Archeology Department instructed to preserve historic Manthiri Manai palace in Jaffna

* Archeology Department instructed to preserve historic Manthiri Manai palace in Jaffna

Thu, Nov 11, 2021, 11:53 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 11, Colombo: State Minister Vidura Wickremanayake during a study of ancient architecture in the Jaffna Peninsula has instructed the Department of Archeology to preserve the historic Manthiri Manai palace in Jaffna.

During a recent visit to Jaffna, the State Minister State has further instructed the relevant officials to look into any ownership issues and take necessary action.

Manthiri Manai palace, known in Sinhala as ‘Rajamanthri Maligaya’ is located in the Nallur Divisional Secretariat, Jaffna. This is one of the oldest buildings in the Jaffna district.

Considering these names, there are various theories as to whether this was the abode of a queen or queens or a palace of the Sankilian kings.

Today, the old architecture is somewhat preserved, and the main entrance is elegant and majestic.

The entrance has an ornamental gateway, a large arched porch and a tower. It is a two-storey structure with wooden carvings decorating the interior walls. At the entrance to the hall there is a beautiful wood carving and a lush lotus carving and a large classroom with entrance doors to the hall. The room to the left of the main entrance is slightly higher than the other rooms. The wooden beams used for this purpose can still be seen.

It has a well and a wash basin, a cellar, and a staircase leading down to underground rooms and secret tunnels. The kitchen and well were built to the right of the main entrance, and it appears that there were other rooms and parts connected to the outside of the building as well as to the outside through tunnels.

The entire building is constructed of Miocene limestone. The walls are plastered with lime mortar and there are various theories as to whether the main entrance and the interior tower decoration had a South Indian influence.

Many government officials were also present on the occasion.

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