Polonnaruwa..the Medieval Capital of Sri Lanka, was the second capital of the country after the destruction of the ancient city of Anuradhapura in 993. 216kms from Colombo and 122kms from Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa today showcases great ancient Sri Lankan architecture dating back to 12th Century AD…see Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas and the monumental ruins of the garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century. Polonnaruwa Art, Architecture and Sculpture can be seen at Gal Viharaya,Thuparamaya Image House and Lankatilaka Image House. Famous places reachable from here are Sigiriya, Medirigiriya, Somawathie, Dimbulagala and Buduruwayaya. In ancient times, the city was named Pulatthinagara, after a famous sage..Pulasti.

Highlights

  • Brahmanic Monuments
  • Gal Viharaya
  • Thuparamaya
  • Lankatilaka Image House

 Things to do

2-3h-Village Tour, Harbarana from Polonnaruwa

Experience rural Sri Lankan life during your visit to Habarana, lasting around three hours. Explore the local forest and bush by bullock cart and on foot, followed by a scenic canoe ride on a picturesque lake where you can see farmers working in the fields. After, have authentic lunch at a charming village house for an authentic experience. Your English speaking guide will also point out birds and local flora.

1h-Dambulla Rock Cave Temple from Polonnaruwa

The Dambulla rock caves are the largest, best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, dating back to the 1st century B.C., converted into residential quarters for monks, thus becoming a Buddhist temple. Be amazed by 5 caves (converted into shrine rooms) under a vast overhanging rock, containing images of the Lord Buddha and bodhisattvas, as well as various gods and goddesses. One of the most important centres of Buddhist pilgrimage in Sri Lanka, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day visit to Sigiriya from Polonnaruwa

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient city of Sigiriya dates back over 5,000yrs to the Mesolithic period. Sigiriya (Lions Rock), lies on the steep slopes and summit of a granite peak standing 180m high (‘Lion’s Rock’- dominating the jungle on all sides). In the 5th century AD, King Kassapa I left Anuradhapura for Sigiriya to build a palace and city modelled on the mythical abode of ‘Kuvera’- God of Wealth. Visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress..identified uniquely by its shape, recognizable from great distances. See the Sigiriya Rock Paintings or Frescoes of Sigiri Damsels, locally called ‘Sigiri Apsaras’, painted on the western rock face cavity, 100m above the rock base. See the Mirror Wall here, covered in graffiti from the 7th-10th centuries.

Day visit to Anuradhapura from Polonnaruwa

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Anuradhapura is a sacred city with an over 1,000yr old illustrious history..once the ancient Sri Lankan capital. Explore this secret city portraying an amazing picture of Sri Lanka’s ancient civilization. An important Buddhist pilgrimage centre, it has some of the largest Dagaba’s found in the country. Visit the sacred Bo (Bodhi) Tree, grown from a sapling of the very tree under which lord Buddha found enlightenment over 2500yrs ago (recorded as the oldest tree in history); observe huge bell-shaped Stupas built of small sun-dried bricks, temples, sculptures, palaces and, ancient drinking-water reservoirs. Visit Isurumuniya Vihara Temple and the Carving of the Isurumuniya lovers, situated between 2 rocks..a beautiful temple famous among locals and foreigners for the stone carving of a couple located there; see the image house having a reclining Buddha cut from the rock; marvel at surrounding lakes, paddy fields and rocks.

Show More

 Map

Explore further travel tips for Polonnaruwa and our luxury travel destination Sri Lanka

Contact Us

Our team of experts can help answer any questions you might have. Please fill out the form below and a consultant will respond shortly.

Give us a call:

US & Canada: +1 888 263 2574
UK: +0 800 098 8486
AUS: +1 800 044 986

Send an email:

contact@enchantingtravels.com