The Yapahuwa rock and its surrounding area became the Capital of Sri Lanka for a short period of time during the 13th century. According to chronicles King Buwanekabahu (1) (1273-1284) built his palace on this rock which rises loftily on the outskirts of Kurunegala, approximately 145 km from Colombo. Yapahuwa is better known for its rock fortress which was built with a similar concept to Sigiriya, specially to protect the kingdom from the South Indian armies who had started invading Sri Lanka. One of the most outstanding features of this fortress is the steep ornamental staircase leading up to the cave temple which was built for monks, at its apex. The majestic lions near the top of the staircase have gained much fame, for their superb craftsmanship. The porches on the stairway have beautifully curved stone windows and one of them is being kept in an archaeological museum situated at the entrance of the rock fortress. In this enclosure there are remains of a number of buildings. The Sacred Tooth Relic was also brought form Dambadeniya and kept in a special chamber.