Cultural Heritage sri lanka

Delve into the Ancient Marvels of Polonnaruwa:


Step into the fascinating world of Polonnaruwa, an ancient city steeped in history and adorned with remarkable ruins. Discover the architectural wonders, intricate stone carvings, and cultural treasures that make Polonnaruwa a UNESCO World Heritage site. Uncover the secrets of this once-thriving kingdom as you explore the royal palace, encounter the awe-inspiring Gal Vihara statues, and wander through the sacred Quadrangle. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Polonnaruwa and witness the legacy of a bygone era come alive in this captivating destination. Join us on a journey through time in Polonnaruwa and experience the grandeur of Sri Lanka’s ancient past.


Discover the Splendors of Polonnaruwa

Explore the remarkable city of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a treasure trove of ancient wonders. Discover the magnificent Royal Palace, where the ancient Sri Lankan kings once resided. Be mesmerized by the Gal Vihara, a collection of rock-cut statues of Lord Buddha known for their exquisite craftsmanship. Step into the Sacred Quadrangle and marvel at the intricate stone carvings and ancient structures. Visit the Vatadage, circular relic houses that once enshrined sacred Buddhist relics. Ascend the steps of Rankot Vihara, the largest dagoba in Polonnaruwa, and enjoy panoramic views of the surroundings. Immerse yourself in the history and artifacts of Polonnaruwa at the Archaeological Museum. Admire the carvings and architecture of the Lankatilaka Image House, a shrine dedicated to Lord Buddha. Witness the engineering marvel of Parakrama Samudra, a vast man-made reservoir. Explore the unique blend of architectural styles at Thuparama Gedige, a fascinating shrine. Experience the charm of Polonnaruwa on a bicycle tour, taking in the scenic beauty at your own pace. Let Polonnaruwa transport you back in time and unveil the secrets of its ancient past.

Here are some popular things to do in Polonnaruwa

Unveiling Polonnaruwa’s Magnificent Ruins

Explore the Royal Palace:

Step back in time as you explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the well-preserved ruins and archaeological sites that offer a glimpse into the rich history of Sri Lanka. Visit the Royal Palace complex, the Quadrangle, and the stunning Gal Vihara to witness the grandeur of this once-thriving kingdom.

Visit the Polonnaruwa Vatadage:

Discover the Polonnaruwa Vatadage, an ancient circular shrine that was once used to enshrine a sacred relic. Admire the intricately carved stone pillars and the exquisite craftsmanship of this architectural masterpiece. The Vatadage stands as a testament to the advanced engineering skills of the ancient Sri Lankan civilization.

Marvel at the Gal Vihara:

Be amazed by the Gal Vihara, a collection of rock-cut statues of Lord Buddha. These magnificent sculptures, carved out of solid granite, depict the seated, standing, and reclining postures of the Buddha. The serene expressions and intricate details make the Gal Vihara a must-visit site for art and history enthusiasts.

Explore the Archaeological Museum:

Dive deeper into the history of Polonnaruwa by visiting the Archaeological Museum. Admire the artifacts, sculptures, and ancient relics on display, which provide insights into the daily life, culture, and religious practices of the ancient inhabitants of Polonnaruwa.

Discover the Lankathilaka Image House:

Visit the Lankathilaka Image House, an impressive brick and stone structure that once housed a towering seated Buddha statue. Marvel at the architectural beauty and intricate details of this ancient shrine, which offers a glimpse into the religious devotion of the people of Polonnaruwa.

Climb the Rankoth Vehera:

Ascend the steps of the Rankoth Vehera, one of the largest stupas in Sri Lanka. Take in the panoramic views from the top and appreciate the peaceful ambiance of this sacred Buddhist monument. The Rankoth Vehera is not only a religious site but also a symbol of the city’s rich heritage.

Visit the Royal Palace Complex:

Explore the ruins of the Royal Palace Complex, once the residence of the ancient rulers of Polonnaruwa. Wander through the remnants of the audience halls, royal chambers, and other structures that reflect the opulence and grandeur of the bygone era.

Admire the Lotus Pond:

Take a moment to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the Lotus Pond. This ancient water reservoir adorned with lotus petals creates a serene and picturesque setting. Capture some memorable photos and embrace the serenity of the surroundings.

Experience Village Life:

Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting nearby villages. Interact with the friendly locals, learn about their traditional way of life, and even participate in activities like farming, pottery making, or cooking traditional Sri Lankan dishes.

Enjoy Wildlife and Nature:

Explore the nearby wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves, such as Minneriya National Park and Kaudulla National Park. Embark on a thrilling safari to witness elephants, leopards, and a variety of bird species in their natural habitats.

Polonnaruwa offers a captivating journey through ancient history, showcasing remarkable architectural marvels and a rich cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring ruins, discover the religious significance of sacred sites, and soak in the serene ambiance of this ancient city. A visit to Polonnaruwa is a step back in time, where you can unravel the mysteries of a glorious past and appreciate the magnificence of Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage.

Unveiling the Treasures of Polonnaruwa

A Journey into Ancient Sri Lankan Civilization

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The best time to visit Polonnaruwa is during the dry season, from May to September, when the weather is pleasant and rainfall is minimal. This ensures better exploration of the archaeological sites and a more comfortable experience.
  • Dress Code:

    When visiting religious sites in Polonnaruwa, it is important to dress modestly and respectfully. Ensure your shoulders and knees are covered, and remove your shoes when entering temples or sacred areas.
  • Sun Protection:

    Polonnaruwa can get quite hot, especially during the midday hours. It is essential to wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. Stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Hiring a Guide:

    Consider hiring a knowledgeable guide to enhance your experience in Polonnaruwa. They can provide insights into the historical and cultural significance of the sites, share interesting stories, and help you navigate through the complex.
  • Getting Around:

    To explore the different sites in Polonnaruwa, you can hire a bicycle, which is a popular and eco-friendly mode of transportation. Alternatively, you can hire a tuk-tuk or a private vehicle for more convenience and comfort.
  • Entrance Fees:

    There is an entrance fee to access the archaeological sites in Polonnaruwa. Keep in mind that separate fees may apply for foreign tourists and locals. Make sure to check the latest prices and carry sufficient cash for the entrance fees.
  • Respect for Heritage Sites: As you explore the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa, it is important to show respect for the heritage sites. Avoid touching or climbing on the structures, and refrain from removing any artifacts or souvenirs from the sites. Help preserve these historical treasures for future generations.
  • Local Customs and Etiquette: Familiarize yourself with the local customs and etiquette when interacting with the residents of Polonnaruwa. Sri Lankans are known for their warm hospitality, so it is always appreciated to greet locals with a smile and a respectful “Ayubowan” (May you have a long life).
  • Safety and Security: Like any other travel destination, it is advisable to take general safety precautions while visiting Polonnaruwa. Keep your belongings secure, be cautious of your surroundings, and follow any safety guidelines provided by authorities or your accommodation.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can make the most of your visit to Polonnaruwa and ensure a memorable and enriching experience in this ancient city.

list of hotels in Polonnaruwa

A Range of Accommodation Options for Every Traveler

Discover a variety of accommodation options in Polonnaruwa, ranging from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. Whether you’re seeking a lavish retreat or a cozy place to rest after a day of exploration, Polonnaruwa has something for every traveler. Experience warm hospitality, comfortable amenities, and convenient locations, ensuring a memorable stay in this historic city. From charming boutique hotels nestled amidst lush greenery to modern resorts with panoramic views, you’ll find the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Polonnaruwa, while enjoying the comfort and convenience of your chosen accommodation. Explore this list of hotels and find your ideal home away from home in Polonnaruwa.

Hotels in Polonnaruwa

  1. Royal Lotus Hotel
    • Category: 4 stars
    • Description: Experience luxury and comfort at the Royal Lotus Hotel, offering spacious rooms, modern amenities, and a rooftop pool with panoramic views. Indulge in delectable cuisine at the on-site restaurant and enjoy a memorable stay in Polonnaruwa.
  2. The Lake House Polonnaruwa
    • Category: 4 stars
    • Description: Situated on the banks of Parakrama Samudra Lake, The Lake House Polonnaruwa offers luxurious accommodations with stunning lake views. Enjoy a range of amenities including a swimming pool, spa, and on-site dining options.
  3. Hotel Ancient Village
    • Category: 3 stars
    • Description: Located close to the Polonnaruwa archaeological site, Hotel Ancient Village offers comfortable rooms in a peaceful setting. The hotel features a restaurant, garden, and bicycle rental service for guests to explore the area.
  4. Giritale Hotel and Resort
    • Category: 3 stars
    • Description: Set amidst lush greenery and overlooking Giritale Lake, Giritale Hotel and Resort offers spacious rooms and a range of facilities, including a swimming pool, restaurant, and bar. Enjoy a tranquil retreat in a scenic location.
  5. Priyankara Hotel
    • Category: Guesthouse
    • Description: Priyankara Hotel is a budget-friendly guesthouse offering cozy accommodations and a warm ambiance. The guesthouse is located near the Polonnaruwa archaeological site, making it convenient for exploring the area.
  6. Hotel Sashinika
    • Category: 2 stars
    • Description: Offering affordable accommodations, Hotel Sashinika is conveniently located near Polonnaruwa’s major attractions. The hotel provides basic amenities and a friendly atmosphere for a comfortable stay.

Please note that hotel availability and ratings may vary, so it’s always best to check with the hotels directly or through a reliable booking platform for the most up-to-date information.

Here are a few additional details that travelers should know about visiting Polonnaruwa

  1. Opening Hours: The archaeological sites in Polonnaruwa are typically open from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM. It’s best to arrive early to avoid crowds and make the most of your visit.
  2. Entrance Fees: There is an entrance fee to access the archaeological sites in Polonnaruwa. The fees vary depending on your nationality, so it’s advisable to check the current rates before your visit.
  3. Guided Tours: Consider hiring a local guide or joining a guided tour to enhance your experience in Polonnaruwa. Guides can provide insightful information about the history and significance of the sites, making your visit more meaningful.
  4. Sun Protection: The ancient ruins in Polonnaruwa are exposed to the sun, so it’s essential to wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong sunlight. Additionally, carry a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout your exploration.
  5. Respectful Attire: When visiting religious sites within Polonnaruwa, such as temples and stupas, it’s important to dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders and knees should be covered, and removing shoes and hats may be required in certain areas.
  6. Bicycles for Rent: Renting a bicycle is a popular way to explore the archaeological sites in Polonnaruwa. Many guesthouses and hotels offer bicycle rental services, allowing you to easily navigate the sites at your own pace.
  7. Wildlife Encounters: Keep an eye out for wildlife during your visit to Polonnaruwa, especially within the nature reserves and surrounding areas. You may spot monkeys, birds, and other fascinating creatures along your journey.
  8. Local Cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in authentic Sri Lankan cuisine while in Polonnaruwa. Sample local delicacies such as rice and curry, hoppers, and traditional sweets to experience the flavors of the region.

By keeping these details in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to explore and enjoy the wonders of Polonnaruwa.

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