Medirigiriya Watadageya


Madirigiriya Watadageya
Medirigiriya Watadageya

Sri Lanka has many gigantic stupas built in early centuries during Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa kingdom times. But different to those huge structures, there is another type of architecture of building stupa, which can be seen in few places. Those designs are call Vatadageaya. It’s a construction of a covering structure, which completely housed the Stupa. So in this design, stupa is not big in size and the structure gives protection to the middle stupa from sun and rain.
There are two such vatadage in Polonnanaruwa. One is in Polonnaruwa Dalada maluwa Vatadageya and the other one is in Medirigiriya.

Medirigiriya Watadageya
Medirigiriya Watadageya

Medirigiriya was functioning as a Buddhist monastery even from 3rd century B.C. The originator of this complex is not recorded in history but additions were done by king Kanitta Tissa, who ruled Sri Lanka during 164-186 A.C. According to the Mahavansa, some more improvements to this site was done by king Agbo II ( 608-618 A.C.) and king Sena II ( 853-887 A.C.)

Medirigiriya Watadageya
Madirigiriya Watadageya

Medirigiriya vatadageya is one of the mostly preserved vatadage in Sri Lanka. This Vatadageya has three rounds of pillars, which were used to support the roof. there are 32 pillars in outer ring, 20 pillars n middle ring and 16 pillars in inner ring. Stupa is located in the middle top level. Construction of this was done on top of a flat circular shape rocky stage. This structure is over 20 centuries old and built in Anuradhapura kingdom time. This structure is located in the middle of the Medirigiriya monastery complex.

Medirigiriya Watadageya
Medirigiriya Watadageya

You need to enter through a stone frame located in at the entrance and then climb steps to reach the middle layer, which is in shape of rectangular. Then take few more steps to reach stupa maluwa.

Medirigiriya Watadageya
Medirigiriya Watadageya

According to some rock inscriptions, fully equiped hospital complex also located in this Medirigiriya monastery complex. Still you can see the Beheh Oruwa ( Medicine boat), which was made with granite. This was designed to dip a human body and cover it with medicine. There are some bathing pools and remains of developed toilet also can be seen in this site. You walk through the vast surrounding area and see many historical artifacts and ruins.

Beheth Oruwa (Medicine Boat)
Medirigiriya Beheth Oruwa

As what happened to all the religious and royal complexes in Anuradahapura and Polonnaruwa, this complex was abandoned due to south Indian invasions. This pace rediscovered by Mr, HCP ell, former head of archeological department in Ceylon.

Medirigiriya Watadageya

Madirigiriya Watadageya

Best time to visit Medirigiriya vatadageya is morning or evenings, due to heat of sun. Since this is a religious place, you need to walk without shoes. When the granite floor get heated at noon and that make difficult on barefoot .

Medirigiriya Watadageya

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