Polonnaruwa – Have a look at the proud history of Sri Lanka


As you all of us know; Polonnaruwa is considered as one of the ancient cities in Sri Lanka.  It is a world heritage and archeological site situate in the Pearl of the Island Sri Lanka.  It is the largest and oldest kingdom of this country.  It is situated in the North Central Province of the District of Polonnaruwa.

800 years ago this Buddhist city was ruled by a King it was a city of agriculture, and commercial hub during its days, and most of all a religious place of worship to all.  The King’s palace was situated in the mighty Polonnaruwa city, today you can see all the ruins of that palace and its religious sites are still seen, and grounds of the palace with many structures.  It is a very good place to visit those who are historically inclined towards ancient and archaeological treasures.

Polonnaruwa is also close to a lot of wildlife reserves, especially elephants. There are plenty of bicycles that you can hire to trek around these parks and roadways. It is a pleasant experience with full of greenery which will make it an entirely pleasant experience for those who want to bike around and explore the area and town in solitary.


Places to visit in Polonnaruwa


There are many places that you can visit when in Polonnaruwa.  Do please do your research on the internet before you travel so that you can get a good knowledge of the places that you want to visit if you want to travel by yourself and do not need a guide.  There are about eight religious places and the museum that you can visit.


A few of the places around Polonnaruwa are as follows


The Gal Vihara


At the gal vihara, you can expect to see some magnificent work of stonework of the Lord Buddha and other Buddha statues.  These were done during the ancient times by the locals and Sinhala people.  These are all cut in granite and there are 4 images cut from this rock.


The Quadrangle


Once you walk your way to the great Royal Palace (it is now of course in ruins) you will come to the great quadrangle.  It is sort of built on a height surrounded with a wall.  You get here a collection of ruin and buildings, reminiscent of the ancient past.  A history buff’s delight.


The Lankathilaka


Lankatilaka is also an ancient temple built by the King of Polonnaruwa, the Parakramabahu I.  Later it was again renovated by King Vijayabahu IV. This temple is very large with massive walls of 17m high.  Some parts of the roof have now collapsed.  The temple arches somewhat resemble an oval arch-like in a cathedral. These arches form into a passage which leads to a very large Buddha statue. It is a sight indeed to behold the massive now half collapsed columns and beautiful arches.


The Rankoth Vihara


This is another ancient Buddhist temple of worship. It is also called a dagoba; this is supposed to be the largest temple in Polonnaruwa and stands at 54m in height. This temple was during the rule of King Nissanka Malla.


The Polonnaruwa Ruins


As mentioned above, the Polonnaruwa ruins were the royal gardens and palace of the Sinhala kings.  This park is vast with a hundred and one things to see and explore for all history lovers, as we mentioned above lots and lots of temples, stupas, dagobas, ruins, tombs, and statues can be seen in the royal gardens of 1000 years.


The Thivanka Image House


The roads end of Polonnaruwa is at the “Thivanka image house”.  Here you can get to see a Buddha image and a lot of frescos of the Buddha in his past lives. These are supposed to be dating back to King Parakramabahu III when he restored Polonnaruwa.


The Govt.Archaeological Museum


The museum has all that you see outside the kingdom, built and dedicated to the outer palaces and gardens.  It shows the city and monastery, the Buddhist priests hospital, and lots of medical instruments that were used in those days.  You also get a lot of statues and Hindu artifacts.  Visit the museum for you to get a better idea of the outer kingdom of Polonnaruwa.


The Thuparama Gedige


The Thuparama Gedige is at the end of the south side of the Quadrangle.  It is also a Buddhist temple which is hollow. Moreover; it has some thick walls. This temple has its roof intact still. Inside you can get to view the standing Buddha statues.


Polonnaruwa Entrance Fee


The entrance fee to the Polonnaruwa Ancient city is about 25$ which is about Rs.3750/=, however, these prices are subject to change according to govt. terms and conditions so its best you be prepared and ask for the correct charge from the ticket counter, wherever you may be visiting or from your travel agent.


Polonnaruwa Hotels-A quick roundup


There are many hotels that you can stay in Polonnaruwa, whether it is a 5 star or a budget hotel; you can choose whatever you like.  Here are just a few for you to choose from, which have included all the necessary facilities that one would need and yet not too hard on your pocket.


Giritale Hotel, Giritale


This is one among the many popular hotels in the Polonnaruwa and it would be good to check this out.  This hotel overlooks the Giritale lake, this is very popular among a lot of tourists and it is a hotel that is always booked.  It features a lot of lovely views and has an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, and rooms with AC and TV.  Facilities include a parking area for all vehicles, free wifi, and food and drink could be ordered, and vehicle service up and down to the airport.  There is also a sauna and spa, relax your tired limbs after your tiring day out with a massage.  There is a pool table for you to play and also hiking could be organized e with good too.


Hotel Sudu Araliya


Like its beautiful name, Sudu Araliya is at your service with friendly and helpful staff.  It is about 1.9 kilometers away from the center equipped with a swimming pool, sauna fitness center.  This hotel is close to the Parakrama Reservoir.  The front desk is open 24 hours a day.  Has all the facilities like free parking, and is about 10 minutes drive to the city of Polonnaruwa.

You can always get rent out a bicycle and cycle your way to explore the city and its royal kingdom if you so desire.  We also give free Wi-Fi.  Food and drink can be ordered. All good rooms with views and balconies with AC and TV included. Unload after a hard day of sightseeing at this lovely hotel, where you could relax in a spa or play a game of pool in the evening dusk.  Get yourself organized with a delightful canoeing trip, or cycling tour.

All this and more!

Worth checking out!


Hotel Ancient Village


All amenities are available in this hotel.  Facilities like Wi-Fi, TV, AC is available in all rooms including the lovely views of the garden and city. All rooms have a fitted toilet. Play area and ground for the kids you can also hire a bike and bike to your heart content at this hotel, as this area is very popular for cycling. Spa, facilities and massage therapy are also available for an additional fee. Their staff is nice and friendly, rooms are good and comfortable and there is a parking space for your vehicle as well.


Do not forget to visit the Polonnaruwa Vatadage


This is a very beautiful and magnificent temple, with lots of carvings on the stone step and its columns. It was built during the reign of the King Parakramabahu.  It was to enshrine the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha. This structure is well maintained and well preserved. It all made out of cutting stone and is on a raised platform, the wall surrounding the stupa is built with bricks.  There are four Buddha statues seated around it.  It is full of stone carvings.  The ancient sculpturing and archeology are magnificent.

This is a must-see site when you visit Polonnaruwa.


Polonnaruwa Trip Advisor


Remember to book your tour in advance to avoid disappointment!

If you love to travel on your own and want a private Half-day tour would cover the Polonnaruwa Gal Vihara city and ruined city. You can expect to get transfers from an AC vehicle to the sites mentioned above.  All entrance fees will be included in this trip in addition; to the National Museum of Polonnaruwa.

Choose between a morning and or afternoon trip of your choice.

Free cancellation can be given within a 24 hours advance time. You can have an English speaking guide and or in any other language that you may want. The time period will be for 3 hours.


Highlights of the tour


A guided half-day tour to the kingdom of Polonnaruwa Listen mesmerized to the guide give you a full history of the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa and its ancient sites. Be relaxed as you are driven to the sites of lotus bath pond, the palace of King Nissankamalla and more You will be picked up at your hotel and also dripped at your hotel which will make things very easy for you.


What to expect on your tour?


Visit the “Gal Vihara”, the “Vatadageya”, the “Hetadageya”, the “Sathmahal Prasada”, the “Lanka Thilaka Viharaya”, the “Stone script”, Palace of the King Parakramabahu, the council chamber of the King Parakramabahu, Lotus Bath Pond, the “Thuparamaya”, the “Nissanka Latha Mandapaya”, the “Rankoth Vehera”, the “Parakrama Lake” and the Polonnaruwa Museum.

Please produce your passport on the day that you are traveling. When you book with us you will receive your confirmation of same when going to religious places please dress according to the dress code required at Buddhist religious sites.