Hatadage

the Hatadage had originally been a two-storeyed building, though the upper storey, which was perhaps made of brick, had long since crumbled away, as is the case with so many other structures at Polonnaruwa. Thought to have been built by Nissankamalla, the Hatadage is also referred to as the Temple of the Tooth, since the relic may have been placed here for a time, probably on the upper floor.

It now houses three Buddha statues, the central one positioned to line up through the shrine’s doorway with the Buddha directly opposite in the Vatadage. The entrance is marked by a fine moonstone and two nagarajas, whilst carvings of lions and geese run along the top and bottom of tin-exterior walls, which bear the very faint traces of further decorative carving. Two long Sinhala inscriptions can be found on the right of the outer and inner entrances.

 

Background

1) Built. Under ruler Nissanka Malla (1187-1196). Hatadage is the third and final tooth relic shrine built in the Quadrangle.
2) Location. East side of the Quadrangle, near the entrance, just north of Vatadage

 

Layout and appearance

Entrance. The entrance to the mandapa has the same Polonnaruwa style arrangement we saw at Vatadage, albeit in a lower state of preservation: a moonstone (featuring a larger lotus and parades of animals with no lions or bulls) flanked by nagaraja guardstones (with no makara arch and purely decorative animals).
Mandapa and sanctum. The rectangular mandapa affords access to a larger square sanctum.
Secondary entrance. The mandapa’s right wall holds a secondary entrance, assuring that
visitors kept the Buddhas in the sanctum on their right sides.
Stairway to the tooth relic. A stone stairway in the mandapa provides access to a now‑
vanished wooden upper floor that held the sacred tooth relic. The columns embedded
in the brick walls were needed to support the weight of the upper floor.
Three Buddhas. Three standing Buddha images inhabit the sanctum. The Buddhas remain in satisfactory condition, particularly the one on the left. Further, the presence of three images, rather than the typical one, could signal increased influence of Mahayana Buddhism, the smaller Buddhas flanking the central one (presumably the historical Buddha) being Buddhas of the past and future.
Circumambulation path. Visitors would walk around the Buddha images in a clockwise
manner, leave offerings and then ascend the stairs to see the relic.

Buddha Statues in Hatadage,

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