Since I was a child I remember the famous video of Duran Duran and its wonderful Buddhas, well here my dream came through as i saw them live and in color. The Gal Vihara is a majestic group of Buddhas all cut from one long slab of granite, Four images of different sizes are carved out of a cliff about 56 yards long and falls away gradually at each...more
The Atadage is the first Tooth Relic Temple of Polonnaruwa. It was built by Vijayabahu in the 11th century. The name Atadage means "House of Eight Relics". What remains of Atadage today are 54 stone pillars which once supported a timber upper floor where the relic was kept. A big Buddha statue stands near the end of the temple.more
The centerpiece of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the Dalada Maluwa (the hall of the Tooth Relic), was a sacred precinct containing 12 magnificent buildings. Although there are numerous vatadage across Sri Lanka, the Vatadage at Polonnaruwa is the most famous. As with many other vatadage, it had a stupa in the centre with four Buddha images...more
Located in the quadrangle, a compound within its own rectangle of walls, guarding the richest collection of ancient buildings in any of Sri Lanka's ruined capitals. The Thuparama Gedige (hollow Buddihist temple with tick walls) is a fine example of the gedige style of temple architecture which flourished at Polonnaruwa, and the only one to survive...more
A mond wich was once the site of King´s throne (the throne is now housed in the Colombo archaelogical museum) adnd was used also as a audience hall. At the bast of the council chamber are bas-relief elephants. At the entrance are two flights of steps with moonstones, franking them are Makaras (mythical dragon-like beasts). The wooden roof of the...more
King Vijayabahu reunite the country after defeating the Chola invaders from India, and moved the capital from Anaradhapura, declaring Polonnaruwa as the new capital. A massive tank was constructed encircling the city and creating a stable defensive barrier against attacks. The royal palace was the center of the power, a huge palace of seven...more
This is where the king would have met advisors and petitioners. The hall consists of a raised terrace studded with columns, the roof has long gone. It's set on a huge base supported by bas-relief elephants. The entrance has two flights of steps with moonstones and dragons.more
This is a group of four Buddha statues carved out of a granite cliff-face. My favourite was the 14 metre reclining Buddha. There is also a 7 metre tall standing Buddha and two others showing the Buddha in a seated position.I found the statues to be fascinating and the area to be both spiritual & relaxing. The only negative is the metal roof...more
If there's a hotel I have loved to bits in Sri Lanka, this hotel is the one! Not only because it had...more
Giritale, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
Good for: Business
Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
Good for: Solo
Let's face it - I'm not a fan of buffets.. usually the food is very indifferent and of no quality at all. Sadly this restaurant was not the exception. I guess I'll never understand why Sri Lankans are so fond if buffets The usual buffet-style Sri Lankan dishes - hot, spicy and not very good tasting. There must be better Sri Lankan food than this....more
Right next to one of the entrances to Polonnaruwa, you will find the Rest House Polonnaruwa which has a small restaurant overlooking the lake.The restaurant is quite old and a photo of Queen Elizabeth II's visit here in 1954 is proudly displayed in the corridor nearby. In some ways, the hotel looks as though it has not changed since the 1950's, but...more
What's better than finishing the day with an ayurvedic massage, especially if you are on a honeymoon? Nothing that we could think of - so there we went - ended up having a 2 hours long full-treatment. it included a full body massage, a foot massage, a face massage, a head massage, a steam bath and a herbal bath. The masseurs and masseuses were really nice and friendly, and their treatment top quality. Worth the money even if clearly overpriced. The centre is located inside the Hotel Sudu Araliya, in a little cottage in the garden.
Dress Code: naked, please
In our case we used a bus from Anuradhapura to reach Polonnaruwa. it was a slow trip in an old fashioned bus and as usual crowded. We even had a break down....!!!Beware though to tell the driver to let you get off at Polonnaruwa "Old Town" close to Seylan Bank. The bus and train station are actually 3 kms away from there at the town of Kaduruwela....more
Both the train and bus stations are in Kaduruwela, four kilometres east of town. Buses generally pass through town though so you should be able to hop off in the centre near the post office. You could hop on here as well when leaving, but if you want to make sure you have a seat you should go out to the bus station.more
The best way to see the UNESCO site is by bike. Most people arrive and go through the site by car or large tourist bus. It's quite refreshing and cooling to ride through the gravel path by bike. You can rent the bikes at the rest house, by the Polonnaruwa museum. Also, you can pick up guides there -many have their own bikes.more
When you are visiting the temples - if you stay on the fild - or in some buildings that were not sacred (the library, the royal palace, the meeting hall) - you can keep your shoes on. As soon as you are visiting a sacred place, however, you'll see a sign asking you to remove your shoes in sign of respect. If you think the ground is going to be too hot, bring some socks. if you think you'll get bored taking off your shoes all the time, bring some sandals.
Mine is a warning, as there's nothing you can do about... but the cumulative cultural triangle ticket costs (November 2004) 40 dollars - which is the most expensive ticket I have ever bought. If you are going to visit two of the following attractions, it's worth to buy the ticket: Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambulla.
The Parakrma Samudraya is a lake -in fact it's the largest man-made lake in Sri Lanka. it's not just a simple lake - however - it's an historic lake built by King Parakrama the Great (Parakramabahu I) during the time of Polonnaruwa's golden age. Back then it was even more important than it is today: it provided water for acres and acres of cultivated land: 18,200 acres of land to be precise. More numbers? It was built by merging 5 minor lakes into 1; 1000 men were employed in its construction and it took 12 years to be built. Today it's still used for irrigation purposes, but it's also a well-known spot for birdwatchers.
If you have limited time to spend sightseeing around Sri Lanka, a question rises: Should someone visit Polonnaruwa and/or Anuradhapura. The answer is simple: if you are a fan of ancient history then both sites are a must to visit in order to have a complete idea of Sri Lankan history. If you prefer to take a just a glimpse of antique Sinhalese...more
Polonnaruwa is included in the Cultural triangle Ticket which represents a good value to get rather than paying for each site separately.This cost around 40$ (!!) and covers six sights (Anuradhapura, Sigirirya, Polonnaruwa, Nalanda, Medirigiriya, Ritigala BUT NOT Dambulla caves and certainly NOT the temple of the tooth in Kandy. The ticket is valid...more
Polonnaruwa is located in the north-central part of Sri Lanka. It is an ancient Ceylonese capital - possibly the most beautiful of them all. It became the residence of Ceylon's kings in 368 A.D and for about one thousand years it remained the country's "capital". My fondest memory is just about anything I saw. The Gal Viharaya was just as...more