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What are the must-see attractions in Polonnaruwa?

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Polonnaruwa, located in the cultural heart of Sri Lanka, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers a wealth of must-see attractions for history enthusiasts, culture seekers, and nature lovers.

Posted : November 4, 2023 12:54 am
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Here are some of the top must-see attractions in Polonnaruwa:

  1. Polonnaruwa Archaeological Museum: Start your journey in Polonnaruwa with a visit to the Archaeological Museum. It provides an excellent introduction to the city's history and showcases artifacts and exhibits from the ancient period, helping you gain a deeper understanding of the area's rich heritage.

  2. Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu: Explore the impressive ruins of the Royal Palace, which was once the residence of King Parakramabahu the Great. The well-preserved stone foundations and remnants of this grand structure provide insight into the architectural achievements of the time.

  3. Gal Vihara: The Gal Vihara is home to four magnificent rock-cut Buddha statues, including a stunning reclining Buddha. The exquisite craftsmanship and serene atmosphere make it one of the most celebrated attractions in Polonnaruwa.

  4. Lankatilaka Temple: Visit the Lankatilaka Temple, an architectural masterpiece known for its finely carved walls and a towering standing Buddha statue. This temple is a testament to the artistic and engineering skills of the ancient Sri Lankans.

  5. Thuparama Gedige: The Thuparama Gedige is a unique temple that combines elements of both Buddhism and Hinduism. It features intricate stone carvings and a finely crafted roof, showcasing the rich cultural diversity of Polonnaruwa.

  6. Vatadage: Explore the Vatadage, a circular relic house that once housed the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. It's adorned with finely detailed stone guardstones and moonstones, reflecting the artistic prowess of the period.

  7. Rankot Vihara: The Rankot Vihara is one of the largest stupas in Polonnaruwa. Its towering structure offers a unique opportunity to climb to the top, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

  8. Minneriya National Park: Located just a short drive from Polonnaruwa, Minneriya National Park is renowned for its elephant gatherings. A safari here offers a chance to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat along with a variety of other wildlife.

  9. Parakrama Samudra: The Parakrama Samudra is a vast man-made reservoir built during King Parakramabahu's reign. Its intricate network of ancient canals, dams, and reservoirs played a crucial role in the city's irrigation and agriculture, making it a testament to the engineering achievements of the time.

  10. Pothgul Vihara: Pothgul Vihara is a lesser-known gem featuring a unique round stupa with intricate carvings. It's worth a visit for its tranquil surroundings and historical significance.

  11. Siva Devalaya: Explore the Siva Devalaya, a Hindu temple that showcases the religious diversity of Polonnaruwa. Its architecture and vibrant rituals provide a unique cultural experience.

  12. Polonnaruwa Quadrangle: The Polonnaruwa Quadrangle is a sacred complex housing several significant structures, including the Vatadage, Hatadage, and Atadage. It's a concentration of historical and religious significance.

Posted : November 4, 2023 12:55 am

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