Nissanka Latha Mandapaya is a masterpiece of the highest order. Located in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, this majestic monument vividly portrays the astonishing talent of the ancient Sri Lankan stone carvers.

History

Nissanka Latha Mandapaya was built by King Nissanka Malla who reigned in the island between 1187 and 1196. The monument which is named after him is believed to have provided shelter to the king as he listened to pirith or chanting of Buddhist teachings. Details given on a stone inscription located on the site attests to this fact.

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An elevated stone platform and elaborately carved stone pillars make up Nissanka Latha Mandapaya. The stone pillars are of incredible beauty. A crown in the shape of a lotus bud is carved in each column. These columns also have a unique shape. They are curved in three places, resembling the stem of the lotus bloom at the top. Nowhere else in Sri Lanka will you find such unique stone pillars. There are eight such granite pillars on the stone platform, each with a height of approximately 8 feet. The stone pillars would have supported a roof in the ancient times. The traces of this roof have vanished with in winds of time. A small stone stupa is to be found in the centre of Nissanka Latha Mandapaya. Only the base of this stupa remains today.

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If you are travelling in Sri Lanka with Green Holiday Centre, you will be able to visit this magnificent site with remarkable ease. There are several impressive ruins and structures to witness in the region surrounding Nissanka Latha Mandapaya most of which date back to the golden era of Sri Lanka. A comprehensive tour in the Cultural Triangle of the island will help you discover the breathtaking historic monuments that proclaim to us the glories of the times past.

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