Set in a fair-sized sprawl in the central plains of Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa is an enigmatic ancient city.
Some 800 years ago, Polonnaruwa was the glorious royal capital of the second most ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka. Throughout its gilded history, it has seen countless sieges, takeovers, and magnificent victories under the time’s resolute kings. Featuring a fascinating collection of archeological remains, it evokes a sense of wonder in every visitor. It is a bucket-list staple for any trip to Sri Lanka with its proximity to top-ranked national parks. After your visit, you can visit the rest.
Trade and agriculture were once the thriving forces in the royal city. And, the traces of this commercial success are everywhere. The World Heritage Site is home to the finest water systems in the region along with the ruins of architecturally wondrous palaces. But the true marvel is the mind-bending collection of temples, stupas, statues, and tombs. They seem genuinely old and equally unrelenting. If it is the spiritual ambiance characteristic of Sri Lanka that you seek, Gal Vihara rock temple is the address. It nestles giant Buddha images. They are epitomic examples of Sinhalese rock carving. The four statues of the Buddha are worthy of a glimpse.
A couple of yards away, the Quadrangle is another rewarding sight if you wish to witness the architectural feats of ancient people. Ornate carvings embellish the stairway that leads up to an austere Buddha statue. Its compact layout is a feature that draws photographers and architecture enthusiasts. Around it, you will get to visit countless other wondrous sights.
Tours visiting Polonnaruwa
Splendours of Ceylon