Panduvasnuwara, situated halfway between Chilaw and Kurunegala, is the most important archaeological site of Sri Lanka’s Northwestern Province. What can be seen today, are remnants of the former capital of Parakramabahu the Great. Panduvasnuvara was his residence when he reigned only Dakkhinadesa, the western part of the island, before attaining power in Polonnowaruwa and reuniting the entire nation. In a way, Panduvasnuwara was the blueprint for his building program in the island’s medieval capital. In contrast to Polonnaruwa, there are only foundation walls and some small stupas left in Panduvasnuwara. The three main complexes are the former royal palace and a monastic compound and one large circular structure which is unique in Sri Lanka and the function of which is not yet clear. Legend has it that this was the site where Princess Chittha, daughter of King Panduvasudeva and mother of later King Pandukabhaya was held in captivity to prevent her from finding a spouse and getting pregnant, after an oracle had prophesized that her son would gain the throne by killing her brothers. A small museum with findings such as Byzantine coins is at the entrance of the archaeological site. Panduvasnuwara is not a must-see but worth visiting in case you are planning overnight stays in the area of Kurunegala or Chilaw or Anamaduwa.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka