USD

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

UNESCO World Heritage Site near Colombo

Located in northern Sri Lanka is the second-oldest city on the island, Polonnaruwa. In fact, Anuradhapura was succeeded by Polonnaruwa as the Ceylonese capital towards the end of the 10th century, when the former was abandoned following a fierce invasion.

Its proximity to the east coast is also one of the major factors in its development throughout the years, while the bordering Mahaweli River has helped in its economic and agricultural development. Owing to these important facts, it was added to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1982. It is also considered by many experts and historians as one of the most important Buddhist shrines.

Read More
Rating From
  1. Cinnamon Grand Colombo 4.3/ 5
  2. The Kingsbury Colombo 4.2/ 5
  3. Heritance Kandalama 4.3/ 5
  4. The Wallawwa 4.5/ 5
  5. Reef Villa & Spa 5.0/ 5
  6. Mount Lavinia Hotel 4.1/ 5
  7. Cinnamon Lodge 4.5/ 5
  8. Sun Aqua Pasikudah 4.4/ 5
  9. Hilton Colombo 4.1/ 5

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa Background

In 368 AD, Polonnaruwa became the residence of the erstwhile Sinhalese Kings and with the passage of time, the city gained importance, becoming the seat of power and urban lifestyle. Under the able leadership of King Parakramabahu I during the 12th century, Polonnaruwa enjoyed its golden days, becoming the most splendid city in Ceylon endowed, with extensive buildings, monuments and other structures like parks, museums, and sanctuaries. Even the great ‘bathing tank’ belongs to this era.

The most important buildings and structures included Galviharaya, the Royal Palace of Parakramabahu I, the lotus pond, Lankathilaka and others. Although, most of these are in ruins now, the government is trying hard to recover and renovate as much as possible.

But later rulers were incapable of handling the reins of the kingdom and shunning away invasions and attacks, resulting in the downfall and decline of Polonnaruwa. By the start of the 14th Century, Polonnaruwa was deserted and lost forever. Still, the remains of this once-splendid city testify to the greatness and discipline of those capable rulers who were successful in sculpting such a marvelous and wonderful urban creation.
 

  • Location: North-central Sri Lanka
  • How to get there: Buses from Colombo
Hide Map Show Map
Rate This Place: ( votes)

Tours You May Like

Related Pages

  • Nuwara Eliya Hotels

    All Hotels in Nuwara Eliya

    Nuwara Eliya hotels and resorts at the best rates, from Four Stars resorts such as The Tea Factory, to budget Read More»

  • Kandy Attractions

    Kandy Attractions

    A major attraction in Kandy, Sri Dalada Maligawa has a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha displayed once every six years. Read More»

  • Sri Lanka Nightlife

    Sri Lanka Nightlife

    Nightlife is not the main attraction in Sri Lanka. Bars, discos, and casinos are fairly busy in the bigger cities but in Read More»

  • Colombo Attractions

    Colombo Attractions

    Colombo has a wide range of attractions waiting for you. The colonial era and the island’s rich historical heritage have Read More»

  • Sri Lanka Activities

    Sri Lanka Activities

    Sri Lanka offers water sports, including rafting, snorkeling, diving, surfing and sailing, while land activities feature Read More»

  • Uda Walawe Elephant Transit Home

    Uda Walawe Elephant Transit Home

    Owned by the DWLC, or the Department of Wild Life Conservation, the Elephant Transit Home was established in 1995 as a Read More»

We try to provide free information that is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. However, if you are planning to travel it's a good idea to double check specific dates and information to avoid surprises.

Hotels.com
Loading...