SAARC Tourism
Sri Lanka

Archaeological Wonders

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Archaeological Wonders in Sri Lanka 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.

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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
Dagabas: a colossal structure of globular shape containing relics of lord Buddha.
Stupas: a structure like dagaba, but containing bodily relics of monks.
Vatadage: a circular shrine enclosing a small stupa.
Pasada: Monastic residences
Moonstones: a flat semi circular stone found at entrances
Muragal: columns carved in stone to the shapes of serpents, goblins or warriors
Sellipi: Writings carved on Stone
Bithu Sithuvam: Colorful frescos done with paint made out of plant extracts and soil
Vahalkade: 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.

Religious Shrines
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.

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