May 3, 2015

1562 SRI LANKA - Yapahuwa

Yapahuwa was one of the ephemeral capitals of medieval Sri Lanka, in the latter part of the 13th century. Built around a huge granite rock rising abruptly almost 100m above the surrounding lowlands, at midway between Kurunagala and Anuradhapura, the citadel of Yapahuwa has a strong resemblance to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. In 1272, King Bhuvenakabahu transferred the capital from Polonnaruwa to Yapahuwa in the face of Dravidian invasions from South India.

Following the death of king in 1284, the Pandyans of South India invaded Sri Lanka once again, and Yapahuwa was largely abandoned and inhabited by Buddhist monks and religious ascetics. Many traces of ancient battle defences can still be seen, while an ornamental stairway, is its biggest showpiece. On top of the rock are the remains of a stupa, a Bodhi tree enclosure, and a rock shelter/cave used by Buddhist monks, indicating that earlier this site was used as a Buddhist monastery, like many boulders and hills in the area.

There are several caves at the base of the rock. In one of them there is a shrine with Buddha images. One cave has a Brahmi script inscription. At the southern base of the rock there is a fortification with two moats and ramparts. In this enclosure there are the remains of a number of buildings including a Buddhist shrine. There is also a Buddhist temple called Yapawwa Rajamaha Vihara built during the Kandyan period.

About the stamps
About the first stamp, issued to celebrate World Post Day, I wrote here. The second stamp is one of the two issued on January 18, 2013, to mark the 60th Anniversary of Sri Lanka - Japan Diplomatic Relations. The third stamp, depicting Gemini, is part of the series Zodiac, issued on October 9, 2007. The fourth is one of the two issued on 2013 to celebrate the 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The fifth stamp, depicting Sunflower, is part of the series Flowers of Sri Lanka, about which I wrote here. About the last stamp, depicting Mountain Hourglass Tree Frog (Taruga eques), I wrote here.

Yapahuwa - Wikipedia
Yapahuwa Kingdom of Ancient Sri Lanka - Amazing Lanka

Sender: Amith Gamage
Sent from Homagama (Western Province / Sri Lanka), on 04.11.2014
Photo: Lasantha Lakmal

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