Polonnaruwa is the second-largest city in the North Central Province and one of the cleanest and more beautiful cities in the country. It is also the second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms. It bears the status of a World Heritage site declared by UNESCO.

Today, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa reflects the architectural brilliance of the kingdom’s first rulers and the city remains one of the best-planned archaeological relic cities in the country. 

Places to see in Polonnaruwa:

The Polonnaruwa Vatadage:

This ancient structure is believed to have been built during the reign of Parakramabahu I to hold the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha or during the reign of Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa to hold the alms bowl used by the Buddha.

Rankoth Vehera:

This is a stupa located in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. The name Rankoth Vehera can be translated to English as “Gold Pinnacled Stupa”. It is one of the most revered stupas in Polonnaruwa.

Nissanka Latha Mandapaya:

This is a unique structure in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa built by King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) and named after him. A màndapa is a pillared structure that is open on all sides and protects the person(s) inside from the sun with a roof.

Gal Vihara:

This is a rock temple of the Buddha designed by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century. The main feature of the temple is four rock relief statues of the Buddha, which have been carved into the face of a large granite rock.

The Statue of the King Parakramabahu I

This is located close to the easter bank of the Parakrama Samudra reservoir built by Parakramabahu himself. The statue of Parakramabahu I is one of the best stone sculptures belonging to the Polonnaruwa period. The 11-foot-2-inch-high statue is carved on a large boulder.

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