Pollanarrua, a ruined city of Ceylon, once the capital of the kingdom, situated in lat. 8° N., Ion. 81° E., about 60 m. N. N. E. of Candy. The city stood on the banks of an immense artificial tank or lake, but the waters are now shrunk into a small area, and the grand embankment encloses a broad savannah, beyond which the remains of palaces and temples tower above the highest trees. The principal ruins extend nearly N. and S. for about a mile and a half, and consist of the Gal Vihara, a rock-cut temple containing a seated figure of Buddha; the Jayta-wanarama temple, 170 ft. long by 70 wide, and containing an erect statue of Buddha 58 ft. high; the Rankot dagoba, a circular mass of solid brick masonry, 186 ft. in diameter and about 200 ft. high; the Sat-mahal-prasada, a seven-storied pyramidal temple, in front of which lies a monolith 26 ft. long, 4 ft. wide, and 2 ft. thick, with an inscription, engraved about A. D. 1196, recording that it was brought from the mountain of Mihintala, 80 m. distant; and the palace. The jungle around is filled with mounds of brick, fallen columns, sculptured stones, and the foundations of overthrown buildings.
Pollanarrua was made the capital of Ceylon .by Mahindo I., A. D. 769, when Anarajapoora, the former capital, had become untenable from the incursions of the Malabars. In the reign of Prakrama Bahu I., who surrounded it with walls and greatly enriched it, it is said to have covered an area 30 m. long by 4 m. broad. In 1204 it was sacked for the second time by the Malabars. In 1235 the capital was removed to Dambedenia, and the city gradually fell into decay. Neither the Portuguese nor the Dutch knew of these ruins. They were first visited by Mr. Fagan, an Englishman, in 1820. The site is now called Topare, probably a corruption of Topa-weva, the name of the great tank.
Ruins of Pollanarrua.