Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

ancient city of polonnaruwa sri lanka

The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, also known as Polonnaruwa Kingdom, was Sri Lanka’s second capital for three centuries. It existed between the 11th and 13th centuries after the fall of Anuradhapura Kingdom (in 993). It is located in the north central province of Sri Lanka. UNESCO designated Polonnaruwa a World Heritage Site in 1982, under the title of Ancient City of Polonnaruwa.


King Vijayabahu declared Polonnaruwa the capital city. He defeated the Chola invaders 1070 to reunify the nation under a local leader. The country was led by the great King Parakramabahu, who between 1153 and 1186 achieved such remarkable rice cultivation results that he constructed a massive irrigation network with reservoirs that looked like natural land seas. Sri Lanka was known as the Granary of the Orient. Polonnaruwa is made up of the ruins of the magnificent kingdom of the Great King Parakramabahu. It is still possible to see the splendor and richness of this kingdom. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which was built in the early days of the Kingdom’s rule, is still one of the most important archaeological relic sites in the country.


The Golden Age of Polonnaruwa was the time of King Parakramabahu. Under the patronage and leadership of the King Parakramabahu, trade and agriculture thrived. He was determined that not a drop of water from the heavens should be wasted and that each one was to be used for the development of the land. Parakramabahu’s reign saw the construction of irrigation systems far more advanced than those in the Anuradhapura era. These systems still supply water for paddy cultivation in the hot, dry east. Parakrama Samudra, or the Sea of Parakrama, is the most important of all these systems.


Things to Do in Polonnaruwa

Archaeological Museum

Ancient site including ancient monuments such as Gal Viharaya / KiriVihara / Kumara Pokuna / Vatadage

Parakrama Samudraya, a magnificent example of ancient hydraulic management, is must-see

Money conservation center

Enjoy a typical Sri Lankan local Lunch

Ride through an ancient site by bicycle


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