Things to do in polonnaruwa
- Gal Viharaya
- Royal Palace Polonnaruwa (Sath Mahal Prasadaya)
- Sacred Quadrangle (Polonnaruwa Watadageya)
- Rankot Viharaya
- Shiva Dewalaya
- Pabalu Viharaya
Gal Vihara was earlier called Uttararama. It’s a part of the Polonnaruwa Park and is a standout sightseeing destination for tourists. You’ll be astonished by the gigantic statues of Buddha, one in sitting position, second leaning, third standing and locate a fourth, small Buddha figure situated within a another cave.
Statues of Buddha are sculpted out of solitary granite. The most famous effigy has a height of 23 ft, with a belief that the statue’s posture and facial expression portray preeminent empathy.
The first group of ruins you meet after entering the ground of the Ancient City is the Royal Palace Group. This group of buildings dates from the period of King Parakramabahu I (1153 – 1186). The King`s Royal Palace is a massive structure, measuring 31 m by 13 m, once including 50 rooms supported by 30 columns. Even today it is quite an impressive building.
Today only some of the walls are left, with holes to hold floor beams for two higher levels. If the building had four more levels above these stone walls, the archaeologists speculate that they must have been made of wood. Impressive building such a big palace in those days without machines!
The Sacred Quadrangle is a compact group of beautiful and impressive ruins within a raised up platform bounded by a wall. This is the most concentrated collection of buildings in the whole Ancient City, and a must-see place for any visitor.
In the middle of the Quadrangle is The Vatadage, a circular relic house typical of its kind. The outermost terrace is an impressive 18m in diameter and has four entrances all flanked by large guard stones in beautiful condition.
Rankot Vihara is a huge dagaba in excellent condition, of impressive 54 meters tall! It is the largest dagaba in Polonnaruwa, the fourth largest in Sri Lanka, and dates back to King Nissanka Malla (1187 – 1196).
These impressive structures that are still in good condition, it ‘s incredible to think about all the hard work done to restore them since the archaeologists first discovered the Ancient City all covered with trees.
The Shiva Devalaya is located in Polonnaruwa old city between the Royal Palace complex and the sacred Quadrangle. The builder of this Hindu Shrine is not clearly identified. But its believed that this was constructed in 13th century AD by south Indian invaders. This was constructed according to the Pandya architectural style.
This Devalaya is build mainly with the stonework, which were done very precisely and no plastering were done to connect the stone bricks to each other.
Pabalu Vehera, is another typical dagaba, dating back to King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186). This is the third largest dagaba in Polonnaruwa, and in excellent condition.