Author – Senarath Paranavitana
Publisher – Visidunu Prakashakayo (pvt) LTD
Seventh batch 2012
This is a story of the Sinhala people working in peace and war under an unbroken monarchy during two millenniums and a half. The story begins with the Neolithic culture represented by the megalithic monuments found in the island, and runs through the fusion of this culture with an immigrant Indo-Aryan civilization from North India. This mingling with an Indo-Aryan people and the adoption of their language and ways of life mark the beginning of the Sinhala race.
Dr. Paranavitana Who for thirty years worked and lived among the ruins of what was once a complete civilization, describes here with physical evidence the components that went to build the grand structure of a way of life. He takes us a long way from the crude dolmen of Rambukkana to the delicate chiseling of form and animation in the stone figures of Anuradhapura and Polonnaru. He takes us through the shrine and temple to the flowering of our paintings in Sigiri. He leads us from the vast plains of plenty watered by an irrigation system unparalleled in history to the flight to the hills and the threshold of want.
The Padaviya inscription which appears on the cover of this book- a translation of which by Dr. Paranavitana appears below – while providing a wistful memory to the youth of the present generation, will we hope encourage them to emulate the achievements of their forebears.
The Padaviya Inscription
By Parakramabahu, the supreme Overlord of Lanka who has engaged himself in affairs (conducive to) the welfare of the whole world, has this been constructed. Parakumba (Parakramabahu) the lord of men had this constructed – (Parakumba) who had streams and rivers dammed (to form) reservoirs, thereby impounding all waters (or rejoicing the whole world) and caused fields in all Sri Lanka to be cultivated.
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