Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

Sri Lanka’s second most ancient kingdom.

After Anuradhapura’s destruction in 993 by Rajaraja, Polonnaruwa was declared the capital by King Vijayabahu I. Further transformed under the reign of his grandson, Parakramabahu I, into an impressive city with reservoirs, canals and gardens, Polonnaruwa continued as capital until the 13th century.

Parakramabahu I’s time as king is often described as Sri Lanka’s golden age.

Thuparamaya temple – 3rd century BC. One of the oldest buildings in Polonnaruwa. Almost the entire building still stands and the brick roof is intact.

Entrance to the Vatadage the most sacred building on the site.

A surprising number of statues and amount of detail on the buildings and walls are still intact.

Joanna walking around the stupa

The Gal Vihara

The Lankatilaka Temple – ancient Buddhist image house. It supposedly had 5 floors. Built by King Parakramabahu.

In 1982 Polonnaruwa became the first Sri Lankan World Heritage site declared by Unesco.

Entrance fee for foreign tourists: 25USD

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