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Known as the 'Gem Palace', the ruins of 8th Century Ratnaprasada hide dark secrets of conflict between Buddhist monks and King Kanitta Tissa, who reigned from 192–194 AD. Legend has it that the monks of Ratnaprasada monastery harbored and gave sanctuary to people on the run from the authorities, including disgraced court officials. When the king ordered these officials to be caught and executed, the monks revolted, and the general population besieged Ratnaprasada, killed the king’s supporters and forced the king to back down. The site contains many ancient archaeological treasures, including the guard stone at the inner entrance to the building, which is regarded as one of the finest examples of such carvings in Anuradhapura.
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