Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

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Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa Reviews

tj1777 tj1777
379 reviews
Ancient city of Polonnaruwa Sep 14, 2011
The ancient city of Polonnaruwa was founded back in 11th century when a king from southern India came and conquers Sri Lanka - they moved the capital of their new kingdom away from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa which should be easier to defend. The city only remained the capital of Sri Lanka for a couple of centuries and by the 13th century the influence of Polonnaruwa declined and the capital was moved away again.

The ancient city is located a bit north of the modern city of Polonnaruwa - it is spread out over a large area which makes it a bit too large to walk through it. The best way to see the old city is by a rental bike - or you can go by tuktuk - lots of drivers will try to convince you to go with them for half a day. the entry fee is included in the Cultural Triangle pass and if you plan to visit Anuradhapura the price of the pass will be the same as the entry to just these two ancient cities. It is possible to buy drinks inside the area - but food is limited - hence you might want to bring a couple of snacks you can eat during the day. Because of the seize of the area you can easily spend a day in the old town.

There are a few organized trips going to the old city - but they generally only goes to a few of the sights in the old town. Hence if you go to certain places you can actually be there all to yourself. Most of the sights are located in the southern part of the old town where you’ll find several temples and royal baths. There are quite a few remains from the old time and you can walk into the old temples and have a closer look at them.

The is only one entry and exit point so you will naturally start in the southern end and then make your way through the old town to the north. When you get to the northern end of the ruins you can choose to go further north along a little road leading to the top part of the archeological park. There are a few remains up there with the image house as the most important. The remains up here are not the most interesting of the archaeological park and considering it will be your last stop on your daytrip to the old town you might consider dropping it.
Standing Buddha
8 / 8 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
tj1777 says:
No only monkeys - like everywhere in Sri Lanka
Posted on: Jan 24, 2012
bernard69 says:
did u see the deers?
Posted on: Jan 24, 2012
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ClaireV1987 ClaireV1…
37 reviews
Amazing untouched piece of history Apr 16, 2011
I went to Polonnaruwa a few years ago while staying with various host families in Sri Lanka. It was an incredible experience and it's hard to explain how I feel about this amazing place.

When I got there, I was the only foriegner in sight and my host family were a bit upset to discover that I had to pay an entry fee as locals don't. I didn't mind and from memory it wasn't very much anyway.

The place is basically the ruins of an ancient city and you can walk through buildings that are more than 1000 years old! One main attraction was 'The Lotus Bath' which is where royal females used to bathe. It's truly breathtaking with its detail.

Another key attraction is seeing Buddhist temples that were built by the Hindus. The is of significance because the main political unrest in the country goes back to a 'clash' in these two religions.

The architechture is incredible and seeing the buildings gives you some idea of what life might have been like 1000+ years ago.

I can't recommend this enough!!!

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