Polonnaruwa Kiri Vehera (The Milk Statue)

Polonnaruwa is a one of scared city in Sri Lanka. There are plenty of ancient places are in Sri Lanka and they are very famous due to their technolgy and importance. Kiri vehera is one of those scared places. It is considered as the second tallest stupa in the ancient city of Polonaruwa. This is situated north to the “Lankathilaka Status House”. This Kiri vehera is part of the “Alahana Pirivena” which was a learning institute for the monks.


There are no any sources that reflects the exactly about the origin of this Kiri vehera. However, it may be a creation of by King Parakramabahu the Great. He is a very famouse king who ruled Polonnaruwa Kingdom in 1153-1186 AD in memory of Queen Subadra, consort of King Parakramabahu the Great. Thus it may be a creation by Queen Subadra herself. The original name of this stupa was “Rupawathi Seya”.


The stupa is 28.5 meters tall and it one of the best-preserved stupa among other stupas found in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. This stupa has a diameter of about 88 feet at the base. We can see four frontispieces at the cardinal points when seeing the surrounding of it. At either side of the front pieces, there are small Buddha shrines which have rectangular shape with brick roofs. There is a bubble-shaped dome rising upward from a base of three receding terraces. The original lime plaster on the dome is better preserved and is still visible. Maybe the name of this stupa has also derived due to this well preserved lime plaster.  

This stupa is quite simple without any background features. There aren’t any moonstones, guardian stones, customary images of gods and demons or Vatadage around this stupa like another ancient places.

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