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Polonnaruwa

The City of Polonnaruwa

 

Polonnaruwa Moonstone

Polonnaruwa Moonstone

Polonnaruwa is located 216 km from Colombo and it was the capital of Sri Lanka from 1017 A.D to 1235 A.D. After the decline of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, Polonnaruwa become the next capital of Sri Lanka. It was King Vijayabahu 1 who made Polonnaruwa as his capital once captured from Cholas. He ruled forty years but it was King Parakramabahu 1 who made Polonnaruwa what it is today.
The reign of King Parakramabahu-1 is considered as the “glories chapter” in the Sri Lankan history. Once the entire island was under one banner King Parakramabahu 1 devoted his time to restoration of irrigational work. He made a 2500 hectare tank called ‘Parakrama Samudra’ (‘Sea of Parakrama’) the city and the surrounding area were watered by the irrigational complex using the tank. The massive buildings, parks, shrines and sacred places made the city more beautiful palace. At the end of his reign in 1186 A.D the whole irrigation system of the dry zone was working to full capacity.

parakrama-samudrayaParakrama Samudra

Parakarama Samudraya (Sea of Parakrama) was built by King Parakramabahu I. This is treated as one of the outstanding irrigational work in history of Sri Lanka. The reason why it is called as “Sea of Parakrama” as it covers an area of 5,940 acres It has 11 channels directing water and feeding a network of irrigation canals and smaller tanks.

pothgul-viharyaPotgul Vehera

Potgul Vihara Monastery is believed to be built by King Parakramabahu. It is a unique monastery. There are a small dagabas surrounding a circular brick building

lotus-pond-polonnaruwaLotus Pond

This elegant pond was built in 12th century. This was made like a eight petaled lotus with four tiers and it is believed to be pert of Jetavanaramaya monastery

king-parakaramabahuStatue of King Parakramabahu I

North of Pothgul Vihara there is a 11.5 feet high granite statue. This is believed to be a rock sculpture of King Parakaramabahu -I but even still the stature is matter of debate whether it is Agastaya or King Parakramabahu I

rankoth-viharayaRankot Vihara

Rankot Vihara or The Golden Pinnacle Stupa was built by King Nishankamalla. This 55 meter high stupa is the largest one in Polonnaruwa.

galviharaya-stone-carvingsGalvehera

Gal Viharaya is one of the most visited sites of Sri Lanka. Three impressively large Buddha images carved on a face of a granite rock. The standing carved image on a lotus pedestal is 7m (23ft) tall where reclining Buddha is 14 m (46 ft) in length.

royal_palace_polonnaruwa1The Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu I

The Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu I was built in the 11th Century and it is a Impressive building with fine stone carvings. This was originally structure of seven stores in height. Upper floors were made from wood.


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