Rankoth vihara-polonnaruwa
A Spiritual Journey Through Time


Nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa holds within its boundaries a treasure trove of historical wonders. Among these, Rankoth Vehera stands tall as a testament to the architectural and engineering brilliance of ancient Sri Lankans. In this SEO blog article, we will delve into the fascinating history, significance, and architectural marvel of Rankoth Vehera.

Rankoth Vehera: A Glimpse into Sri Lanka's Glorious Past

Rankoth Vehera, also known as the “Golden Pinnacle Stupa,” is a magnificent Buddhist stupa that graces the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. This architectural marvel was constructed during the reign of King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196 AD) during the Polonnaruwa period, which was a time of great cultural and religious renaissance in Sri Lanka. The stupa is a remarkable representation of Sinhalese craftsmanship and devotion to Buddhism.

Architectural Grandeur

One of the most striking features of Rankoth Vehera is its sheer size and symmetry. Standing at a height of 55 meters, it proudly dominates the Polonnaruwa skyline. The stupa’s dome shape, meticulously constructed from thousands of bricks, is a testament to the engineering prowess of its builders.

The term “Rankoth” itself means “golden,” and it is aptly named so due to its glittering exterior. The stupa was once adorned with a golden pinnacle that glistened under the Sri Lankan sun, making it an awe-inspiring sight. Although the golden pinnacle is no longer present, the name “Golden Pinnacle Stupa” continues to resonate with its glorious past.

Religious Significance

Rankoth Vehera is not just an architectural masterpiece but also a place of great religious significance. It served as a place of worship and devotion for Buddhists during the Polonnaruwa period and continues to do so today. Devotees and tourists alike visit this sacred site to pay their respects and witness the spiritual aura that surrounds the stupa.

The stupa is adorned with a Vatadage, a circular stone shrine that encases the stupa, adding to its religious importance. This Vatadage once housed relics of Lord Buddha and served as a place for meditation and rituals. The intricate carvings and sculptures on the Vatadage provide a glimpse into the artistic talents of the ancient Sri Lankan craftsmen.

A Glimpse into Ancient Sri Lankan Culture

Rankoth Vehera is more than just a religious site; it is a window into the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. The stupa and its surrounding structures reflect the architectural and artistic styles of the Polonnaruwa period. Visitors can admire the exquisite stone carvings, moonstones, guardstones, and other intricate details that adorn the site.

The moonstone at Rankoth Vehera’s entrance is particularly noteworthy. It features a series of concentric circles representing the cycle of life, surrounded by beautifully crafted animal and floral motifs. These carvings provide valuable insights into the cosmological beliefs and artistic expressions of ancient Sri Lankans.

Preservation Efforts

Preserving the cultural heritage of Rankoth Vehera is of paramount importance. The Sri Lankan government, in collaboration with international organizations and local communities, has undertaken extensive efforts to protect and restore this ancient marvel. Conservation projects aim to maintain the stupa’s structural integrity and safeguard its historical and religious significance for future generations.


Rankoth Vehera in Polonnaruwa is a testament to the grandeur of Sri Lanka’s ancient civilizations. It not only showcases the architectural brilliance of its time but also holds deep religious and cultural significance. As a visitor, exploring Rankoth Vehera offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and appreciate the rich history and craftsmanship that have shaped Sri Lanka’s cultural landscape. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a spiritual seeker, or an admirer of architectural wonders, Rankoth Vehera is a must-visit destination that promises to leave an indelible mark on your soul.

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Useful Tips

  • Location: The Rankoth Vehera is located in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which is situated in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka.

  • Dress code: It is recommended to wear clothing that covers your shoulders, knees, and midriff. Additionally, it’s customary to remove your shoes before entering the shrine.
  • Photography: Photography is usually allowed at the Rankoth vehera, but it’s important to be respectful and avoid using flash photography, which can damage delicate carvings and artifacts.
  • Nearby attractions: The Gal Vihara, Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu, and the Shiva Devale No. 2
  • Respectful Attire: Since rankoth vehera is a religious site, dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering the premises to show respect.
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