When the Indian invaders captured the temple of the tooth relic from the Yapahuwa Kingdom and took it to India it was King Parakramabahu that fought for it and brought it back to Sri Lanka. The King decided to set up his temporary Kingdom in Panduwasnuwara which was around the 12th century. The Panduwasnuwara site is surrounded by ruins and buildings that covers over 20 hectares.
Archaeological evidence of the Panduwasnuwara site
Panduwasnuwara is a significant archeological site located in the Kurunegala District. According to the ancient geographic divisions Panduwasnuwara is considered to be the capital of the Maya country. Referring to historical sources the history of the site dates back to the era of King Parakramabahu I. However the information found in transcriptions and other archeological evidence proves that the history of this particular site dates back to the Anuradapura period.
Central Cultural Fund archeologists have found transcriptions that belong to the eras of King Sena II, King Kashyapa IV and King Udaya II from the land of Panduwasnuwara Rajamaha Viharaya. During that period these areas were known as “rehaa bim”. The transcriptions reveal information regarding sponsorships to Budatpaw temple and also the ancient Buddhist rituals that existed in latter part of Anuradhapura era. This information ensures the fact that this place was a major focus of the Sri Lankan royal stature. In fact King Parakramabahu I made his pre military preparations here during the process of conquering the power of Pollonnaruwa. Prof. Senarath Paranavithana believed that a majority of the ruins that remained on the site belongs to the 12th century or else the Pollonnaruwa era. Under these circumstances the archeologists conclude the fact that the city of Panduwasnuwara was built by one of the most highly reputed kings of Sri Lankan history, King Parakramabahu I.
The palace of King Parakramabahu is the utmost significant construction in the Panduwasnuwara archeological site and it also caught the attention of many academics around the globe. Prof. Senarath Paranavithana clearly concludes that this palace was built in the 12th century. According to the view of Prof. Paranavithana this palace was used by the Sri Lankan royal family more than 100 years. The palace consists with two guard houses, store rooms etc.
Kota Wehera temple site
At this site, ruins that belong to the ancient Buddhist temple can be seen. These models of temples are normally built to commemorate special incidents of kings and queens. The model of this temple is similar to the ruins in the Dedigama and Medirigiriya temples. The Bodhigaraya can be seen in this area that belongs to Kotawehera. There are four image houses that are constructed around the Bodihigaraya area. The moon stone located in the Kotawehera premises can also be considered as a significant archeological construction. Archeological evidence also reveals that there is an image house in front of Bodhigaraya.
Next to the Parakramabahu palace there is another temple at 118 feet. The archeologists found 108 copper coins that belong to King Dharmashoka a ruler of Polonnaruwa. The historical evidence proves that there was a highly developed monastery complex in this area.
During the process of analyzing the ruins of Panduwasnuwara it’s impossible to forget the significance of the ruins that remained near the Raja Maha Viharaya. The Tanpita Viharaya that belongs to the Kandy period, Bodhigaraya and the 3 stone statues of Lord Buddha are most important. The transcription that belongs to the era of King Sena II describes the financial assistance granted to the temple of Budatpaw. In addition the conservation efforts by the Central Cultural Fund saw the completion of a building which is believed to be a chapter house located in the temple area during ancient times.
The utmost important ancient building that can be seen at the Panduwasnuwara site is the tower house of princess Unmadachitra. This location itself is a base for a lot of dynamic folk stories. It is similar to the queen’s bath or circular shaped clay building. Even though the ancient public conscious vested with idea of Unmadachitras tower house, Prof. Paranavithana stated that this is a special building called Kotte Crescent, built by King Parakramabhahu I. This indicates the fact that King Parakramabahu is king of the universe. This is commonly a tourist attracted area.
The archeological site of Natagana temple represents another significant aspect of Panduwasnuwara site. Many ruin and cave transcriptions that belong to the Anuradhapura period still remain in the area. There is a strong belief of the existence of a well-developed monastery complex in this area in the ancient times. Significant information was found in relation to a Buddhist temple located in this area through the current excavation process.