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Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa


Polonnaruwa became the second capital of Sri Lanka after Anuradhapura was destroyed in 993. It includes the structures built by the Cholas and the impressive remains of the amazing garden city built by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.

Polonnaruwa was a busy hub for trade and religion in Sri Lanka about 800 years ago. It had many temples and religious structures. For 300 years, it served as the capital for both the Chola and Sinhalese kingdoms. The history of Polonnaruwa began in the late 10th century when the Chola dynasty from South India took control of Sri Lanka.

The Cholas decided to make Polonnaruwa their new capital instead of Anuradhapura. They thought it was a better place to avoid attacks from the Ruhunu Sinhalese kingdom in the southeast, and they liked that there were fewer mosquitoes – though it didn’t always feel that way, especially in the evenings when the mosquitoes swarmed!

01 Sri Lankan Guides

However, in 1070, the Sinhalese kingdom, under King Vijayabahu I, took over from the Cholas and kept Polonnaruwa as their capital. It was during this time that Polonnaruwa reached its peak in glory.

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