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Sri Lanka Stamps

July 08th, 2015 Stamp Bulletin No. 865 Commemorative Issue
Ancient Sri Lanka - Medieval Eras

Various facets of the Sri Lankan history beginning from the pre-historic era until the Polonnaru period were depicted by these series of stamps on the theme of Sri Lanka in the past consisting of 21 stamps with first of the series depicting the Pre-Historic Era, the second series depicting the Early Historic Period and the Early Anuradhapura Period, the third series depicting the Post-Anuradhapura Period and the fourth series depicting the Polonnaru Period. The end of the Polonnary period started with the invasion of Kalinga Magha and with that the Sri Lankan kingdom which was centered round the Raja Rata till then began to shift towards the south-western region. The kingdoms that existed thereafter as that of Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, Kurunegala and Gampola respectively did not last long and due to that very reason the archaeological evidence left from those periods too is very scanty.

The Dambadeniya Period

Dembadeniya was the first centre of administration after the shifting of the kingdom towards the south-western region. It was king Vijayabaju III “1232 AD-1272 AD” who made Dambadeniya his kingdom and after him his elder son Parakramabahu II “1236 AD-1270 AD” ascended the throne. Being a poet of great repute, he was awarded the honorary title of Kalikala- Sahitya- Sarvajna- Pandita.
His successor Vijayabahu IV “1271 AD-1272 AD” could not retain the throne for long. There are two slabs of stone known as Vira Gal fixed to the front wall of the Tempita image house of Dambadeniya Vijayasundararama Raja Maha Vihara where there are several bas-relief carvings. The stamp depicts one of those carvings.
The Yapahuwa Period
Before the emergence of the Yapahuwa kingdom, the area around the rock of Yapahu existed as an administrative centre and the Kingdom of Yapahuwa was established by king Buvanekabahu I (1272 AD-1284 AD). After this death there was a short period of unsettlement in the country and his son Buvanekabahu II became the king of Yapahuwa in 1292 AD. After ruling from Yapahuwa for about seven years he shifted the centre of administration to Kurunegala.
The entrance with an attractive flight of steps leading to the building known as the palace of Yapahuwa consists of extremely beautiful carvings. In the guard-stone in a niche of the front wall on both sides of the place where this flight begins there are two female figures carved resembling the figure of Nagaraja.
The female figure which is in the three-bent (Tribhanga) posture carrying a filled-pot (Pun Kalasa) in one had is an attractive carving. The features of the figure carved in bas-relief are well presented and it is the opinion of scholars that these creations are influenced by the Tamil architecture as well as the Indo-Chinese art.

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