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After the collapse of the Dambadeniya Kingdom, due to the Dravidayan invasion, King Buwanaka Bahu the first transformed Yapahuwa to be his new kingdom in the 13th century. Known to have once preserved the temple of the tooth, the outer fortification of the Yapahuwa kingdom is 7 Meters higher than the outer fortification of Sigiriya, a UNESCO world heritage site. 

Archaeological evidence of the Yapahuwa site

Yapahuwa is one of the ephemeral capitals of Medieval Sri Lanka which reminds the 8th wonder of the world Sigiriya fortress. The rock fortress complex of Yapahuwa located in North Western province of Sri Lanka and the heritage site it -self belongs to the Wayamba Cultural Quadrangle.

The history reveals the fact that in 1272 King Buvanekabahu transferred the countries capital from Polonnaruwa to Yapahuwa in the face of Dravidians of invasion from South India bringing the sacred tooth relic with him. The palace and the fortress were built by the king in 1273.

The magnificent abilities of ancient Sri Lankans were visible when they built the massive fortress with a 90 meter high rock. Steps similar to the Sigiriya rock fortress have been built to ascend the rock. At that time this was considered to be the military strong hold of the South against forming invaders. Many traces of ancient Battle defences can still be seen, while an ornamental stairway is its biggest showpiece. There is evidence to prove that this site was also used as a Buddhist monastery complex.

According to archaeologists the ancient history of the Yapahuwa cultural site dates back to 4500 million years. The geological evidence found from the site itself proved the above fact. The archaeologists further stated that the site consist of mountains, which blouse to the pre –historic Cambric period. The fossil elements represent the Jurassic period, Myosin period, and Holocene period, Reveals the fact that, the Yapahuwa site represents highly historical hierarchy. In 1886 H. Nevil wrote an article to the prominent archaeological magazine of Thaprobane, analysing the long history of the Yapahuwa archaeological site. In 1922 A.C. Seeword and R.E. Haltom also wrote a research article to a London geology magazine regarding fossil history in relation to this charming site.
The site of Yapahuwa is now under conservation and this project is currently run by the Wayamba Cultural quadrangle unit of the Central Cultural Fund. 

During excavations archaeologists found historical evidences related to megalithic cultural period. Miniature stone tools and clay pots were found from the sites which date back to the megalithic era. The Pinwewa stone grave yard is another significant artefact found from the Yapahuwa site. It’s located from the South eastern side of Yapahuwa fortress. More historical evidences were found which reveals the existent of Buddhist monastery complex.

Ancient transcriptions from stone caves further ensure the existence of abandoned monastery complex. Future excavations by the Central Cultural Fund identified the existence of a sthupa which belongs to this monastery complex. Currently this place is called Banglapitiya.  According to the archaeologists many ruins and artefacts still remain under the Bangalapitiya Monastery complex.


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