Polonnaruwa city tour is a popular activity among travellers because the historical city of Polonnaruwa is a living testimony of the island’s glorious bygone era. Polonnaruwa has numerous tourist attractions, the majority of which are related to Sri Lankan history. As a result, Polonnaruwa is a tourist hotspot that is included in most Sri Lanka tour packages. Polonnaruwa has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of Sri Lanka’s greatest ancient treasures is located near the eastern coast, within the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka: A large number of well-preserved, remarkably preserved vast building complexes thought to have been built between the 10th and 11th centuries and capable of housing thousands of people. The dry zone ancient city experiences a hot dry season for six months of the year and a warm wet season the rest of the year. It was, however, the home of a thriving, yet mysterious, civilization – the Sinhalese.
01.The Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu
The striking Royal Palace, built between 1153 and 1186 during the reign of King Mahaparakram Bahu, stands as an emblem of grandeur in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. The Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu is a place of great historical significance, and it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982.
02.Minneriya National Park
The Minneriya National Park is located in Sri Lanka’s northern province, four hours from Colombo and 30 minutes from Sigiriya. The national park is well-known for its herds of elephants migrating for food, water, and shelter, forming a ‘gathering’ that visitors can witness. The dry season is ideal for visiting this location because the majestic elephants migrate to the Minneriya Tank for water. Aside from elephants, the national park is home to a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and plant species. Minneriya National Park is located in the dry zone, which means it receives less rainfall than the rest of the country.
The annual ‘Gathering’ of elephant herds is the main draw of this national park. These enormous creatures migrate from warmer to colder lands in search of water during the dry season. During this time, visitors can book a safari to witness this magnificent event. Many native Sri Lankan bird and animal species can be found here. Remember to plan your visit according to the attraction you want to see. You can book your stay at Sigiriya, making it easier to travel to Minneriya. There are jeeps and guides available to help you explore the National Park. Remember to dress comfortably and to keep the National Park clean.
Minneriya National Park was designated as a wildlife sanctuary for the first time in 1938. It was then designated a National Park in order to protect the flora and fauna that surrounded the Minneriya Tank. The Minneriya Tank is an important historical feature of the national park. King Mahasena built it, and it gets its water from the Amban River and the Elahera Canal. During the dry season, animals usually migrate to Minneriya in search of water and food. Because of the diverse plant and animal species that thrive in the national park, it has a variety of habitats, ranging from wetlands to forests to scrublands.
03. Rankoth Vehera
This magnificent stupa in Polonnaruwa is the fourth largest stupa in Sri Lanka. Built by Nissanka Malla (1187-1196), it is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, or ‘dagobas’. This place, rich in vibrant history and scenic beauty, should be on your must-see list if you visit Sri Lanka. Rankoth Vehera’s stupa is located in the centre of a large square terrace. The yard has four cardinal points and four entrances.
04. Archaeological Museum
Polonnaruwa is an ancient city that, in addition to the natural ruins, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The archaeological museum of Polonnaruwa is housed in rooms filled with excavated artefacts. The museum, which depicted scenes from 1012 A.D., was established in the Public Services Sports Club Hall in Polonnaruwa in 1962. The region was ruled by the Chola dynasty, which had some of the most powerful rulers during this time period. King Parakramabahu I, who selflessly oversaw the construction of Polonnaruwa, was one of the most diligent rulers. From the outside, the museum appears to be a small, simple hut, but inside it houses a variety of informative visuals and artefacts.
The museum aims to develop and provide knowledge to the community by using conservation and reservation methods, and it displays several statues of Indian Gods, particularly bronze statues of Lord Shiva and Gautam Buddha. Most Polonnaruwa tours begin with a visit to the archaeological museum, which is rich in history, heritage, and honour. It is the city’s main entrance and rightfully so. The recreation of ancient monuments and buildings stimulates the imagination and informs tourists about the site’s royal past. This is where most visitors start their Polonnaruwa tour. This informs them about where they have arrived – the history and heritage of the city, which is located 200 kilometres from the capital city, Colombo.
Polonnaruwa Vatadage is a well-preserved Vatadage in the famous Dalada Maluwa quadrangle of Polonnaruwa, an ancient city of ruins. Vatadages are common Buddhist structures in Sri Lanka. These are circular, stone and brick structures with intricate stone carvings and a wooden roof. They were constructed to protect stupas. There are currently ten Vatadages in Sri Lanka, with the most popular being Polonnaruwa Vatadage.
This structure is built in the Buddulakara or bubble-shaped design and is an excellent example of a Sri Lankan Vatadage. The upper portion of the structure has been destroyed, leaving only the lower portion. Many theories surround the construction of this monument, but most historians agree that it was built in the 12th century by Parakramabahu I. The Vatadage was originally built to protect Buddha’s tooth relic and his ten commandments. Buddhists believe that Buddha’s left canine survived his cremation, and the country has kept it as a prized possession. This tooth, which inspired the construction of Polonnaruwa Vatadage, is now housed in the Kandy Temple.
6.Nissanka Latha Mandapaya
Nissanka Latha Mandapaya is a unique structure located in Sri Lanka. This architectural marvel is one of it’s kind for many reasons. Nissanka Latha Mandapaya is a unique structure located in Dalada Maluwa quadrangle of Polonnaruwa district in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. This architectural marvel is one of it’s kind for many reasons. King Nissanka Latha built Nissanka Latha Mandapaya in the 20th century. The purpose of this construction was to recite and hear Buddhist scriptures. Mandapa is a word used for sheltered pillars. In the 20th century, mandapas were built inside houses and used for recitals during after death ceremonies, which is how the structure got its name.
Nissanka Latha Mandapaya is a raised stone platform with numerous small stone pillars and eight large granite pillars, as well as a stone fence and a small stupa. The granite pillars stand 8.5 feet tall and are curved in three places. The pillars’ tops are carved with a blooming lotus, and the test of the columns represents the structure of a stem. A small stupa, also made of stone, sits in the centre of the platform. The upper part of the stupa has been destroyed, but it was discovered to be made of wood. This structure is distinctive to Sri Lanka. No other architectural composition has been able to rival Nissanka Latha Mandapaya’s beauty. Unsurprisingly, Sri Lanka regards this location as a treasure.
7.Angammedilla National Park
Angammedilla National Park, which is home to several Sri Lankan elephants, is part of the country’s famous elephant corridor, which also includes Minneriya, Kaudulla, and Wasgamuwa National Parks. Angammedilla’s wildlife also includes wild boars, barking deer, purple-faced leaf monkeys, and water buffaloes. The park’s tranquil atmosphere makes it ideal for camping; visitors can also stay in a spacious bungalow managed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, which can accommodate ten people. The Angammedilla Gal Amuna, a stone weir built during the reign of King Parakramabahu I in the 12th century, is a one-of-a-kind attraction in the park.
Parakrama Samudra is a water reservoir made up of five lakes: Thopa, Dumbutulu, Erabadu, Boo, and Katu tanks. It is located in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, and is also known as King Parakrama’s Sea. Topa Wewa, the oldest reservoir in the area, was constructed around 386 AD. Eramudu Wewa is in the middle, and Dubutula Wewa is on the bottom. To relieve pressure, the lakes are separated by a smaller dam.
Gal Vihara is a Buddhist rock temple located in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Polonnaruwa in northern Sri Lanka. It was first known as Uttara Rama. It has four rock statues, each of which depicts a different figure of Buddha. The first depicts Buddha seated on a lotus; the second is a smaller seated figure; the third is a standing figure; and the last is a reclining figure.