrances
columns carved in stone to the shapes of
serpents, goblins or warriors
Writings carved on Stone
Colorful frescos done with paint made out
of plant extracts and soil
a stony frontispiece featured on the four
cardinal points-east, west, north and south of a stupa
Network of Reservoirs
Archaeological remains tell that Sri Lanka had well developed irrigation
system. Many tanks and canals are what is remnant of this network of
reservoirs nowadays. Tanks like Tissa wewa, Minneriya, Girithale, Parakrama
Samudraya were constructed to irrigate the land in dry zone. Remnants of
several ponds have been found.
Sites of religious and historical importance are abundant, particularly in
the central and north central areas of the island. These include structures
dedicated to Hindu deities and demigods, who are revered locally. Ancient
shrines of historical importance built in honour of deities like Shiva and
Pattini play a major role in local religious activities. Project of Cultural
Triangle conserves many of these sites.