Points of Interest - Polonnaruwa

Hatadage and Atadage

Atadage, meaning house of eight relics believed to be the ancient relic chamber where the Sacred Tooth Relic and Bowl Relic and six other relics of Lord Buddha was kept. This was built by king Vijayabahu in the 11th century and the Hatadage, meaning shrine of sixty relics was built right next to it was believed to be built by King Nissankamalla (1187–1196), following ruler to the House of Relic. However, some says due to the age of the building it must have been built by King Parakramabahu. Hatadage is an ancient shrine, 120 ft. in length and 60 ft. in width, situated in Polonnaruwa and is believed to be built in sixty hours in which it receives its name. The Sinhalese word represent the duration of the construction period in English and the word Dage has the meaning of ‘relic shrine’. Three Buddha sculptures carved out of granite rock are situated inside the chamber of worship, which was initially a two-story structure. Today, just the lower story remains.

The Atadage, an expanded rendition of the Hatadage, was also built by King Nissankamalla to house the noteworthy structure with the ground floor filling in as an image house that can be accessed by a masterfully carved doorway. Engravings by King Nissankamalla which were recorded on the walls once are now stained.

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