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 I’s northern monastery. The Gal Vihara consists of four separate images, all cu…
Top Choice Historic Site in Polonnaruwa

Quadrangle

A short stroll north of the Royal Palace ruins, the area known as the Quadrangle is literally that – a compact group of ruins in a raised-up area bounded by a wall. It’s the most concentrated collection of buildings…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Polonnaruwa

Lankatilaka

One of the most evocative structures in Polonnaruwa, the Lankatilaka temple was built by Parakramabahu I and later restored by Vijayabahu IV. This massive gedige (stone Buddhist temple with corbelled roof and thick …
Top Choice 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…
Archaeological Site in Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa Ruins

For three centuries Polonnaruwa was a royal capital of both the Chola and Sinhalese kingdoms. Today's archaeological park is a delight to explore, with hundreds of ancient structures – tombs and temples, statues and…
Buddhist Temple in Polonnaruwa

Tivanka Image House

Polonnaruwa's 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 buildi…
Museum in Polonnaruwa

Archaeological Museum

This excellent museum has rooms dedicated to the citadel, the outer city, the monastery area (check out the model of the monks' hospital and medical instruments) and Hindu monuments. The latter room contains a wonde…
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…
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…
Monument in Polonnaruwa

Potgul Vihara

Also known as the library dagoba, the Potgul Vihara in the far south of Polonnaruwa is an unusual structure. A thick-walled, hollow, dagoba-like building, it is thought to have been used to store sacred books. It’s …