The Brazen Palace - History and Facts | History Hit

The Brazen Palace

Anuradhapura, North Central Province, Sri Lanka

The Brazen Palace was a grand structure built in the second century in the ancient city of Anuradhapura.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About The Brazen Palace

The Brazen Palace (Lovamahapaya) in Anuradhapura was once a magnificent structure initially built during the reign of King Dutugemunu of Sri Lanka (161BC-137BC).

Rebuilt on several occasions, at its peak, it would have had over a thousand rooms and would have risen nine storeys.

Today, the sole remains of the Brazen Palace are 1,600 neatly aligned granite columns arranged in forty rows.

The Brazen Palace history

Lovamahapaya in Anuradhapura is known as The Brazen Palace, due to the bronze tiled roof it once featured. It was originally built by King Dutugemunu more than 2000 years ago and is thought to have had nice storeys to provide accommodation for up to 1000 monks and attendants.

Whilst the Jetavanaramaya, Abhayagiriya and Ruwanwelisay in Anuradhapura were taller structures when they were built, the Brazan Palace remained the tallest building on the island for over a millennium between 155BC and 993A.

The building once featured what was known as a “simamalake”, which is where the Buddhist community gathered on days of the Full Moon, to recite passages from Buddhist scripture. It was completely razed to the ground by fire during the rule of King Saddhatissa. The temple was reconstructed under the leadership of King Parakramabahu.

The Brazen Palace today

A cluster of pillars is all that remains from the last rebuild during the reign of  King Parakramabahu I around the 12th century and these are fenced off.

The small building that now stands in the veritable forest of pillars is a modern chapter house currently being used by the Maha Vihara monastic order.

Nowadays, most Buddhist pilgrims will make a visit to the ruins of the Brazen Palace as they travel from the Ruvanvelisaya Dagaba to the Sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree.

Getting to the Brazen Palace

This site is located a short walk northwest of the Sri Maha Bodhi Temple. Visitors may want to take a peek at it while walking from the Temple to the Ruwanvelisaya Dagoba. There is a path that runs between the Jethawanaramaya and the Sri Maha Bodhi. Upon exiting the sacred tree, continue forward across the street. The pedestrian path that leads north is the Swarnamali Mawatha. The Brazen Palace will be to the right.

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