The Reclining Buddha at Gal Vihara, Polonnaruwahttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Galvihara-sunny.jpg
The ancient city of Polonnaruwa
(Sinhala: පොළොන්නරුව; Tamil: பொலநறுவை) is one of the World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.
Polonnaruwa was the capital of the second civilisation to establish itself in ancient Lanka after Anuradhapura
. It was the seat of the Sinhala Kingdom between the middle of the 11th century to the 13th century.
Kiri Vihara, Polonnaruwahttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kiri_Vihara_02.jpg
Places of Interest in Polonnaruwa
The following are the sights that I have described in Polonnaruwa.
World Heritage Site Inscription Details
Location: N7 54 57 E81 00 02
Inscription Year: 1982
Type of Site: Cultural / Natural / Mixed
Inscription Criteria: I, III, VI
Grew out of the arid plains of the north, the kingdom in Polonnaruwa depended heavily on channelled water to irrigate its fields. This demanded the construction of massive irrigation projects. Although the civilisation in Sri Lanka is not as popular, their engineering feat rival those of Angkor, Egypt and ancient China.
Kumura Pukuna basin, Polonnaruwahttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kumara_Pukuna_02.jpg
The greatest king in Polonnaruwa is Parakramabahu I, a warrior and great builder. It was he who build the massive Parakrama Samudra
. It is worth Polonnaruwa to appreciate the engineering marvels of a civilisation that flourished a millenium ago, that today makes Polonnaruwa worthy of recognition as a World Heritage Site.
More Sights in Polonnaruwa
These are additional sights which I hope to describe in the future.
- Alahana Pirivena
- Archaeological Museum
- Buddha Sima Pasada
- Dalada Maluwa
- Demala Maha Seya
- Gopata Pabbata
- Kiri Vihara
- Kumara Pokuna
- Lotus Pond
- Menik Vihara
- Pabulu Vihara
- Pothgul Vihara
- Statue of Agastaya
- Vijayanta Pasada
If you are traveling in a small group, I would recommend hiring a taxi or car with driver to take you to Polonnaruwa, and then explore it with your own transport. Alternatively you can take the bus or the train from Colombo. Polonnaruwa is about 220 km from Colombo, and the road is a bumpy highway, so the journey will take you almost the whole day.
Lankatilaka Temple, Polonnaruwahttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lankatilaka-temple-05.jpg
Discover the Ancient Sites of Asia with me
If you love learning about Asian civilization, here are other ancient sites in Asia that I have explored and written about.
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