Best time of year to visit Polonnaruwa

Just like Anuradhapura this ancient city can be visited right throughout the year. If you are looking for bright sunny weather then consider May - September

Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s splendid medieval capital was established as the first city of the land in the 11th Century, A.D.   It replaced Anuradhapura, plundered made desolate, and laid hopelessly bare to the invading armies from South India. Three Kings dominate the annals of the city and the period.

The city reached a dazzling but pitifully brief zenith in the 12th century and though ravaged by invasion in the centuries following, much evidence remains of the old grandeur and glory.

The ruins of the ancient city stand on the east shore of a large artificial lake, the Topa Wewa Lake, or Parakrama Samudra (the Sea of Parakrama), created by King Parakramabahu I (1153-86), whose reign was Polonnaruwa’s golden age.

Within a rectangle of city walls stand palace buildings and clusters of dozens of Dagobas, temples and various other religious buildings.

Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom’s first rulers. Its beauty was also used as a backdrop to filmed scenes for the Duran Duran music video save a prayer in 1982. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.


Tourist attractions in Polonnaruwa

  • Gal Viharaya
  • Quadrangle of the Royal Palace
  • Lankathilake Temple
  • Rankot Vihara
  • Tivanka Image House
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Thuparama Gedige
  • Vatadage
  • Potgul Vihara
  • Royal Palace
  • Gal Pota
  • Kiri Vihara