It is where ancient Sri Lanka established its kingdom after the fall of Anuradhapura. The kingdom lasted from the 10th century to the 13th century. This archaeological city is a treasure trove of extraordinary stone monuments from its heyday. As it became the ruling kingdom of both Sinhala kings and Chola invaders, the city has a wealth of Brahmanic monuments. Polonnaruwa temple ruins, which are in hundreds, are scattered in and around the archaeological park. The area also features enormous reservoirs and water tanks built by the kings. It is one of the largest paddy cultivators in the country. Its UNESCO World Heritage Site status is a testimony to its rich and colourful history.
It is a 12th Century rock temple, built by King Parakramabahu I. Four rock relief Buddha statues carved into an enormous rock face are the main feature.
Known to be Sri Lanka’s best-preserved Vatadage, it is a circular relic house located in the Quadrangle, which has the most concentrated monuments.
It is the largest Polonnaruwa stupa and the fourth largest on the island. Constructed by King Nissankamalla in the 12th Century, it’s 170m tall.
Thivanka Image House
Famous for its unique Buddha statue, it contains the only surviving Polonnaruwa murals. These are some of the best frescoes of Buddha’s past lives.
Nissanka Latha Mandapaya
The structure built by King Nissankamalla consists of a latticed stone fence surrounding a small dagoba. Lotus-shaped stone pillars circle the dagoba.
It is one of the most distinctive places to visit in Polonnaruwa. This ziggurat-style structure has six diminishing storeys shaped like a stepped pyramid.