Royal Palace


The Royal Palace constructed by Parakramabahu I was a magnificent structure measuring 31m by 13m, and is said to have had seven storeys. Today its crumbling remains look like giant cavity-ravaged molars.

The 3m-thick walls have holes to receive the floor beams for two higher floors; however, if there were another four levels, these must have been made of wood. The roof in this main hall, which had 50 rooms in all, was supported by 30 columns.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Polonnaruwa attractions

1. Audience Hall

0.07 MILES

Parakramabahu I’s Audience Hall is notable for the frieze of elephants, each of which is in a different pose. There are fine lions at the top of the steps.

2. Archaeological Museum

0.13 MILES

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…

3. Bathing Pool

0.17 MILES

Just outside the southeast corner of the palace grounds, the Bathing Pool (Kumara Pokuna) has a central lotus island and two of its crocodile-mouth spouts…

4. Royal Baths

0.18 MILES

This water tank next to the EKHO Lake House has a stepped entrance and is fed from the nearby Topa Wewa.

6. King’s Council Chamber


This pillared hall is where the King Nissanka Malla’s council would have met. Inscribed into each of the 48 columns in the chamber is the name of the…

7. Entrance to Ruins

0.22 MILES

This is where you will have your Polonnaruwa ticket checked, before entering the main site.

8. Polonnaruwa Ruins

0.23 MILES

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…