The medieval capital
Polonnaruwa (218 km from Colombo) became established as the capital in the 11th century when Anuradhapura was abandoned due to foreign invasion.
A dominant feature of the city is a vast irrigation lake of 5940 acres named Parakrama Samudra.
The palace complex of King Parakrama Bahu is a medieval stronghold of moats, walls, guard houses, bathing ponds thick-walled multi-storeyed castle.
The Sacred Quadrangle is a complex of twelve striking monuments : The Vatadage, The Thurupama, The Nissanka Lata Mandapaya, The Atadage, The Hetadage, Gal Potha, The Satmahal Prasada, two Hindu Shrines known as the Siva Devale, The Alahanana Pirivena a 12th century monastic university, the Lankatilleke Shrine, The Gal Vihare which is one of Sri Lanka's most unforgettable monuments – a group of three colossal Buddha images in seated, standing and reclining poses is carved with fluid grace and almost live expression on a huge rock face.
The Archaeological Museum located by the side of the Parakrama Samudra presents original artefacts found in Polonnaruwa and also replicas and artistic impressions of the ancient monuments.
Things you can do
- The Sacred City of Anuradhapura
- The Medieval Capital of Polonnaruwa
- The Cave Temples of Dambulla
- The Sigiriya Rock Fortress
- Ritigala - Mountain of Mist and Mystery
- The Royal City of Kandy
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