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Lankathilaka Viharaya

Ancient Central, Sri Lanka.
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Overview
One of the most emblematic structures of the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa, the Lankatilaka Vihara was built by King Parakramabahu I. It is a Buddhist shrine, where the attention is focused on a large figure of the Lord Buddha which takes up almost all the space within the shrine.
This towering statue at 14 meters, still stands and is enshrined between two great walls, each about four meters thick and 17 meters high, forming a narrow aisle leading to it. The interior walls are adorned with beautifully painted murals, depicting Buddhist scenes. The outer walls are horizontally divided into five floors and adored with reliefs of architectural subjects that indicate the domed roof it probably had during its time.
Archaeologists believe that the intriguing bas reliefs on the outer walls that are horizontally divided in to five floors represent the Vimana (abode) of the gods. The entrance is decorated with guard stones and makara balustrades (dragon arches), made of stone and adorned with lions and depictions of dwarf like begins, similar to those found at the Vatadage. Historic records show that the Viharaya underwent a restoration during the time of King Vijayabahu IV.

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