Saturday, October 12, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The carvings in granite, Yapahuwa, Sri Lanka.

Damsels on either side of the stone stairway shows South Indian influence.

The damsel represented in the 'Tivanka' - three curves - posture.

The 'Chinese lion' guarding the stairway
'After the reign of Bhuvanekabahu I, a Pandyan warrior named Aya Chakravarti arrived and devastated the country plundering much wealth and treasure. Taking with him the Tooth and Bowl Relics from Yapahuwa, he handed them over to the Pandyan king Kulasekera. However, the next king, Parakramabahu III of Polonnaruwa went to the Pandyan capital and after friendly discussions, was able to bring the relics back and once again initiate the traditional rituals. 

There is a story by the famous traveler Marco Polo that the Chinese emperor Kublai Khan sent a messenger to King Parakramabahu III to obtain the tooth, hair and bowl relics. The King not wishing to offend the emperor was able to please him by sending two fake teeth which were in turn graciously received and established with ritual worship in China. It is not known where these fake teeth have ended up today. But wherever the real tooth traveled throughout the island of Lanka, a new palace was built to enshrine the relic and today it resides in the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy and is considered to be the most sacred of all buddhist relics and Lankan shrines. '

Monday, October 7, 2013

Yapahuwa, before the climb, Sri Lanka.

Yapahuwa was a capital built in the 13th Century AD, around a large rocky hill. It compares with Sigiriya  built around the 6th Century AD. The imitation ends there. At Sigiriya the top of the rock contained the King's palace. At Yapahuwa the top of the rock housed the sacred Tooth Relic. The ascent to reach the Tooth Relic was purposely built steep to make it difficult of access. The King's palace was built around the rock at ground level. Like Sigiriya there were rings of thick walls and moats surrounding the palace. These did not prevent the Tooth Relic being stormed and captured. The Tooth Relic was valued because its possession signified that the owner ruled the Island. Hence it was sought after by friend and foe.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Yapahuwa rock fortress, Sri Lanka.

The Yapahuwa rock around which the fortress was built.

One of the outer walls of the fortress.

The entrance to the fortress.

'Yapahuwa was one of the ephemeral capitals of medieval Sri Lanka. The citadel of Yapahuwa lying midway between Kurunagala and Anuradhapura was built around a huge granite rock rising abruptly almost a hundred meters above the surrounding lowlands.
In 1272, King Bhuvenakabahu transferred the capital from Polonnaruwa to Yapahuwa in the face of Dravidian invasions from South India, bringing the Sacred Tooth Relic with him. Following the death of King Bhuvenakabahu in 1284, the Pandyans of South India invaded Sri Lanka once again, and succeeded in capturing Sacred Tooth Relic. Following its capture, Yapahuwa was largely abandoned and inhabited by Buddhist monks and religious ascetics.' (Wikipedia)