Exploring the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

by | Mar 2, 2023 | Asia | 0 comments

Polonnaruwa is an ancient city located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. It was the capital city of the country during the 11th and 12th centuries and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is home to several ancient ruins, temples, and monasteries that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.

As a tourist, visiting Polonnaruwa was a truly unforgettable experience for me. From the moment I entered the city, I was struck by its awe-inspiring beauty and rich history. The ancient ruins and temples are spread across a vast area, and I was glad to have hired a guide to help me navigate the city.

The first place we visited was the Royal Palace, which was once the home of the King of Polonnaruwa. The palace was built using bricks and wood and features a well-preserved throne room and a stunning audience hall. The intricate carvings on the walls and ceilings of the palace are a testament to the advanced architectural skills of the ancient Sri Lankan people.

From there, we visited the ancient temples and monasteries that are scattered throughout the city. The most famous of these temples is the Gal Vihara, which houses four magnificent statues of Buddha carved out of a single granite rock. The largest of the statues is 46 feet in length and is considered one of the finest examples of ancient Sinhalese Buddhist art.

As we wandered through the city, we came across several other temples and monasteries, each with its unique charm and history. The Lankatilaka Temple, for instance, is an impressive structure with intricate carvings and a towering brick wall that surrounds it. The Tivanka Image House is another temple that features beautiful murals and carvings depicting the life of Buddha.

One of the highlights of my trip was a visit to the Polonnaruwa Archaeological Museum. The museum is located in the city center and showcases a collection of artifacts, statues, and ancient manuscripts that provide insight into the daily lives of the people who lived in Polonnaruwa. The museum also features a replica of the city, which gave me a better understanding of the layout and scale of the ancient city.

In addition to the ancient ruins and temples, Polonnaruwa is also home to several natural attractions. The Minneriya National Park is a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts, where you can spot elephants, leopards, and various species of birds. The Parakrama Samudra, a large reservoir built by King Parakramabahu I, is another popular attraction that offers stunning views and a serene environment.

Polonnaruwa also has several restaurants and cafes that serve traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. The local delicacies, such as Kottu Roti, String Hoppers, and Pol Sambol, are a must-try for any food lover.

In conclusion, visiting Polonnaruwa was a truly unforgettable experience that gave me a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. The ancient ruins and temples are a testament to the advanced architectural skills of the ancient Sinhalese people, and the natural attractions offer a stunning backdrop to the city’s beauty. I would highly recommend anyone visiting Sri Lanka to include Polonnaruwa in their itinerary.

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