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Yapahuwa

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Best Time: November - January Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 days

"Ancient City and Fortress of Sri Lanka!"

Yapahuwa Tourism

Yapahuwa is a Sri Lankan city rich in history and lies between Karunagala and Anuradhapura. A short-lived capital of the country in the 13th century, Yapahuwa was the site of preservation of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. 

Fortifications and a moat surround the Yapahuwa Rock Fortress which limited the access to the city. A steep stairway that probably led to the Temple of the Tooth is the main attraction of this ancient city. The stairway is adorned with exquisite stone carvings; among them, the Yapahuwa Lion is the most popular and is reminiscent of the Chinese Lion. At the top of the staircase stands an imposing stone doorway, which opens into the now-empty temple. Some historians state that this was the site of the royal palace.

For many years after the invasions, the caves at Yapahuwa were inhabited by Buddhist monks. The Yapahuwa Cave Temple houses remnants of Buddhist sculptures and murals. Also, inscriptions have been found at these caves.

The Yapahuwa museum has numerous artefacts of the erstwhile capital on display, the most notable among them being an ornate stone window which decorated the top of the staircase. One can also observe Chinese coins here, evidence of the trade relations of the city with China.

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History of Yapahuwa

After fleeing Polonnaruwa with the Sacred Tooth Relic, Yapahuwa was declared as the capital by King Bhuvenakabahu in 1272. After the king’s demise in 1984, it was attacked by the Pandyans, who captured the Sacred Tooth Relic. Yapahuwa was destroyed further by the Portuguese in the 16th century. One of the caves was restored as a Buddhist temple during the Kandyan period.

Restaurants and Local Food in Yapahuwa

Yapahuwa has almost no restaurants in its vicinity, so it is better to pack your food and water on a visit to this ancient city. Tour operators usually arrange picnic lunches near the area.

Tips For Visiting Yapahuwa

1. Wear appropriate clothing to cover up the knees and shoulders because Yapahuwa is also an area of religious significance. 2. If you plan to climb the Yapahuwa Rock, wear comfortable climbing shoes. 3. Carry sunscreen and a hat, as it can become very sunny during the day.

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