Nissanka Latha Mandapaya
Purpose of the Structure
One of the more unique structures built by King Nissankamalla in the 1100s, the Nissanka Latha Mandapaya is believed to be the recitation house for Buddhist chanting (pirith), and still stands as an important monument that showcases how the religion of Buddhism influenced society back in the day. The monument is located in the western end of the ‘Dalada Maluwa’ (the place in which the Sacred Tooth Relic was housed), making its significance all the more relevant in the annals of Sri Lankan history. The complex is also known to be the ‘King’s Court’ by some archaeologists.
Its highlighting factor is its open-air design which possesses some unique looking pillars that are crafted in such a way that it depicts blooming lotus flowers. In addition to these pillars, there are also other features of interest, which have been preserved over time, while at the same time, there are features that have been destroyed due to the constant invasions of the Chola during the 14th century. Take your time in exploring the complex, as the elements of the building, especially the stone columns are considered to be the best examples of the ancient architectural styles in the whole island, according to the renowned archaeologist, Senarath Paranavithana.