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 walls) has 17m-high walls, although the roof has collapsed. The cathedral-like aisle leads to a huge standing (headless) Buddha. Offerings of incense, and the structure's columns and arches, add to the distinctly devotional atmosphere.
The upper walls, decorated with bas-reliefs, show typical Polonnaruwa structures in their original state.