"Polonnaruwa" Top 5 Page for this destination Polonnaruwa by jungles

Polonnaruwa Travel Guide: 118 reviews and 286 photos

The ruins at Polonnaruwa are a definite highlight of Sri Lanka and should not be missed. Most of the ruins date from the 11th to the 13th century and are masterpieces of the Buddhist Sinhalese kingdom, though there are a few Hindu temples mixed in as well since the South Indian Cholas (an early and medieval Tamil kingdom) also had their capital here before they were defeated by King Vijayabahu I in 1056.

The highlights of Polonnaruwa are the three amazing Buddha statues cut directly into the rock face at Gal Vihara, the many fine buildings and statues in the Quadrangle, and the Council Chamber and Prince's Bath in the Royal Citadel. There are many other fine monuments besides these, and you should allow yourself a full day to explore the area. The best way to get around is to hire a bicycle. The ruins are too spread out to walk, and the gravel paths that connect the ruins are a very pleasant place to go for a bike ride.

The ruins are divided into five major groups: the centrally-located Rest House Group, Royal Citadel Group, and Quadrangle, and further afield the Northern Monuments and Southern Group. Even if you want to visit the Northern Monuments first, you must access the ruins via the main entrance near the Royal Citadel then head up the dirt path from there; there is no access to the Northern Monuments from the main road. Of the five groups, the most impressive are the Quadrangle, Royal Citadel, and Northern Monuments, and it is only these three that require a ticket to access. Polonnaruwa is part of the Cultural Triangle Round Ticket.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:amazing sights, peaceful setting
  • Cons:can get hot biking around the ruins
  • In a nutshell:One of Sri Lanka's top sights
  • Last visit to Polonnaruwa: May 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (15)

Comments (2)

  • norain's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2007 at 3:56 AM

    nice page. thanks for info.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2006 at 11:08 PM

    The carvings are fantastic! They are the land mark of a great civilization! Another great page of yours! Thanks for sharing!


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