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.
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.