Polonnaruwa Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Polonnaruwa

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    Gal Vihara

    by call_me_rhia Written Dec 6, 2004

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    the reclining buddha

    The Gal Vihara is unique in Polonnaruwa: its sculpture at its real best. It's a group of 4 buddha images located in a place called the Cave of the Spirits of Knowledge. Each image is carved into a large free-standing piece of granite: there's a 7 metres tallimage of a standing buddha, a 14 metres long recling buddha, and two smaller ones in two niches. The standing buddha is supposed to be the best carved of all - and obviously I was taking in most by th recling buddha. A total lack of taste - or maybe it was due to the fact that the standing buddha was surrounded by scaffolding, as it was being restored

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    Potgul Vihara

    by call_me_rhia Written Dec 6, 2004

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    potgul vihara

    The Potgul Vihara is a strange construction, surrounded by 4 dagobas (stupas). Somewhere I think I read it was placed in a part of the Royal garden. Anyway, back to the construction: walls are thick, and inside there was room to store things. One of the theories is that it was either a library or else a wherehouse where royal books were stored.

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    Royal Palace (Vejayanta Pasada) Polonnaruwa

    by mightywease Written Oct 18, 2003

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    Steve at the Royal Palace

    Built by King Parakramabahu the Palace reputedly was 7 storeys high and contained 1000 rooms. As much of the Palace was made of wood it was destroyed by fire, however, the thick stone walls - in which you can see the holes for the wooden floor supports -still remain.

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    • Archeology
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Parakramabahu statue

    by call_me_rhia Written Dec 6, 2004

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    Parakramabahu

    What a statue! So life-like! And ovviously so surrounded by scaffolding. It's 4 metres tall and it's supposed to be the statue of King Parakramabahu. And what is the object the king is holding in his hand? Theories are many: a book, a royal stick, a papaya. Somehow I like the papaya's idea best.

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    The Vatadage

    by mightywease Written Oct 18, 2003

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    the Vatadage, Polonnaruwa

    The Vatadage, or Hall of the Relic, forms part of what is known as 'The Quadrangle' at Polonnaruwa,
    The Vatadage dates from the 12th Century, a circular building with four entrances, guarded by finely sculptured guardstones. There is also a beautiful moonstone below one of the staircases leading up to the top terrace.
    The top terrace contains a dagoba and four seated Buddhas (some now damaged).
    A beautiful, graceful building,

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    Royal Citadel: Council Chamber (Audience Hall)

    by jungles Written May 23, 2006

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    Staircase
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    This building has three carved friezes around its base. The lowest one is of elephants, followed by lions and dwarves. There are two fine moonstones at the entrance, one at the base and the other at the top of the steps. The lions at the top of the staircase are finely carved and have unusual features.

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    Quadrangle: Hatadage

    by jungles Written May 23, 2006

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    Buddha feet

    There are some more great moonstones at the entrance to this building, which houses a large Buddha statue. Looking back towards the Vatadage from the inner room here you can get a great view of the sitting Buddha framed by multiple doorways (provided it's not surrounded by scaffolding as it was when we were here). These feet are all that's left of a second Buddha which once resided here.

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    Wonders with stone...

    by Emichelle Updated Feb 12, 2008

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    Sitting Buddah
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    Polonnaruwa is an amazing city and it is a must to visit the rock temple and withness the amazing artistry in carving the buddah statues with on Rock. Here you will find the Sleeing Buddah, Laughing Buddah & the Sitting Buddah. The walk/drive through the property is amazing and scerene. Since this is a religious is is necessary that one dresses appropriately.

    You are not supposed to back the statues while taking photographs.

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    Latha Mandapaya

    by call_me_rhia Written Dec 14, 2004

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    temple pillars

    The Latha-Mandapaya is an interesting temple: it was built to resemble a wooden fence but it is made of stone. It is surrounded by stone pillars carved out to look like lotus stems. A sign says that from this pavillion, Nassamka A Malla, between 1187 and 1196, listened to the chanting of "protective" religious texts. Some sort of protection must have remained within the building: the pillars have survived 13 different and violent invasions.

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    Rocks...!!

    by Puss_in_boots Written Oct 11, 2005

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    If you are visiting the Cultural Triangle, you just GOT TO visit Polonnaruwa. The medival capital has quite a lot more than just a few ruined castles and stone-aged temples. The rock temple - or better known as the Gal Vohara Complex, with its multitude of statues carved out of the living rock is fascinating. Despite the fact that it is basically my job as a Travel Agent to promote wonderful places like this to visitors, I strongly recommend visiting Polonnaruwa, anyday, to anybody. If you are at least a little exited about getting off the standard beaten track, hop on a bicycle and take a tour of this medieval city. It's breathtaking...!!! (Literally..!) Looking at an age-old map of this ancient city, you will no doubt begin to fathom the architectural sense of the city and its culture.

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    Quadrangle: Vatadage

    by jungles Written May 23, 2006

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    Makara
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    This beautiful circular building encloses a dagoba in the centre surrounded by four Buddha statues. There are five moonstones in the Vatadage, of which the upper northern one is the best preserved. There are also good makaras (symbolic mythical creatures with features of eight different animals) on the staircases.

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    Siva Devala 2

    by jungles Written May 23, 2006

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    Siva Devala 2

    This Hindu temple is one of the earliest temples with Tamil inscriptions; you can see them carved into the left side of the temple. It is similar in style to the temples in Tamil Nadu in India, such as the one at Thanjavur, but it is built in stone rather than brick. There is a decorated lingam inside the sanctuary.

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    Quadrangle: Satmahal Prasada

    by jungles Written May 23, 2006

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    Satmahal Prasada

    This building is reminiscent of several different architectural styles. While it might remind some of the spiral-shaped ziggurat minarets in the Middle East, others say it is similar to the Mayan ruins in Tikal, Guatemala. Furthermore, the nine square-metre base decreases at each level as in Cambodian prasats.

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    Northern Monuments: Lankatilaka

    by jungles Written May 23, 2006

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    Bas-relief sculpture
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    In contrast to the abstract form of the dagoba, this large image house holding an 18-metre-high Buddha statue presents a more personalised version of faith in Buddha, and in fact it is quite similar in structure to a Christian church. There are some well-preserved bas-relief sculptures on the exterior of the building. Unfortunately the large Buddha image is not so well preserved.

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    Northern Monuments: Gal Vihara

    by jungles Written May 24, 2006

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    Me in front of sitting Buddha
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    These magnificent rock carvings are probably the single most impressive site in Polonnaruwa. Three large Buddhas, one sitting, one standing, and one lying down, are all carved directly from the slab of granite and are perfectly preserved. There is a fourth one as well in the sitting position, though it is much smaller and is kept behind bars.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel

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Polonnaruwa Things to Do

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