Sri Lanka Tours & Travel Information

Statue of King Parakramabahu

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Statue of King Parakramabahu

The statue near the Potgul Vehera in Polonnaruwa, commonly known as the statue of Parakramabahu I, is a stone sculpture dating back to the Polonnaruwa period of ancient Sri Lanka. Its identity is uncertain, although the widely accepted theory is that it is a statue of Parakramabahu I. However, it has also been suggested as the statue of a sage. Carved on a large boulder, the statue depicts a majestic figure with a grave expression, holding a book or yoke in his hands.

The statue has not been positively identified, but the popular and widely accepted belief is that the statue is of King Parakramabahu I, who ruled the country 1153 to 1186. Historian Mendis Rohanadeera has suggested that the statue shows a man belonging to the Lambakanna clan, because a hare—a symbol of this clan—is depicted above the left shoulder of the statue.

This supports the theory that it is a statue of Parakramabahu I, who was of the Lambakanna clan. However, another theory is that it is the statue of a sage; either Agastya or Pulasthi. The object held in the hands of the statue may be an ola (cured palm leaves) book. This, and the fact that it is located close to the Potgul Vehera, which was a library in ancient times, supports this theory. However, another belief is that the object is a "yoke of kingship", although it is even jokingly referred to locally as a piece of Papaya.

Specific details

Duration 15 minutes


Polonnaruwa , Polonnaruwa District, Sri Lanka


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