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Polonnaruwa

N 756.386', E 810.083'
2012-01-30
http://www.ccf.lk/polonnaruwa/
Our rating: 7.80
Overall rating:

Polonnaruwa is the second sacred city in Sri Lanka. After plundering of Anuradhapura, from 1070 to 1293, Polonnaruwa was the capital of the island. But the monarchs used the young city as their residence from the VII century. The most important buildings were erected during the reign of King Parakramabahu I (Parakramabahu the Great, 1153-1186). Many buildings have survived pretty well so far. Having lost the status of the capital in 1293, the city was overgrown with jungle and was discovered by the British in the XIX century.

We first visited the Archaeological Museum and then went for a walk through the streets of the ancient city. In contrast to Anuradhapura the number of tourists was larger here, but still we examined almost all objects on our own. It's possible to see various animals between the ruins, such as deer, it's very unusual. But even more unusual was the reaction of local children to us. Basically, such reaction is all over Sri Lanka, but here we met several groups of children from primary school, so we received special attention :)

We were on the car, but if you arrive by public transport, rent the bicycles on the main street of the city and ride around the old city on them, as the territory is quite large. You can rent a Tuk Tuk for $5-10 for 3 hours.

One of the most magnificent buildings is the Vatadage Temple. It is not known when it was built. It was used to store the Tooth Relic and a begging bowl.

Vatadage Temple
Vatadage Temple Yuriy Buriak


Vatadage Temple
Vatadage Temple Yuriy Buriak


Ancient bas-reliefs
Ancient bas-reliefs Yuriy Buriak

Along the perimeter of the ancient King's Council Chamber (audience hall) of King Parakramabahu I different elephants are depicted. Entrance to the hall is very picturesque with sculptures of elephants, dragons and a moonstone.

King's Council Chamber (audience hall)
King's Council Chamber (audience hall) Yuriy Buriak


King's Council Chamber (audience hall)
King's Council Chamber (audience hall) Yuriy Buriak


Oldest building of the Atadage Holy Square
Oldest building of the Atadage Holy Square Yuriy Buriak


Stupa in Polonnaruwa
Stupa in Polonnaruwa Yuriy Buriak


Satmahal Prasada, an unusual structure with unknown purpose
Satmahal Prasada, an unusual structure with unknown purpose Yuriy Buriak


Pool in Polonnaruwa
Pool in Polonnaruwa Yuriy Buriak


Interesting tree in Polonnaruwa
Interesting tree in Polonnaruwa Yuriy Buriak


Interesting tree in Polonnaruwa
Interesting tree in Polonnaruwa Yuriy Buriak


Former pool in the shape of a lotus (Nelum Pokuna)
Former pool in the shape of a lotus (Nelum Pokuna) Yuriy Buriak


Shiva Temple
Shiva Temple Yuriy Buriak


Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa Yuriy Buriak


Lankatilaka Temple
Lankatilaka Temple Yuriy Buriak


Royal bathing pool
Royal bathing pool Yuriy Buriak


Ruins of the royal palace of Parakramabahu I (Weijantha Prasada)
Ruins of the royal palace of Parakramabahu I (Weijantha Prasada) Yuriy Buriak


Don't forget to take off your shoes before entering the temple
Don't forget to take off your shoes before entering the temple Yuriy Buriak

The main attraction is the rock temple Gal Vilhara with four Buddhas carved from a single piece of granite in the 12th century.

The reclining image, which depicts the Buddha's parinirvana, is the largest in Gal Vihara.
The reclining image, which depicts the Buddha's parinirvana, is the largest in Gal Vihara. Yuriy Buriak


The seated image, which depicts the dhyana mudra, shows signs of Mahayana influence.
The seated image, which depicts the dhyana mudra, shows signs of Mahayana influence. Yuriy Buriak


The standing image depicts an unusual mudra.
The standing image depicts an unusual mudra. Yuriy Buriak


Monkey in Polonnaruwa
Monkey in Polonnaruwa Yuriy Buriak


Birds in Polonnaruwa
Birds in Polonnaruwa Yuriy Buriak

And some interesting photos of Polonnaruwa made ​​in the years when it was just found.

Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times
Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times Yuriy Buriak


Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times
Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times Yuriy Buriak


Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times
Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times Yuriy Buriak


Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times
Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times Yuriy Buriak


Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times
Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times Yuriy Buriak


Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times
Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times Yuriy Buriak


Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times
Ruins of Polonnaruwa in colonial times Yuriy Buriak

Ticket price is $25.
Map of Polonnaruwa

Getting there: There is the Kaduruwela railway station near the city. Train from Colombo goes about 6-7 hours, there are wagons of all three classes. There is a regular bus service to Kandy (through Dambulla, approximately 4 hours), Colombo (6 hours) and Anuradhapura (3 hours). The bus station is in Kaduruwela, about 5 kilometers from the sacred city, although the buses pass through the historic center. If you are traveling to Polonnaruwa, better get off in the old city, but if you leave, then it's a good idea to go to Kaduruwela, to be sure that you will be sitting in the bus. There is a regular bus service between the bus station and the old city.

Tags, Sri Lanka: abandoned places, buddhist temple

Tags, all countries: abandoned places, buddhist temple
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