During the last one million years, when humans are known to have existed in various parts of India, Sri Lanka was connected to the sub-continent on numerous occasions. The rise and fall of sea level (due to cold/warm fluctuations in the global climate) determined the periodicities of these connections, the last separation having occurred at ca. 7000 BP. There is secure evidence of settlements in Sri Lanka by 130,000 years ago, probably by 300,000 BP and possibly by 500,000 BP or earlier. (Read More)
Ancient Chinese Ceramics in Sri Lanka
A significant collection of ancient ceramics ware from the periods of six Chinese dynasties has been unearthed in Sri Lanka. The earliest ceramics are from the period of Tang Dynasty (618-906A.D). Ceramics remains from North Song, South Song, Ming, Yuan, and Qing dynasties and ancient Chinese coins have been discovered. Chinese inscriptions found in some of the ancient ports of Lanka provide valuable information on ancient Sino -Sri Lanka relationships and archaeological and historical values of Chinese ceramics found in Sri Lanka. (Read More)
Major Cultural Assets in Sri Lanka
Out of many cultural gifts in Sri Lanka, six places that are rich in archaeological values have been inscribed in the World heritage List.
1. Sigiriya Ancient City
2. Polonnaruwa Ancient City
3. Anuradhapura Ancient City
4. Kandy Sacred City
5. Galle Ancient City and Fort
6. Dambulla Cave Temple
The Samadhi Statue (Anuradapura)
The Samadhi Statue is a statue situated at Mahamevuna Park in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The Buddha is depicted in the position of the Dhyana Mudra, the posture of meditation associated with his first Enlightenment, also called Nirvana. Whether the Buddha’s Enlightenment was the experience technically called Samadhi, or some other phenomenon, may depend upon the philosophical allegiance of the believer. In the Dhyana Mudra the Buddha sits cross – legged with his upturned palms placed one over the other on his lap. This position is universally known throughout the Buddhist world, and this statue is therefore one of the most typical pieces of Buddhist sculpture. It is not to be confused with the very similar “Earth-Touching Mudra,” which depicts the simple action the Buddha took to fend off the illusions projected by Mara, who was desperate to prevent the Buddha from realizing that his, Mara’s, projections, and with them the entire world, are an illusion. This statue is 8 feet in height and carved from granite
The Avukana Buddha statue (Anuradapura/Kakirawa)
The Avukana statue is located in the village of Avukana near Kekirawa in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is close to the Kala Wewa reservoir, and is positioned facing it.It has been carved out of a large granite rock face,but is not completely separated. A narrow strip of rock has been left at the back of the statue, connecting it to the rock face and supporting it.However, the pedestal on which the Buddha stands, which is carved in the form of a lotus flower, has been carved separately and positioned under the statue. The statue alone is 38 feet 10 inches (11.84 m) in height, and with the pedestal the total height of the Avukana statue reaches 42 feet (13 m).The statue had been located within a large image house or shrine, of which parts of the walls still remain. It had been made of brick and stone, and was 74 feet (23 m) long and 63 feet (19 m) wide.
The Avukana statue is widely believed to have been constructed in the 5th century during the reign of King Dhatusena, and under his orders
Kuttam Pokuna (Anuradapura)
One of the best specimen of bathing tanks or pools in ancient Sri Lanka is the pair of pools known as Kuttam Pokuna (Twin Ponds/Pools). The said pair of pools were built by the Sinhalese in the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura. These are considered one of the significant achievements in the field of hydrological engineering and outstanding architectural and artistic creations of the ancient Sinhalese.
A garden was landscaped which separates the two ponds which long is 18½ ft. The larger pool of the two is 132 ft by 51 ft, while the smaller pool is 91 ft by 51 ft. The depths of the two pools is 14 ft and 18 ft for the smaller pool and the larger pool respectively.
Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa,the ancient cities
Anuradhapura was a Capital of Sri Lanka at 1500 years. After destroy Anuradhapura with various effects Polonnaruwa became the Capital of Sri Lanka. Polonnaruwa kingdom was started 1017 AD and it was finished at 1215 AD. There were two aggressions which were aggressed by India were cased to start and finish the kingdom of Polonnaruwa.
Cholas who were inoculated Sri Lanka at 1017 AD avoid the Anuradhapura kingdom and started Polonnaruwa as their Kingdom. There after Sinhalese kings attacked Colas and created Polonnaruwa as Sinhalese Kingdom. Magha who was attacked Sri Lanka and who were in Kalinga of Indiya became final king of Polonnaruwa. King 2nd Parakramabahu who rescued Sri Lanka from Magha and started Dambadeniya as 3rd Kingdom of Sri Lanka
Greatest three Kings of Polonnaruwa Kingdom were King Wijayabahu, King Keerthi Sri NishshankaMalla and King Parakramabahu. We can see today also the many greatest places and historical items which were made by greatest three kings of Polonnaruwa and also we can see the Hindu temple dedicated to a deity which was made by Colas.
Today We can see the ruins of Hatadageya, Watadageya, Nishshanka Latha Mandapa which were created by King Keerthi Sri NishshankaMalla and Gal Wiharaya, Alahana Campus, Paradise of 7 flats, Gethawana statue, Thiwanka statue complex which were made by king Parakramabahu. There are four various statues at Gal wiharaya (see above picture). We can see the ruins of Alahana Campus and anyone able to think present University is not bigger than it. Also we can see beautiful Ponds called Kumara pond, Nelum Pond and more. Why keep your eyes without see that wonders.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya was created by King Kasyapa who reigned between 477-495 AD. The summit of this almost inaccessible rock is 180 m (600 ft) above the surrounding jungle, and was the setting for a courtly paradise of elegant pavilions amid gardens and pools. The rock was transformed into a recumbent lion by the addition of a brick-built head and foreparts of which only the paws remain. The rock’s natural defences were augmented by broad moats and stone perimeter walls. In the event of an enemy approach, the outer moat was built so as to flood the entire area between the two moats.
Beyond the fresco gallery, the pathway circles the the sheer face of the rock, and is protected by a 3m high wall. This wall was coated with a mirror-smooth glaze, in which visitors over 1000 years ago noted their impressions of the women in the gallery above. The graffiti was mostly inscribed between the 7th and 11th Century AD. 685 of them have been deciphered and published. The graffiti are a great source for the scholars to study the development of the Sinhala language and script. (Read more)
Ancient irrigation systems of Sri Lanka
The Sinhalese civilization that emerged in Sri Lanka with migration from Bengal, East India in 543 BC took root in the Dry zone, the rolling plains of North and North Central (Rajarata) and the South Eastern (Ruhunu) of ancient Sri Lanka.Though the land was excellent for agriculture, the difficulty in diverting enough water to their cultivations was the main problem. Hence the magnificent irrigation schemes were born. Sinhalese were were depended on an agriculture-based economy which prospered in their glorious past until the advent of the European colonizers.
For more than a million and a half, the population of the Sinhalese Buddhist civilization was concentrated in the region which is generally called Dry Zone. Even today Dry Zone is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the land area of Sri Lanka by the variance in the density of population.
Galle Fort is the largest intact Dutch fort in Asia. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Located facing the Indian Ocean in the town of Galle, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Galle Fort is one of the best preserved examples of 17th century colonial fortifications in the world. I visited Galle Fort late one evening, after a very long journey from Nuwara Eliya. The light was dying as I explored the fort with a small group of AsiaExplorers members. However the atmosphere was simply irreplaceable as the lights of the town comes on, and the fort was bathed in shadows. The only sound that accompanied us was the whistling of the wind and the thunder of surf as it broke over the rocks. I stood on the bastions and watched the moon rise over the Indian Ocean. (Read more)
NASA Images find 1,750,000 year old man-made bridge between India and Sri Lanka
Space images taken by NASA reveal a mysterious ancient bridge in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. The recently discovered bridge currently named as Adam´s Bridge is made of chain of shoals, c.18 mi (30 km) long.This information is a crucial aspect for an insight into the mysterious legend called Ramayana, which was supposed to have taken place in tredha yuga (more than 1,700,000 years ago).In this epic, there is a mentioning about a bridge, which was built between Rameshwaram (India) and Srilankan coast under the supervision of a dynamic and invincible figure called Rama who is supposed to be the incarnation of the supreme. (Read more)