Friday, March 1, 2013


Situated in north-central Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa was the second capital city of Sri Lanka (after Anuradhapura) from 1070 when King Vijayabahu I expelled the Cholas from the island, until 1215 when the city was invaded by the Tamils. King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186) and his successor King Nissamkamalla I (1187-1196) contributed to the development of the medieval walled city. King Parakramabahu's reign is considered to be the golden age of Polonnaruwa. Many structures and buildings were built during this period of time: palaces, shrines, monasteries, temples, gardens and an irrigation system with artificial lakes. The site contains also the Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas between 993 and 1070. After its golden age Polonnaruwa fell into decline and the capital city was moved to Kurunegala at the end of the 13th century. The archaeological site is divided in five groups of monuments: the Rest House group with the remains of Nissankamalla's Palace complex, the Royal Citadel group with the remains of the Palace of Parakramabahu, the Southern group with the Potgul Vihara, the Quadrangle dominated by the Vatadage and the Northern Monuments comprising the Alahana Pirivena monastery, the Gal Vihara and the Lankatilaka shrine. 
Date of inscription: 1982

Photo Juergen Schreiber

King Nissankamalla's Council Chamber
Photo Roelof Munneke

One of the four doorway leading to the Vatadage, a circular relic house
Photo Juergen Schreiber

The Gal Vihara (Stone Shrine) contains four images of Buddha hewn out of a granite rock
Photo A. Felix J. Perera

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