The Majestic Capital of Three Kings
Another ancient kingdom, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Polonnaruwa played host to the royal seat of the Sri Lanka between the 11th and 13th centuries AD, and today, invites you to discover its pristine ruins of palaces, ponds, monastic complexes and Buddhist dagabas.
With dynasties invaded by South Indian forces, many of Polonnaruwa’s wonders exhibit influences of both countries in a unique amalgamation of culture and architecture. Its everlasting brilliance can be traced back to the reign of the three kings: Vijayabahu I, Nissankamalla I, and Parakramabahu I, who is celebrated for creating the Parakarama Samudraya (Sea of Parakrama) – the gleaming aquatic centerpiece of Polonnaruwa which continues to be a primary water source for irrigation in the region.
On the eastern banks of the historic reservoir, the archaeological ruins of Polonnaruwa draw visitors from around the world. Stately complexes such as the once seven-storey high royal palace, and the terrace of the tooth relic surround other notable ruins such as the Vatadage (circular relic house), Gal Vihara (rock temple of large Buddha statues) and Galpotha (stone inscriptions) among an abundance of serene artifacts from previous kingdoms.