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Visit Polonnaruwa


The ancient city of Polonnaruwa is one of Sri Lanka's most popular heritage sites. And, like Anuradhapura, the Buddhist pilgrimage site to the north, a must-visit Sri Lanka holiday destination. Situated on the shores of the Parakrama Samudra reservoir, the ruined city was Sri Lanka's capital for two centuries and the centre of a reunited country after the invasion by the Chola dynasty of India in the 11th century.

Today, Polonnaruwa's extensive ruins are some of the countries best preserved. The Royal Palace and Quadrangle are especially impressive, with frescos and rock carvings intricately decorating each building's facade. Elsewhere on the site is the sublime Gal Vihara - the Cave of the Spirits of Knowledge - a temple adorned with four excellent images of Buddha, including a 14-metre recumbent Buddha, carved into a large slab of granite rock. The site is one of the best examples of Sinhalese rock carving and a major Sri Lanka travel highlight.


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Top itineraries in Polonnaruwa

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Best of Sri Lanka

15-day tailor-made holiday from £5,260 pp incl. flights

From sweeping tea plantations to UNESCO-listed treasures and the wildlife of the Yala National Park, spend two memorable weeks exploring the history, culture and beaches of this Indian Ocean gem.

Baros Maldives

Sri Lanka & The Maldives

16-day tailor-made holiday from £5,725 pp incl. flights

Offering idyllic islands, scenic splendour and cultural encounters, this best-of-both tour shows off Sri Lanka and the Maldives at their absolute finest. Enjoy the sparkle of the Indian Ocean and stroll past giant-sized recumbent Buddhas in this tailor-made journey.

When to go to Polonnaruwa

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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

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