As the second most ancient of Sri Lankas kingdoms, 800 years ago Polonnaruwa was a thriving commercial and religious centre. The ancient city served as a base for Kings to rule the central plains of Sri Lanka whilst market men haggled for rare goods and the pious preyed at any one of the many temples. The ancient city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.

Polonnaruwa is a testament to the discipline and greatness of the country’s mediaeval rulers and considered the best planned Archaeological relic sites in the country. The main attractions include a number of dagobas and other ruins dating back almost 1000 years. The draw card here however is Gal Vihara, a rock temple part of the Parakramabahu northern monastery. Polonnaruwa was declared the capital city of Sri Lanka by King Vijayabahu I who ruled from 1017AD to 1235AD. Polonnaruwa was flourishing self-sustained city with a superb irrigation system.

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