Points of Interest - Polonnaruwa

Thivanka Image House

Thivanka Image House
Thivanka Image House

Located few hundred meters away from the Lotus Pond, Thivanka Image House is one of the largest brick buildings in Polonnaruwa built by King Parakramabahu (1153-1186) as part of the Jetavanaramaya Complex. Housed to a Buddha Statue, named Thivanka for its special feature of been bent in three places at the knees, at the waist, at the shoulders. Surrounding the statue is the two layered plastered wall featuring murals relating to Polonnaruwa era sightseeing. As most of the structures of this era in Polonnaruwa, the Thivanka Image House too was built with bricks including the statue.

Originally the Buddha statue at the Thivanka Pilgrimage was about 8 meters in height but since the head had been destroyed, the statue is now at 6.6 meters in height. The walls of the image house is 7 to 12 ft in thickness making the internal size of the building much smaller.  The in itself is 133 feet in height and 67.6” feet wide.

The inside of the walls of the Thivanka Image house which have been decorated with frescoes showing the Jataka stories prior to the birth of Buddha before enlightenment can be seen, although most of the masonry has been destroyed. The entrance to the building is guarded by two guard stones and two “Korawak Gala”. For the last 15 years, the outer restoration of this image house has been carried out at a snail pace.

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