Yapahuwa Era

It is situated about 3 miles away from Mahawa town in Kurunegala District in Wayaba Province.

There is a range of mountain from the North to South at the west side of the Yapahuwa rock and there are also a range of mountains at the east side of the rock. There is a deep slope at the west side of the rock which is protected from endangers. There is the Kaikawala guard room about ½ miles to the west side of the rock. This situation has created a natural protection to the Yapahuwa fortress.

It is reported that several evidence of pre historical civilization at the top of the rock and the caves.

The foremost evidence of Yapahuwa is reported in history during the worrier Suba also had been in exile during the Kalinga Magha invasions. The king Buwanekabahu 1 (A.D. 1271) who was the king of Dambadeniya went in exile to Yapahuwa for the safety as it was unsafe for him. The Yapahuwa become the second kingdom of the South East of Sri Lanka as a result of this.

Distance view of Yapahuwa Rock
Distance view of Yapahuwa Rock

 

Architecture of Yapahuwa

Fortress of Yapahuwa

As the situation of South- East part of the Yapahuwa is not naturally protected, it had to be guarded with artificial moats and the barriers. The ruins of them can be seen nowadays also. There are two barriers at the South and the South East part of the fortress and outer barrier was about 20 feet high and about ½ mile long. The foundation was made out of granite and the barrier is constructed with bricks and it is also protected with a help of a moat. There are steps to climb up to main entrance at the center of Southern part. Inner barrier has been made of granite tablets about 12 feet high to safe guard the fortress.

Inner rampart and the moat
Inner rampart and the moat
Assembly Hall
Assembly Hall

 

Entrance to the building believed to be the palace of king
Entrance to the building believed to be the palace of king
Ruins of the Bodghigara
Ruins of the Bodghigara
Arch of dragon of Bodhigara
Arch of dragon of Bodhigara
The entrance frame of Bodhigara
The entrance frame of Bodhigara

 

 

 

Entrance to the building believed to be the palace of king
Entrance to the building believed to be the palace of king

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorative Steps and The Entrance

The beautiful entrance and the steps which are at the foot of the rock are believed to be belonged to the Daladha maligawa or the palace of the king. To avoid the difficulty of the straight climbing of the steps they have constructed in to a four stages and “pana malu” have been connected to steps. It is decorated with beautiful and comprehensive carving at the top of the upper stage of steps. They have used the rocks and the rock tablets which have been cut proportionally and an in straight lines. As there are signs of colours in some areas it can be believed that these rocks would have been painted at that time.

The opinion of the scholars with regard to these architecture design is that they believe that there would have been an influence of South Indian and Kambojian styles.

There are two guard stones indicating seated figures half way at the first step of the rock. There is an engraved woman dancer on another rock placed on this rock. All engravings appear in both sides are equal to each other. There are two balustrade engrave with a face of “kihibi” to support the steps. There are also two lion figures seated at the top of the handrail of these steps. There are two figures of dwarfs and a figure of “gajasingha” is engraved at the second stage of the steps.

There are decorative straps engraved with “boradam” at the bottom part of the entrance. There are male and female figures in different dancing postures carrying “geta bera”, Udeki”, talam, flutes, veenas, and various other instruments. There is “liyawela” engraving flowing down from the mouth of “kihibi”.

There is a large frame of granite at the center of the entrance. There are two granite tablets carved very carefully which would have used as a window with decorative tiny engraving.

There is a large frame of granite at the center of the entrance. There are two granite tablets carved very carefully which would have used as a window with decorative engravings.

One of these granite window tablets is exhibited at the Colombo museum.
One of these granite window tablets is exhibited at the Colombo museum.

Bibliography

  1. Hela Asiriya by Somapala Jayawardana

 2.Yapahuwa Archeological Department- The team of researchers of Yapahuwa

  1. The South-western kingdoms of Sri Lanka by Prema Nanayakkara

  2. The ancient Palaces of Sri Lanka by Malinga Amarasingha Wasana publishers

  3. The Ancient Kingdom of Yapahuwa by Kusumsiri Wijewardana- Dayawansa Jayakodi Compny

  4. Athetha Abimana hetatath – Ancient Yapahuwa By E.M.Senevirathna Bandara Ekanayaka The Department Of Archiology