Monday, November 08, 2010

Polonnaruwa Archaeological Site - Rankot Vihara

Shiva Devala 2
We then went past several Shiva Hindu temples (some still used), a dagoba, and through a jungle area with many trade stalls. Judging from the number of stalls, the city must have been quite large during its peak. Columns and mounds of foundations jutted up, struggling against the destructive trees, roots, vines, and grasses of the jungle that threatened (and many times won) visibility and preservation. It made me wonder how much more still remained, unexcavated. In the northern area, we saw the Rankot Vihara, a dagoba 54 m in height – the largest one in Polonnaruwa and 4th largest on the island. Like the ones I saw under construction in Thailand, this one had ground covered by a brick mantle and plaster. A 12th century hospital (very little remaining) contained some surgical tools at the time of excavation, bearing strong similarity to modern ones.
Rankot Vihara

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