Sri Lanka is a very different and interesting island, especially for its history and monuments, such as those that appear in Polonnaruwa.
Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, hosted the residence of the Sinhalese kings from the 11th century to the 13th century. In 1982, if it declared “World Heritage Site by UNESCO”, it also stands out for the conservation of the buildings.
The Polonnaruwa site covers 122 hectares and has many well-preserved monuments. You can see the architectural style used in the building has a purely Indian influence since its origins are Hindu.
Many of the monuments are religious, but some civil buildings have also been preserved, such as the royal council chamber.
The chamber is surrounded by an artificial lake called Prakrama Samudra, it was created in the XII century thanks to the king Prarakamabahu.
What to see in Polonnaruwa …
Some of the most important buildings:
The quadrangle, the nerve and sacred center
It was one of the places where the relic of the Buddha tooth was kept, which is currently located in Kandy. Some of the buildings that can be found are the Thuparama, one of the best preserved buildings; the Vatadage; the Hatadage and the Atadage where the relic was kept; and the Satmahal Prasada, a pyramidal tower.
In the Vatadage, there are two platforms whose surroundings are decorated with figures carved in the rock. It also highlights the Moon stones and the four Buddhas that sit around a dagoba (Stupa).
Buddha of Gal Vihara
The three Buddhas of Gal Vihara are carved in a rock wall and appear in different positions. Sitting in the meditation position; standing with arms crossed symbolising enlightenment; and lying down in nirvana, the latter, which measures fifteen meters, stands out for its perfection.
Buddha in Gal Vihara
There are several dagoba or stupa in Polonnaruwa and of different sizes.
For example, the 54-meter high stupa of Rankot Vihara is the fourth largest on the island.
The Royal Palace, located in the oldest part, was of considerable size and had several floors.
The Raja Sabahawa or Council Hall, consists of three levels and the pillars and the sculptures of lions are characteristic.
Before entering Polonnaruwa …
- The visiting hours are from 9:00 to 18:00 the admission price is $ 25.
It is located about 220 km from Colombo and 55 km from Sigiriya.
- Like the Buddhist temples of Sri Lanka, you have to take off your shoes and cover your shoulders and knees, to be taken into consideration if you want to visit Polonnaruwa.
- To walk the archaeological fence the best option is to go by car or van because it allows you to visit all the monuments and is more pleasant, especially if it is very hot. Another highly recommended option is to visit by bicycle.
- It is interesting to visit the monuments with a guide to learn more about the history. There are also explanations in English for each building.
Sri Lanka is indeed the perfect place for children and for people who like animals and nature.
This country is incredibly green.
It is impossible not to find elephant herds on safari or even on the same road traveling.
It is also very easy to see leopards, macaques and other types of monkeys, giant squirrels, jackals, etc. etc
Furthermore, walking with children and adults through the Peradeniya Botanical Garden is a delight. Along with the giant trees and millions of plants, we will also find monkeys and other animals in this immense place.