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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Must Visit Places in the Ancient City Polonnaruwa – a city full of culture and heritage!
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Must Visit Places in the Ancient City Polonnaruwa – a city full of culture and heritage!

Polonnaruwa is one of the most beautiful destinations in Sri Lanka. Read the article below and find out about the best places to visit in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.


Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is the very first site that you will come across after entering the Ancient City. The buildings here date back to the reign of King Parakramabahu I (1153- 1186). It is believed that at one point in time, the palace included 50 rooms and had seven stories!


Audience Hall

The Audience Hall is yet another spectacular ruin that should be closely examined. There are elaborate stone carvings in the Audience Hall that deserve the highest admiration. Each elephant that adorns the base of the Audience Hall look different to one another and the stairway includes intricate carvings of lions too.


Sacred Quadrangle

The Sacred Quadrangle is a group of ruins that are found on an elevated platform which is surrounded by a wall. The incredible beauty of these majestic buildings that now lie in ruins is truly quite impressive. In the centre of the Quadrangle, you will find the famous Polonnaruwa Vatadage, which is believed to have served as a relic house. Four statues of Buddha are found in the centre of the Vatadage. You can easily explore the Sacred Quadrangle when you travel on the island with Nkar Travel House.


Shiva Devale No. 2

The majestic Shiva Devale No.2 is known to be the oldest building in Polonnaruwa. It dates back to the Chola period which occurred around 1070. It is a magnificent Hindu temple that richly deserves a place in your travel itinerary. The temple was built using a stone, so it has gloriously retained its spectacular charm.


Gal Viharaya

The Gal Viharaya in Polonnaruwa is truly one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka. There are four beautiful statues of Buddha carved onto a large granite rock in Gal Viharaya. It is believed that each statue had its own brick cave back in the day. Some say that the statues would have been covered in gold too! When you travel to Sri Lanka, be sure to pay this majestic site a visit and you will truly not regret it! As you stand in the presence of the silent Buddhas, you will truly find peace and tranquillity in your heart.
There is a standing statue, two seated statues as well as a reclining statue of Buddha in Gal Viharaya. It is believed to have been built by King Parakramabahu I back in the 12th century. The standing image's sorrowful expression and the folded arms give rise to the speculation that the statue depicts monk Ananda, lamenting the demise of Lord Buddha.


Rankot Viharaya

Rankot Vehera is a majestic dagoba which has a height of 54 metres! Needless to say, it is the tallest dagoba in Polonnaruwa. It is believed to have been built during the reign of King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196). It creates a picturesque site to behold indeed, as it stands tall and proud against the brilliant blue skies.

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