Attractions

Top Choice Monument in Polonnaruwa

Gal Vihara

This is a group of beautiful Buddha images that probably marks the high point of Sinhalese rock carving. They are part of Parakramabahu’s northern monastery. The Gal Vihara consists of four separate images, all cut …
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Polonnaruwa

Lankatilaka

One of the most evocative structures in Polonnaruwa, the Lankatilaka temple was built by Parakramabahu and later restored by Vijayabahu IV. This huge gedige has 17m-high walls, although the roof has collapsed. The c…
Museum in Polonnaruwa

Archaeological Museum

This excellent museum comprises of several rooms, each dedicated to a particular theme: the citadel, the outer city, the monastery area (check out the model of the monks' hospital and medical instruments) and Hindu …
Pond in Polonnaruwa

Nelum Pokuna

A track to the left from the northern stretch of road leads to unusual Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Pond), nearly 8m in diameter, which has five concentric, descending rings of eight petals each. The pool was probably used b…
Statue in Polonnaruwa

Statue

Standing nearly 4m high, this statue displays an unusually lifelike human representation, in contrast to the normally idealised or stylised Buddha figures. Exactly whom it represents is a subject of some debate. One…
Monument in Polonnaruwa

Tivanka Image House

The northern road ends at Tivanka Image House. Tivanka means ‘thrice bent’, and refers to the fact that the Buddha image within is in a three-curve position normally reserved for female statues. The building is nota…
Buddhist Temple in Polonnaruwa

Vatadage

In the southeast of the Quadrangle, the vatadage (circular relic house) is typical of its kind. Its outermost terrace is 18m in diameter, and the second terrace has four entrances flanked by particularly fine guards…
Buddhist Temple in Polonnaruwa

Thuparama Gedige

At the southern end of the Quadrangle, the Thuparama Gedige is the smallest gedige (hollow Buddhist temple with thick walls) in Polonnaruwa, but is also one of the best: it's the only one with its roof intact, suppo…
Monument in Polonnaruwa

Gal Pota

The Gal Pota (Stone Book) is a colossal stone representation of an ola book. It is nearly 9m long by 1.5m wide, and 40cm to 66cm thick. The inscription on it – the longest such stone inscription in Sri Lanka (and th…
Buddhist Temple in Polonnaruwa

Rankot Vihara

The 54m Rankot Vihara dagoba, the largest in Polonnaruwa and the fourth largest on the island, has been ascribed to the reign of King Nissanka Malla. Like the other major dagobas in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the…