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Polonnaruwa Council Chamber

Polonnaruwa Council Chamber


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Polonnaruwa, in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, is the second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Polonnaruwa Council Chamber history

The city of Polonnaruwa was established by the Chola dynasty as their new capital in the 10th century. The Chola Dynasty was a Tamil empire of southern India and one of the world’s longest-ruling dynasties, who undertook destruction of the Buddhist civilisation in northern Sri Lanka. Chola ruled ended in 1070, after which Polonnaruwa was captured by King Vijayabahu I.

Under the 1153-1186 rule of Vijayabahu’s grandson, Parakramabahu the Great, trade and agriculture flourished. Irrigation systems were constructed that continue to serve the paddy fields nearby, and the kingdom was self-sufficient. The Council Chamber, the Raja Sabhawa in Sinhala, is located in front of the royal palace and was built for Parakramabahu as a meeting place for his ministers.

The Council chamber was built 75 feet long and 33 feet wide, and was designed in three tiers: the first lower level was decorated with elephants, the second with lions. The stone chamber’s pillars were decorated with carvings designed to impress, supporting a roof made of wood and clay tiles, and surrounding a throne where the king was seated. The acoustics were so good the king could hear his ministers from across the chamber.

The chamber’s steps were also decorated with two moon-stones, a unique feature of ancient Sinhalese architecture, symbolising the cycle of the endless Buddhist life cycle and emphasising Sri Lanka’s Buddhist identity after Polonnaruwa’s period of Chola rule.

Polonnaruwa Council Chamber today

The ancient Polonnaruwa Council Chamber stands testimony to the enduring presence of Sri Lanka’s early architecture. The fantastic condition of the ruins allows you to walk on the chamber’s main level among the remaining 48 pillars, bringing to life the ancient site’s grandiose design. Take a moment to stop and admire the large ornately carved lions at the top of the steps.

At the ruin, there is also a board in English showing a plan of the chambers. Be sure to hold onto your hat though, as the site is constantly visited by the local population of toque macaques.

Getting to Polonnaruwa Council Chamber

These ancient ruins are situated within the new town of Polonnaruwa, so you can reach the Council Chambers on foot from the Clock Tower bus stop, route 48, 450m away. The chamber is also located off the A11, and there is plenty of parking in the nearby town.


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For 160 years, the Metro Atlanta Chamber has been the voice of our region&rsquos business community, working to improve and drive our reputation as a global competitor. Our roots run parallel with the region&rsquos: we started as an organization fighting railroad freight discrimination, just as Atlanta was built on the foundation of the railroad industry.

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The history of Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa was the thriving commercial and religious center of Sri Lanka some 800 years ago. It consists of a lot of temples and religious buildings. For three centuries it was the royal capital, of both the Chola and Sinhalese kingdoms. In Polonnaruwa, it all started in the late 10th century when the South Indian Chola dynasty had conquered Sri Lanka.

The Cholas chose Polonnaruwa as their new capital and moved the capital from Anuradhapura. Their reasons were apparently that is was a strategically better place to be protected from attacks from the Ruhunu Sinhalese kingdom in the south-east, and that it had fewer mosquitos. LOL, it didn`t feel like there was a lack of mosquitos here, especially in the evenings when they came out in swarms……

In 1070 though, the Chola dynasty was overtaken by the Sinhalese kingdom (King Vijayabahu I), which kept Polonnaruwa as his capital. And it was during this Sinhalese period that Polonnaruwa reached its high glory.

The second king (King Parakramabahu I, 1153-86) built many large buildings, beautiful parks, and a huge lake/ tank of water (25 square km). The third king (King Nisanka Malla, 1187 – 96) tried to match his predecessors`achievements, and ended up bankrupting the kingdom in his attempts!

In the early 13th century the cities glory was fading, it was abandoned, and the capital moved to the western side of the island where Colombo is today. That was the sad end of the era of beautiful Polonnaruwa as a capital.


Great history - lovely site

Visited in March - one of the many buildings in the bigger palace/temple area. Great sense of history and presence. Nice carvings and pillars.

Stand in the place and it gets back to old days where councils happened .

Pillars are very nice and lion statues .

Our guide explained who sat where and when you sat as a memeber of chamber you could not see the King as was hidden by the stone pillar. Therefore the person was required to step forward before addressing the King. Fascinating and i pressive in size and the detail that still remains.

By the museum, located in the park by the lake. A nice walk and no admission fee. If you have any spare time Polonnawaru, worth a visit.

Only the base remains of the impressive large council chambers where the king met with his ministers and advisors.
The stairs leading up are guarded by two lions.

This was one of the most spectacular of the buildings remaining from the ancient tenth century kingdom of the Chola dynasty at the time of King Parakramabalu. It was in this building that the king conferred with his officials and subjects. Most of the stone collumns are still standing and there wonderful carvings of elephants all round the building and splendid lions guarding the steps. This is only one of many remains of the ancient city to see.


Polonnaruwa Council Chamber - History

Ampara District Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Ampara District Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Anuradhapura District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Anuradhapura District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies

Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies

Batticaloa District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Batticaloa District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Business Chamber of Commerce

Business Chamber of Commerce

Central Province Exporters’ Chamber

Central Province Exporters’ Chamber

Chamber of Provincial Entreprenuers

Chamber of Provincial Entreprenuers

Central Province Women’s Chamber of Small Industry and Commerce

Central Province Women’s Chamber of Small Industry and Commerce

Ceylon Hardware Merchants’ Association

Ceylon National Chamber of Industries

Ceylon National Chamber of Industries

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Central Province

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Central Province

Trincomalee District Chamber of Commerce and Industries

Trincomalee District Chamber of Commerce and Industries

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uva Province

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uva Province

Matale District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Matale District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Matara District Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Matara District Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Matara District Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Matara District Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Batticaloa District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Moneragala District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Moneragala District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Mullaitivu District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Mullaitivu District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

National Construction Association of Sri Lanka

National Construction Association of Sri Lanka

Nuwara Eliya District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Nuwara Eliya District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Polonnaruwa District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Polonnaruwa District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Polonnaruwa District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Polonnaruwa District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Protected Agriculture Entrepreneurs’ Association of Sri Lanka

Protected Agriculture Entrepreneurs’ Association of Sri Lanka

Puttalam District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agribusiness

Puttalam District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agribusiness

Centre for Agribusiness Development

Tile & Sanitary Ware Importers Association

Tile & Sanitary Ware Importers Association

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yarlpanam

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yarlpanam

Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs

Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs

Galle District Chamber of Commerce & Industries

Galle District Chamber of Commerce & Industries

Galle District Women Entrepreneurs’ Chamber

Galle District Women Entrepreneurs’ Chamber

Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce

Institute of Personnel Management Sri Lanka

Institute of Personnel Management Sri Lanka

International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka

Jaffna Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agribusiness

Jaffna Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agribusiness

Kalutara District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Kilinochchi District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Kurunegala District Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agribusiness

Kurunegala District Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agribusiness

Mannar District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Sabaragamuwa Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Sabaragamuwa Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Software Exporters’ Association

Sri Lanka Association of Printers

Sri Lanka Association of Printers

Sri Lanka Fruit and Vegetable Producers’, Processors’ and Exporters’ Association

Sri Lanka Fruit and Vegetable Producers’, Processors’ and Exporters’ Association


SriLankaTravelNotes.com


Raja Sabhawa of King Parakramabahu

This is the Council Chamber ( Raja Sabahawa) of king Parakaramabahu the Great( 1153 -1186 AD). This also known as Raja Vaishyabhujanga Mandapaya.


Plan of the Raja Sabhawa of King Parakramabahu


The statue of a lion by the entrance

The Council chamber is 75 feet in length and 33 feet width. The design was done in three tires. The first, lowest level was decorated with row of elephants and the second level with lions. Third an the upper most wall is decorated with Vamana rupa.


Sadakadapahana at the entrance


There are 4 rows with 12 stone pillars in each raw. Each pillar is decorated with carvings. It is believed that the roof supported on the stone pillars probably done with wood and clay tiles.


Carvings done on the columns

You can see a Sadakada pahana belonging to the Polonnaruwa time at the entrance.

This structure was undergone some renovation during the Dabadeniya period( 13th century AD).


Gal Viharaya

Polonnaruwa Gal Viharaya ( Uththararamaya) is one of the main attraction in Polonnaruwa. Read more about   Gal Viharaya »

Nisshanka Latha Mandapaya

Nisshanka Latha Mandapaya is located in the Polonnaruwa Dalada Maluwa, where the Tooth Relic of Load Buddha was located in Polonnaruwa period.
Read more about   Nisshanka Latha Mandapaya »


Polonnaruwa Council Chamber - History

The House of Assembly has many ancient foreheads, and the area around the House is symbolic, with the King's stone tablet preserved.

The House of Assembly has many ancient foreheads, and the area around the House is symbolic, with the King's stone tablet preserved.

The House of Parliament is a huge area to visit, the building itself is an old-fashioned structure, surrounded by historical sites.

It was a meeting place for ancient kings and ministers. Each stone pillar represented the position of a minister. However, the top of the king, the Lion Throne, has been moved into the museum. Although the building is severely weathered, the reliefs surrounding the base are still beautiful.

Even if you don't know what these pillars are for, you might assume they are actually better supported by a famous building. The House of Assembly had been washed up in the past and it became the same. Think of the way the councillors sat in the columns and discussed them. Imagine the lids on the pillars.

There are not many remains left, but you can get a rough idea of the history of the place from the guide, and the King's Rock Lion throne has been transferred to the capital for safekeeping, and you can go on your way.


McCormick County History

Hunters, traders and drovers coming into the area that is now McCormick County in the early 1700s discovered an unspoiled, enchanting, wilderness paradise. The virgin soil of the hills was dark red clay, rich and porous along the streams it was deep, dark and fertile sandy loam. The whole countryside was an adorned savanna as far as the eye could see – carpeted with wildflowers of every hue, canes, wild-pea, and native grasses in profusion, and trees spaced so far apart that deer and buffalo could be seen from afar.

The hills were forested with short-leaf pines and oaks, interspersed with cedars, persimmons, cherries, and locusts. Along the streams grew walnuts, cottonwoods, birches, hickories, and maples. Chestnuts, oaks, and poplars along the streams often grew to exceed seventy feet or more in height. The crystal-clear streams teemed with catfish, perch, bass, bream, and shad. Beavers, raccoons, otters, and muskrats trailed their banks. The soil was deemed ordinary when canes grew no higher than a man’s head but fertile when the canes attained a height of twenty or thirty feet. The land was the Native American hunter’s bonanza. It thronged with turkey, ducks, quail, geese, eagles, hawks, owls, songbirds, and wild animals – rabbits, squirrels, opossums, foxes, bobcats, wolves, and cougars. Buffalo, deer, and black bear abounded. The shaggy buffalo would later lend its name to locales like Buffalo Creek, Little Buffalo Creek, and Buffalo Baptist Church in the county. A hunter from Ninety-Six reported counting more than a hundred buffaloes grazing on a single acre near Long Cane Creek. Herds of deer numbering sixty and seventy roamed the natural habitat. A Cherokee hunter often killed two hundred deer in a year. In a good year tribesmen sold more than two hundred thousand deerskins to traders from Charles Town. In a single autumn, a hunter could kill enough black bear to salt down three thousand pounds of meat. The virgin soil of the hills was dark red clay, rich and porous along the streams it was deep, dark and fertile sandy loam. The whole countryside was an adorned savanna as far as the eye could see – carpeted with wildflowers of every hue, canes, wild-pea, and native grasses in profusion, and trees spaced so far apart that deer and buffalo could be seen from afar.

John Stevens maintained cow-pens near the crossing of the Cherokee Path, over Stevens Creek in 1715. The Cherokees called the Cherokee Path, “Suwali-Nana”. Stevens’ cow-pens lended the name for the creek. Likewise, cow-pens located on Cuffeytown Creek led to the creation of a trading post, probably called “Cuffey Town”, that was situated on the east side of the stream just above the bridge on U. S. Route 378, near Longmires, presently the Hollingsworth home. In 1756, George Bussey took up a 900-acre tract of land on Horn’s Creek below Stevens Creek. In the same year John Scott, formerly of Cuffeytown Creek, moved to Stevens Creek, where five years later he was made a justice of the peace. The Stevens Creek settlement was a fifteen-mile circle nearly surrounded on the south and west by Savannah River and Turkey Creek encompassing lower present-day McCormick County.

The 1747 treaty set the new Indian boundary at Long Cane Creek. It clearly stipulated that there would be no settling north of the boundary. The immediate effect of the treaty was to open land for settling along the Indian path.

Scots-Irish Arrive in the Long Canes

After General Edward Braddock’s defeat in 1755 during the French and Indian War, the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania were exposed to great danger from the French at Fort Duquesne on the Ohio River, and their Indians allies. Bands of warring Indians ravaged the frontiers populated mostly by Scots-Irish. Settlers evacuated the countryside. To escape the atrocities, five Scots-Irish families made their way down the Great Wagon Road from Virginia to the Waxhaws. The Calhouns – four brothers James, Ezekiel, William and Patrick, their sister Mary, widow of John Noble, and their mother Catherine. At the Waxhaws, they were induced by a band of hunters to visit the Long Canes in the Ninety-Six District. The hunters gave a glowing description of the Long Canes. The Calhouns arrived in the Long Canes (present-day McCormick County) in February 1756. They settled at a site on the east side of Long Cane Creek, where they built a palisade fort called Fort Long Canes. The site was less than a mile from present-day Long Cane A.R.P. Church, and two miles west of Troy. Before the end of the year the Calhouns crossed Long Cane Creek and relocated a few miles to the north to the Flatwoods on Little River (near present-day Mt. Carmel). The Flatwoods was located in Cherokee hunting lands. Their nearest neighbors were Robert Gouedy, a Scots-Irish Indian trader at Ninety-Six, and Andrew Williamson, a Scot cattle drover on Hard Labor Creek. The Calhouns assured the provincial government that they had secured permission of the Cherokees to settle there. How true it was cannot be ascertained. However, according the 1747 treaty the land was not legally open for settlement.

The Calhouns quickly petitioned for land grants and received hundreds of acres in the Flatwoods on Little River. Patrick Calhoun secured a deputation as land surveyor. Surveying these tracts began the near monopoly of land surveying that he held for seven years. They cleared land, planted crops and accumulated poultry, cattle, hogs, horses, and mules. These five pioneer families opened the way for development of the Long Canes. From the beginning the Calhouns were people of substance. Other Scots-Irish Presbyterian settlers followed the Calhouns down the Great Wagon Road from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Many of them were relatives and former neighbors of the Calhouns. Most, like the Calhouns, had originally settled in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, and had moved on into Virginia when settling became crowded. By 1759 the number of families had increased to twenty or thirty. Among those who located in Long Canes early were the Arthur Patton family, and the families Alexander, Anderson, Houston, Norris, and Pickens. “Squire” Patrick Calhoun, the family patriarch, was appointed a justice of the peace and became a prosperous farmer and the undisputed leader of the Calhoun Settlement in the Long Canes. In 1769, Calhoun was seated, albeit not without great effort, as a representative for Prince William Parish as the region’s first representative in the Royal Assembly in Charles Town. In 1775, he was elected from Ninety-Six District to the First Provincial Congress. William Calhoun was also commissioned a justice of the peace. He built a store on his place and carried on a lively trade with his white neighbors and with Cherokee Indians. The Indians brought deerskins, bear and beaver hides, ginseng, and other herbs, which they traded for guns and powder, farm tools and implements, household items, cloth and ribbons.

The Huguenots

The Huguenots were French Calvinists or French Reformed Protestants. Like the Scottish Presbyterians, they were followers of John Calvin, French religious reformer. The New Bordeaux colony was settled primarily by two separate groups: the first in 1764 under the leadership of Pastor Jean Louis Gibert, the second by fate in 1768. Early in the second half of the eighteenth century, Pastor Jean Louis Gibert, condemned to death by the French government seven years earlier for his Calvinist preaching, organized the migration for the New Bordeaux colony from his London base. British King George III’s interest in financing the Huguenot settlement was for bringing about quick settlement of the South Carolina back country following the Cherokee War of 1760. His Commissioners designated a location in the thinly settled back country, the strategy being to create a buffer to protect the Charleston tidewater area against Indian uprisings.

The sailing vessel slid out of the harbor, and headed northward toward the English Channel and Plymouth, England, on August 9, 1763. The Friendship dropped anchor in Charles Town, South Carolina on the 12th of April 1764. The town of New Bordeaux was planned and built in the design typical of a French village on Little River. Log homes were built on half-acre lots in neat rows along narrow streets. Once situated, the Huguenots immediately adopted a local governmental council consisting of five members – the justice of peace, the minister, and the three officers of the village militia. North of the village were the family, four-acre vineyard lots stretching along gentle slopes toward the river. On these mini-farms the Huguenots developed olive groves and grape vineyards. On the same lots they cultivated garden crops such as maize (Indian corn), potatoes, beans, and cabbage.

Four years later, contrary winds caused another group of colonists to join the already established settlement at New Bordeaux. Jean Louis Dumesnil de St. Pierre, a French Huguenot refugee living in London, conceived a plan to establish a colony in North America to cultivate a wine and silk industry on a commercial scale. He petitioned King George III for land to settle upon on. The British monarch approved the scheme and promised St. Pierre a land grant of 40,000 acres on Cape Sable Island near Halifax in Nova Scotia. After more than three years of preparation and anticipation, St. Pierre and his French and German protestant colonists boarded the St. Peter in London harbor for a perilous voyage bound for Cape Sable Island in Nova Scotia. They departed on September 26, 1767. When not long at sea, the St. Peter began to encounter choppy waters. Increasingly brisk winds began to lash the vessel in this record-breaking early winter season. As the weeks passed into months, gale after gale brought the fury of rain and hail and bitter-cold, winter winds. Ten of the colonists who died of scurvy in-route were forever entombed in frigid watery graves. By the first day of January 1768, the St. Peter was situated, “at latitude 41° north,” according to St. Pierre’s journal, which described the ship as “being very leaky and the Colonists reduced to three pounds of bread for nine days and very sick of the scurvy, they did oblige (him) to bear and put into the harbour of Charles Town.” The helmsman steered the brigantine carrying the colonists toward Charles Town, South Carolina. Better weather prevailed. Nearly six weeks later, the St. Peter limped into the seaport on February 10, 1768. In Charles Town, Lord Charles Montagu encouraged St. Pierre to settle his Protestant colonists in the South Carolina back country with the French Huguenots at New Bordeaux. Huguenot Parkway at Sheridan.

The German Palatines

Johann Heinrich Christian, Sieur de Stumpel was a German of high position. For several months he enlisted Germans who turned over everything of value to de Stumpel’s agent – homes, land, and personal property. A good portion of the colonists were from the area called the German Palatinate – the entire group has usually been referred to as “Palatines.” The riverboats arrived. De Stumpel’s plan was set into motion. The boats slid along the Rhine River picking up German emigrants who had assembled at numerous points. The voyagers were conveyed down the Rhine to the seaport of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. At Rotterdam the excited Germans boarded ships. The ships set sail upon the open sea. There was great jubilation among the passengers as they lost sight of land. They expected to touch port briefly in England where Sieur de Stumpel would be waiting to pay for passage and to make the final arrangements for their settlement in Nova Scotia, and then to put to sea for the journey to the Americas. Finally, after a year of soulful deliberation, apprehension, preparation, and severance from the land of their birth, these bold-spirited German colonists were on the way – Auf dem Weg zum Schlaraffenland! (On the way to the “wonderland!”) So they thought! When the ships docked in London in late August everything went out of whack. Sieur de Stumpel was nowhere to be found, and there was no sign of any agent who might be working for him. The shipmasters were enraged. They demanded passage money. The refugees had none. The Germans were mercilessly thrown off the ships, and their baggage was confiscated. They had no food, no money, no clothes, and no way of communicating with the English-speaking people gawking at them. And they had no leader in their group. They were totally destitute! Finally, leaving the wharf, the bedraggled refugees struggled past the warehouses and into a road that led them to Whitechapel Fields where they sat down along the common. That night a cold rain drenched them. For two days they had no food. Their luck changed a little when an English baker saw them and brought them loaves of bread. After several days without food, except for the loaves, word of their destitution reached the Reverend Gustav Anthon Wachsel, pastor of the new German Lutheran church in London called St. George’s. The church had been built by the pastor’s uncle, a rich German named Beckmann, for the many Germans working in sugar refineries of the neighborhood. The pastor caused the state of their wretched plight to be published in a London newspaper, and immediately went to the aid of the refugees. His parish quickly mobilized and began relief work. The military raised tents to reduce their exposure to the weather. By this time there had already been deaths among the emigrants. As a result of the newspaper coverage, Lord Halifax directed an appeal to the King to intervene and to settle the German Palatines in America. Sieur de Stumpel never showed up. Nor did his agent. After several weeks, the refugees were told that they would be settled in South Carolina. London’s Gentlemen’s Magazine for Tuesday, September 13, 1764, wrote, “In compliance with a petition for that purpose, his Majesty has been graciously pleased to order, that the Palatines now so liberally provided for shall be sent to, and established in Carolina, for which purpose 150 stand of arms have been already delivered out for their use and contracts were made for their immediate transportation.”

Six weeks later vessels with German refugees aboard lifted anchor, and set sail from London, bound for Charles Town, South Carolina. Ihre Reise war wiederum im Fortschritt! (Their journey was under way once again.) The Dragon, commanded by Francis Hammot dropped anchor on the night of December 13, 1764. After nine weeks at sea the voyage was over.

As instructed, Patrick Calhoun built the large community house near Hard Labor Creek. It served as a “center” until the settlers could get settled on their individual tracts of land. In February 1765, the rest of the German colonists arrived in Charles Town aboard Captain Lonley’s Planter’s Adventure. The Lieutenant Governor intended to settle the Germans very near the French Huguenots of New Bordeaux, and the Scots-Irish of the Long Canes. But, upon learning of the still present threat of Indian raids, the German Palatines chose to settle several miles southeasterly. A township containing some 25,000 acres was laid out, and named Londonborough in honor of their London benefactors. The German colonists selected lands in the vicinity of Hard Labor Creek, Cuffeytown Creek, Horsepen Creek, Sleepy Creek, Rocky Creek, Mountain Creek, and Turkey Creek.

African Americans entered the county early. About 1755, John Scott, a Scots-Irish trader with at least five African slaves, took up a tract of land. His son Samuel Scott established a ferry on Savannah River near the present-day town of Clarks Hill. Other settlers, including George Bussey, brought slaves with them, and located in that same valley that came to be known as Stevens Creek settlement – a fifteen-mile circle nearly surrounded on the south and west by Savannah River and Turkey Creek.

At about the same time, John Chevis, a free black carpenter from Virginia, with a wife, nine children, and a foundling infant, was granted a tract of land on Little River, five miles above its junction with Long Cane Creek. It appears that Chevis had initially come into the Stevens Creek settlement.

By the beginning of the American Revolution there were African slaves in Stevens Creek, the Long Canes and New Bordeaux settlements, and other areas of present day McCormick County. In 1790, one fourth of the white families owned slaves.

The Long Cane Indian Massacre

February 1, 1760, was a cold, winter day in the Calhoun settlement at Long Canes in present-day McCormick County. During the morning, the settlers received the alarm of an impending attack planned by Indian warriors from the Lower Towns and the Middle Towns of the Cherokee Nation. Risking her life, Cateechee, a Cherokee maiden, rode some seventy miles on horseback from her Keowee home in the Lower Towns to warn settlers. The daring dash by Cateechee probably saved the Long Canes settlement from total annihilation.

The settlers of Long Canes hastily began preparations to flee some sixty miles south to Tobler’s Fort at Beech Island in New Windsor Township, just across the Savannah River from Augusta, Georgia. Within hours of the warning a first group of over a hundred persons left the Long Canes and would reach Tobler’s Fort unmolested. Shortly thereafter the rest of the settlers moved out in a wagon train of about 150 persons. Travel was hampered due to the ground being soggy wet from recent rainy weather. After traveling a few miles, they reached Long Cane Creek where they experienced great difficulty in crossing the creek and climbing the hill on the east side. By that time, it was late and the decision was made to make camp for the night.

Meanwhile, a Cherokee war party of about a hundred Indian braves, reportedly led by Chief Big Sawny and Chief Sunaratehee, arrived at the Long Canes settlement and found it abandoned. They pursued the trail of the settlers for a while and decided to cease pursuit. At the moment, they were about to turn around, they faintly heard shouts of the fleeing settlers as they probably were making the creek crossing. The war party quickly resumed pursuit, crossed the creek at another site and went into hiding. When at their most defenseless moment, the Indians attacked. The campsite was at once a scene of total pandemonium. In the wild confusion only a few of the fifty-five to sixty fighting men could lay hand on their guns. Women and children scrambled for any available cover and became separated. Casualties among the settlers mounted very quickly. The men were able to hold off the attacking Indians for no more than a half-hour. Realizing the futility of further resistance, the surviving settlers, aided by then night, assembled as best they could and fled on horses, leaving behind the wagons containing all their earthly possessions. In the short half-hour, the Long Canes settlers suffered fifty-six killed and a number taken captive. The Cherokee raiding party sustained twenty-one killed and a number wounded. Among the killed was Chief Sunaratehee. 2 mi. west of Troy, Sec. Rd. 36, Rd. 341.

The Battle of Long Canes was fought by Patriot militia against British and Loyalist forces on the east side of the creek December 12, 1780 during the Revolutionary War. 2 mi. west of Troy on Sec. Rd. 36.

Vienna, the first commercial center in present-day McCormick County, is now a ghost town under the waters of Lake Thurmond. Located five miles southeast of present-day Mt. Carmel, Vienna was one of three thriving sister cities that developed on Savannah River in the late 1700s. Opposite on the Georgia side in the fork between Savannah and Broad rivers was Petersburg, and on the south side of Broad River and Savannah fork was Lisbon, both in then Wilkes County. The location of the three towns where two rivers met was a great advantage in water transportation. Yet the trade centers needed land transportation for bringing in the products of plantations, especially tobacco and cotton to be shipped and for travel. The towns were made accessible for wheeled conveyances, and became the location where land travel from western South Carolina and from the north and east of upper Georgia crossed. An integrated stage line from Milledgeville, Georgia to Washington, D. C., ran through Petersburg and Vienna as did a United States mail route. Flat boats called Petersburg Boats carried loads of tobacco, cotton, and flour down river to Augusta. Two ferries provided constant service across the River. Westward migration brought a drastic decline in the prosperity of Vienna and her sister cities Petersburg and Lisbon by the early 1820s. The town government of the dying town was abandoned in 1831. 5 mi. southwest of Mt Carmel, at end of Sec. Rd. 91, under water.

John de la Howe, (1710–1797) a French physician, came to South Carolina ca. 1764 and settled in the New Bordeaux French Huguenot community. His will left most of his estate, including Lethe Plantation, to the Agricultural Society of South Carolina to establish a home and school for underprivileged children. The Lethe Agricultural Seminary was founded here after de la Howe’s death in 1797.

Initially restricted to twenty-four boys and girls from what was then Abbeville County, with preference given to orphans, the school emphasized manual training, or instruction in operating a self-sufficient farm. In 1918, the school was turned over the State of South Carolina, opened to children from every county in the state, and renamed John de la Howe School. It is now a group child care agency. On Route 81, 2 mi. southwest of Route 28.

The quest for gold occupies a unique chapter in the annals of American history. It occupies a special place in the history of the Town of McCormick. The zealous quest for the precious metal influenced two men to the extent that it induced the spawning of the settlement and then town that became McCormick. In spite of their mutual interest the two men probably never met. The first was William Burkhalter Dorn’s unrelenting search for and discovery of gold. Dorn’s discovery of the mother lode at Peak Hill in 1852 insured the Dorn Mine a top spot in nineteenth century gold mining in South Carolina. Dorn made extensive investments in real property in the area and was an outstanding philanthropist. As a result of Dorn’s Mine a small settlement called Dorn’s Gold Mines sprang up around the mines. A post office by that name was established in 1857. Cyrus Hall McCormick’s investment in and ultimate purchase of the Dorn Mine from Billy Dorn, and his influence in the acquisition of a railroad terminal at the site clinched the permanence of the Town of McCormick. McCormick’s interest in securing a railroad connection to the Augusta and Greenwood Railroad was an attempt to boost the success of his gold and manganese mines.

Interest in the Dorn Mine was greatly increased because of the participation of the great nineteenth century industrialist Cyrus McCormick. The man who single-handedly changed the face of American agriculture would not experience similar success through his investment in the Dorn Mine, but he will be remembered for adding an engaging chapter to the saga of the mines, and for ensuring the future of the Town of McCormick. Cyrus Hall McCormick, born February 15, 1809, on the family farm Walnut Grove, in Rockbridge County, Virginia, was of Scots-Irish ancestry. At the age of twenty-two, McCormick devised the invention which would change his life and dramatically increase the efficiency of the American farmer. In 1831, and in only six weeks to develop the world’s first successful reaping machine. In all the centuries prior to 1831, there had been invented but two new agricultural implements for harvesting: the scythe (sixteenth century) and the cradle (eighteenth century). From that beginning in 1831, he rose to national prominence. Envisioning Chicago as the future railroad hub and gateway to the expanding West, he chose the Windy City as the site of his factory in 1847. Within two years, he repaid his creditors, and McCormick and Company (later known as International Harvester) was a sensational success.


Loved this

Even regular folks are now able to visit the king's chambers, unlike back in the day. Walk up a flight of stairs, and you can have the same view royalty did back in the day. There is no roof, but many of the columns are still there.

All that is left from the King's Council Chamber is a raised stone platform, nicely decorated with three bands of elephants at the bottom, lions on the next level up and big belly dwarfs on the top level The platform supports four lines of nicely decorated stone pillars, then there are to stairways guarded by carved lions and having a moonstone at the bottom. It is one of the better preserved and very much worth your time

In the current times, what remains of the King's Council Chamber is a raised, narrow platform accessed by steps. There are some broken pillars, which must have supported the roof, during the times, it was in use as a chamber for council. It is an interesting structure, but not worth spending too much time.
It is located near the Royal Palace and can be covered in a short duration of time.

It is easy to imagine the Kings and their courtiers occupying this platform debating matters of state. The moonstone and carvings on the steps leading to this elevated area are well worth spending time examining. Very impressive.

We loved this majestic ruined council building where the ancient kings held meetings of governance and ceremonial occasions.
It has two lines of stone columns with ornate carvings on them that once held up the long since gone roof.
The steps are especially beautiful, embellished with carvings, most notably of two lions. There is an impressive moonstobe at the base. Outside of the sacred quadrangle this is one of the most impressive sites in Polonnaruwa and is a must see.

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Nice Platform .

Stand in the place and it gets back to old days where councils happened .

Pillars are very nice and lion statues .

Our guide explained who sat where and when you sat as a memeber of chamber you could not see the King as was hidden by the stone pillar. Therefore the person was required to step forward before addressing the King. Fascinating and i pressive in size and the detail that still remains.

By the museum, located in the park by the lake. A nice walk and no admission fee. If you have any spare time Polonnawaru, worth a visit.

Only the base remains of the impressive large council chambers where the king met with his ministers and advisors.
The stairs leading up are guarded by two lions.

This was one of the most spectacular of the buildings remaining from the ancient tenth century kingdom of the Chola dynasty at the time of King Parakramabalu. It was in this building that the king conferred with his officials and subjects. Most of the stone collumns are still standing and there wonderful carvings of elephants all round the building and splendid lions guarding the steps. This is only one of many remains of the ancient city to see.


Watch the video: පළනනර ගයට තවම නගය තන..Travel map Polonnaruwa 01 (June 2022).


Comments:

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  2. Jazzmyn

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