The tiny island of Sri Lanka has a history that dates back several hundred years. A treasure-trove of ancient relics, the island gives you a glimpse into its strong cultural and aesthetic values. Every province of Sri Lanka has something to offer from the nations past, but it is the cultural triangle that truly holds the epitome of ancient attractions. Temples, stupas, caves, rocks and gardens can be seen in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka each with its own fascinating story.
The city of Polonnaruwa in particular has a whole area where remains of an ancient kingdom are kept well preserved. Walk through this region with a tour guide and be transported back in time; to an era where kings ruled this land and records were kept on tablets some of which can be seen even today. Among the many remains that stand in this area is the Rankoth Viharaya. It is a treasured stupa that was built by the renowned Nissanka Malla, who was the ruler of the island between 1187 and 1196.The design of the stupa is significant as it bares the typical features of stupa’s built at the time. It is very similar to the Ruwanweli Seya stupa found in Anuradhapura.
The name Rankoth comes from the words Ran which means gold and kotha which means pinnacle of a stupa. Quite literally this can be translated to “Gold Pinnacled Stupa”. Its immense significance during the reign of Nissanka Malla gave the temple its name and to this day it stands as a masterpiece of architecture. The stupa has been created entirely out of brick with its sheer size making it the largest Vihara in Polannaruwa.
There is history etched in every inch of the Rankoth Viharaya and it has a courtyard that is equally engraved with stories from the past. While exploring the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka make your booking to stay at one of the boutique hotels Sri Lanka has to offer. A reputed choice in this regard is Ulagalla Resort.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.