Gal Pota


The Gal Pota (Stone Book) is a colossal stone representation of an ola book. It is nearly 9m long by 1.5m wide, and 40cm to 66cm thick. The inscription on it – the longest such stone inscription in Sri Lanka – indicates that it was a Nissanka Malla publication. Much of it extols his virtues as a king, but it also includes the footnote that the slab, weighing 25 tonnes, was dragged from Mihintale, an astonishing 100km away.

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Nearby Polonnaruwa attractions

1. Hatadage

Erected by Nissanka Malla, the Hatadage monument is said to have been built in 60 (hata) hours. It's in poor condition today, but was originally a two…

2. Velaikkara Slab Inscription

This 12th-century memorial slab records the oath taken by the Velaikkara royal guards to protect the Buddha tooth relic after an earlier rebellion was…

3. Latha-Mandapaya

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The busy Nissanka Malla was responsible for the Latha-Mandapaya. This unique structure consists of a latticed stone fence – a curious imitation of a…

4. Thuparama Gedige

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At the southern end of the Quadrangle, the Thuparama Gedige is the smallest gedige (hollow Buddhist temple with thick walls) in Polonnaruwa, but is also…

5. Quadrangle

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A short stroll north of the Royal Palace ruins, the area known as the Quadrangle is literally that – a compact group of ruins in a raised-up area bounded…

6. Atadage

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A shrine for the tooth relic, the Atadage is the only surviving structure in Polonnaruwa dating from the reign of Vijayabahu I.

7. Vatadage

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In the southeast of the Quadrangle, the Vatadage (circular relic house) is typical of its kind. Its outermost terrace is 18m in diameter, and the second…

8. Satmahal Prasada

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In the northeast corner of the Quadrangle stands the unusual ziggurat-style Satmahal Prasada, which consists of six diminishing storeys (there used to be…