Shiva Tempel Number 1
Immediately northwards after the Royal city complex south of the Quadrangle lies the Shiva Devale no. 1, one of many temples at Polonnaruwa dedicated to either Vishnu or Shiva. It dates from the Pandyan occupation of the early thirteenth century, following the collapse of Sinhalese power;
The temple is made of finely cut, slate-grey stone, fitted together without the use of mortar – in fact, it may never have been finished: you can still see protruding lumps which would have helped workers when manoeuvring the blocks into place, and which would later have been carved off (in addition, the code numbers painted on almost every stone during archeological work give the whole structure the curious appearance of an enormous building set).
The bottom halves of two rudely truncated guardian figures stand by the doorway, while inside there’s a rather battered lingam – the extraordinary treasure-trove of bronze images found here are now in the National Museum in Colombo. Around the back of the shrine stand cute and tiny statuettes and a couple of venerable and heavily bearded figures which possibly represent Agni, the pre-Aryan Indian god of fire.
Shiva Tempel Number 2
This is the oldest building in Polonnaruwa as it dates back to the brief South Indian Chola dynasty period (around 1070) when the Indian invaders established the city. It was built by King Raja Raja I (985 – 1014 A.D.). According to an inscription found, this place has been dedicated to the consort of the King. This is one of the few Hindu temples on the grounds. Because it is among the few buildings built entirely of stone, it is basically in the same condition as when it was built.