Polonnaruwa is nearly 1000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura, and in much better repair.Polonnaruwa lies 216 km northeast of Colombo, 140kms northeast of Kandy and 104kms southeast of Anuradhapura. The ancient city was declared a World heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.

Sri Lanka’s medieval capital (11th – 12th Century AD) is a well-preserved city of ancient dagobas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and stunningly beautiful statues. The majestic King’s Council Chamber, the Lotus Bath, the Lanka Thilaka Viharaya, the Gal Viharaya (rock temple) and the statue of one of Polonnaruwa’s great kings, Parakramabahu, are a few of this capital’s memorable sights. The Sea of Parakrama – a vast 12th century man-made reservoir dominates the city.

King Vijayabahu I recaptured the throne for the Singhalese in 1073 and became the first to rule from the new capital Polonnaruwa, in a succession spanning 153 years. Vijayabahu did much to develop religion and irrigation, but it was Parakramabahu I reigning from 1153-86 who raised Polonnaruwa to its glorious heights in a grand renaissance of art and architecture, which produced the most beautiful statues and carvings in the country.


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