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Nissanka Latha Mandapaya

Ancient Central, Sri Lanka.
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Overview
Nissanka Latha Mandapaya is a unique structure in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. Built by King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) and named after him, it is located near the western entrance of the Dalada Maluva, the area that contains the oldest and most sacred monuments in the city. A stone inscription identifies this as the building used by Nissanka Malla to listen to pirith (chanting of Buddhist scriptures).
The structure is an elevated stone platform with a number of stone columns and surrounded by a low stone wall. The eight granite columns are arranged in two rows, with four in each row. Presumably used to support a roof, each of them is approximately 8 feet 4 inches in height. The crowns of the columns are carved in the shape of a blossoming lotus bud. The rest are elaborately carved to resemble the stem of the flower. The stone columns are not straight, but curved in three places. According to archaeologist Senarath Paranavithana, the stone columns at the Nissanka Latha Mandapaya are the best examples of this feature of ancient Sri Lankan architecture. At the centre of the platform, flanked by the stone columns, is a small stone stupa.

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