Sunday, January 15, 2012


After Anuradhapura, we traveled to Polonnaruwa to continue the cultural heritage experience. It was the second capital of Sri Lanka after Anuradhapura; established after defeating the Cholas and reuniting the country under local ruler.

The ruins and the still existing man-made tank which caters to the irrigation systems talks realms of then prosperous kingdom. The tank is so huge that you mistake it for an ocean. The archaeological sites are best preserved; standing tall as witness to the greatness of then rulers.

Not much to write about Polonnaruwa. The pictures will do all the talking. One thing worth mention is the evident Hindu influence in the architecture in Polonnaruwa ruins as the country was invaded by Cholas before being bailed out.

The Satmahal Prasada - One of the best preserved ruins with all its 7 stories intact. Its a square pyramidal with each side having figure of deities. The inside of it seemed to have stairs.

Gol Potha (Stone Book) - 8 meter long and 4.3 meter wide stone slab inscribed by the deeds of Kind Nissankamalla. It records his invasion of India and relationships with far away to what is now modern Pakistan and Indonesia.  

The Vatadage - the circular relic house possess elegance and beauty that I kept taking pictures of it at different angles. Four entry points with Buddhas at all four directions. The shrine is complete with moonstones, guard stones and other carvings. 

Inside the Vatadage. 

Hatadage - the second temple built to house tooth relic. 

Hatadage stands opposite to Vatadage. Vatadage as seen from inside Hatadage. 

The Lotus pedestal and the feet of Buddha ruins. 

Nissanka Lata Mandapaya - Pretty floral altar has pillars which simulate a lotus on stalk. Sacred hall for prayers.

The Thuparama - its the largest Buddhist image house. The vaulted roof of the building is still intact.

The ruins - in the foreground is a statue of Buddha Satva - the future Buddha. 

Shiva devale - Hindu temple built by the Cholas; still open for worship. 

Vishnu devale - the statue of Lord Vishnu remains intact. 

Trade shops - they had a sound economy. 

 Rankot Vihara - Ran means gold. Rankot vihara is a dagoba with golden pinnacle. Though no gold remains now. It was different from dagobas of Anuradhapura as it had temples around the stupa (Hindu influence)

Lankathilake - The image house. The walls are 55 ft high. The 12th century building even to this day tells stories of grandeur of the gone time. It was one of the most splendid shrines and  thus aptly named "Lankathilaka" - the crown jewel of Lanka. The Buddha was originally 41 feet high but sadly only the torsos now stand.

Gal vihara - remains the most impressive and famous of Polonnaruwa. Colossal statues of Buddhain various mudras are carved on the face of granite boulder

Royal Palace - seven stories high with a thousand chambers. What now remains are just the foundations and the wooden stories are all gone. The hole seen in the walls were placeholders for wooden beams.
The stories had access by steps and they were made of pink granites.

The council of chambers - meeting place for king and his ministers.  The rows of pillars are the seats for ministers and the king sat in the middle.

Parakrama Samudraya - 12th century man made tank built by king Parakramabahu in use even today. It covers an area of about 15 sq km. In the middle is a palace built as summer palace.

Finally, food! I would rate this little restaurant in Polonnaruwa had the best food. I liked the way they presented their buffet. Yumm isnt it?

One of the few home stays we stayed around the island. The people were nice and hospitable.


  1. first :)

    I liked those pots in which the food has been served .. looks delicious

    lovely pictures once again ..

    The statue of buddha is awesome


  2. Lovely visuals and the food was enticing as Bikram said:) BTW you mentioned Pakistan! which was just created after partition..An enjoyable post

  3. Hi B, You were having an envious ride there. The pics speak much about the fascinating tour.

    It has always been a wonder how the relics of the past were so excellent in architectural splendour, compared to the insipid concrete monsters we have mushrooming all over the land scape.

  4. I am sure this trip to Polonnaruwa must have been a delight since You are a connoisseur of architecture , esp antiques :) , Loving your travelogue.

  5. Great Pictures and a beautiful narration to go along.

  6. again lovely pictures and learnt about a new place.

  7. Insi,have gone through all your Lanka Journey.Nicely written as always.The pictures are all worth it.Cheers.

  8. never knew SL had so many nice places...

    I have only heard and seen about blood and agadhigal mugaam.. unfortunately whenever I think about SL only such things pops up in my mind..

  9. Hopped on your blog from Bikk's blog. It's amazing to see the old architecture against the lush green! Must be like re-living the history! I liked Thuparana picture a lot! I've seen Lankathhilake in some unknown movie song! I've always wanted to travel to Srilanka. Your pictures actually kindled the desire more!

  10. Bik,

    Thanks Bik, not only the pots but the food was also so delicious!


    Thanks for bringing to notice. I should have mentioned "what is now modern" Pakistan. I corrected it :)


    Haha sure it was :) I am blessed I would say; got to learn and see so much
    You bet! Anil. I was having same thought when I saw every structure there. No modern tools, yet they created master pieces that survived for thousands of years to tell the tale and what man constructs today doesnt withstand for 20 years


    Antiques!! So yeah lots of them. It was amazing experience


    Thank you


    Thanks :)


    Thanks Melange, glad you liked them


    Oh! It has awesome places. Its sad Ramya, the impression that we get lasts forever. Even I went with some pre notion that was wiped away by the end of my trip


    Welcome to B Log. Sri Lanka is a beautiful place.

  11. We are seriously thinking of Srilanka as our next forgein destination - thanks to your pictures and posts.

  12. offcourse and Trust you to make it a point to make me more jealous ahhhhhhhhhhh :)

    he he he

  13. Wonderful travelogue and amazing pictures yet again!!

  14. You are tempting me to plan a trip there soon

  15. The place looks awesome. :D
    And I envy you for I don't get to travel wherever I want to & whenever I want to. :-/

  16. kavita,

    Its got variety and beauty and coupled with that good people. So go!! :)




    Thanks a lot

    Chowla sir,

    Awesome! I strongly recommend :)


    Oh! It was brilliant. :-) Finish your studies and get into a job. Take a vacation once in every months :)


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!