The Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa

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The Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa Tour Gossips (2)

With its long, proud history, Sri Lanka has national Heritage sites full of ruins that depict the nation’s pride. Among the ruined cities, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are at the top. The ancient kingdoms flourished during the time of the most potent kings like King Dutudamunu and King Prakramabahu. The Ancient city of Polonnaruwa is also known as Pulathisipura and Vijayarajapura. It is the main town of the Polonnaruwa district at present.The Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa Tour Gossips (2)

Apart from the new town, a part of the city remains as the Ancient royal kingdom with well-preserved ruins and remains. It is the second oldest ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka. It was initially established as a military post by the Sinhalese kingdom and was renamed Jananathamangalam by the Chola Dynasty. By that time, the capital of Sri Lanka was the City of Anuradhapura. Polonnaruwa has many nationalities, like Sinhalese, Muslims, and Tamil. There is also a minor community of Burghers as well as Malys. 

The Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa Tour Gossips (2)

History of Polonnaruwa

As mentioned, the Sinhalese kingdom established Polonnaruwa as a military post. After the Chola dynasty took power, the city was renamed the Jananathamangalam. Then it was under several Shola kings. The Shiva temples, and Indian Architecture, the statues of Hindu gods and goddesses show us how powerful the Chola dynasty would have been. All these Indian influences were a reason for the Chola’s power over the country. The Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa Tour Gossips (2)

King Vijayabahu was able to delegate armies to conquer the city of Polonnaruwa. However, after a successful mission of defeating the Chola dynasty, Prince Vijayabahu became the first ruler of Polonnaruwa. Then it became the country’s capital, which was known as Thambapanni then. 

The time of King Vijayabahu was a successful and flourished period for the country in both political and economic aspects. Then his grandson came into power by the name King Parakramabahu the Great. It was considered one of the golden ages of the country. That was when the country received the most unique irrigation systems, and trade and agriculture were well developed under his patronage. The great lake, the Parakrama Samudraya or the Sea of Parakrama, is one of the most fabulous creations of this mighty kind that the country benefits from even today. 

Then comes the time of King Nissanakamalla, another great monarch of the kingdom. The relationships with the domain of South India were formed during the period of this king. But later, the Polonnaruwa kingdom was again taken under the Aryachakrawarthi and Kalingamaga dynasties. And the kingdom slowly went to destruction. That is the end of the mighty empire. 

The present city of PolonnaruwaThe Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa Tour Gossips (2)

Polonnaruwa remains one of the best-planned cities of ruins and relics under UNESCO national heritage sites. It has always been one of the best backdrops for the films like Duran, Duran, and Save a Prayer. The city also is one of the best sites for tourism. It is never without visitors who love studying and seeing the country’s cultural heritage. The city is cared for well and is one of the most valued cultural cities. 

Essential places to visit in the city of Polonnaruwa

The city of Polonnaruwa is a well-preserved UNESCO site that reveals a lot about Sri Lankan culture and heritage. You could check to enjoy the beauty of the ruins and get to know more about the unique facts of the ancient Polonnaruwa kingdom. Below are some must-see sites to visit if you plan a trip to Sri Lanka. The Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa Tour Gossips (2)

Palace of King Parakramabahu

This was one of the most fascinating buildings that would have been in the kingdom at that time. Initially, it has been a seven-story building with about 1000 chambers. It was built by King Parakramabahu the Great. This palace was named as a UNESCO heritage. It was also called the VIjayantha Prasada and Sath Bumupaya. The remaining walls show a higher thickness, indicating how strong the building would have been. The stairways show us how big the palace could be. 

The Golden Pinnacle or the Rankoth Wehera

This magnificent stupa is located in Polonnaruwa ruin city and is a perfect destination to experience archaeological education. It is also known as the fourth-largest stupa on the island. The stupa was believed to be built in the time of King Nissanka Malla. The design of this stupa is a complete inspiration from the Anuradhapura era. And it is very much similar to the great Ruwanwelisaya. 

The Archeological Museum in Polonnaruwa

The museum is something unique to visit. It has all the information and details about the entire Polonnaruwa era of Sri Lankan history. The diverse and exceptional collection of artifacts is a beautiful sight to see. The statues, pictures, relics, ruins, jewelry, and coins are living proof of a fantastic period of the Polonnaruwa kingdom. It has a precise organization of the artifacts according to different periods so that the visitors get excellent knowledge about their values of them. Like the Sri Lankan artifacts, Hindu monuments and ruins are displayed. The bronze statue collection of all the gods and goddesses that belonged to Hinduism is lovely to examine. 

Kiri Vehera Stupa

This is a whitewashed stupa which is known as the second largest stupa in the protected ancient city. It is believed to be constructed by King Parakramabahu’s Queen. Earlier, it was called the Rupavati Chechnya and later named the Kiri there, which also means the white stupa. 

Polonnaruwa Watadage

This building, too, was constructed during the time of the Kind Parakramabahu, the great to house the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. Then later, in the period of King Nissanka Malla, it was used to house the alms bowl of Lord Buddha as a relic. Both of these artifacts were of great historical value. The building showed the features of a typical Srilankan Vatadage and was built in Bubbulakara shape or a bubbled shape pattern. 

The Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa Tour Gossips (2) watadage

Nissanka Latha Mandapaya

Nissanka Latha Mandapaya is one of the most beautiful buildings that would have been in the Polonnaruwa kingdom. It is believed to be a recitation house for Buddhist chanting. It is a unique building with magnificent pillars resembling lotus flowers with long stems.

Gal ViharayaThe Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa Tour Gossips (2) Gal Viharaya

Earlier known as the Uthtararamaya, the Galvihara is one of the main UNESCO heritage sites in Sri Lanka. The rock-carved Buddha statues are unique works of ancient Sri Lankan sculpture. There are four statues with different poses. The seated Buddha statue on a lotus, a standing figure reclining figure, and another seated statue are the four types of statues that you can see. 

The MoonstoneThe Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa Tour Gossips Moonstone Polonnaruwa

The moonstone is a unique feature of the temple architecture of Sri Lanka. This could be seen among the ruins of the Anuradhapura Era as well. It is a rather elaborate foot piece at the entrances of the religious buildings for the palaces. The moonstone of the Polonnaruwa era does not have the cow figure that was there in the Anuradhapura era, purely because of the Hindu religious influence. 

The Lotus Pond

The historical Nelum Pokuna is a creative approach by Sri Lankan architects. The pond resembles a fully bloomed lotus flower. 

Parakrama Samudraya

This new water body is one of the best creations and services by Parakramabahu the Great. It is also known as the Sea of Parakrama, which helped Polonnaruwa’s agriculture and irrigation systems. The legend about this is also an exciting story to hear. 

The Parakramabahu Statue

King Parakramabahu’s statue is also an essential element of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. This is placed near the pothole veteran. The figure is carved out of the rock and is close to twelve feet in height. The attire and the facial expression also make us guess that this is a figure of a hermit. 

Pothgul Vehera

The pothole, there is a place where books and ancient inscriptions were stored. It could also be a library building complex but more with a Buddhist religious background. Also, it is known as the oldest library in the country. The architecture of the building is also an interesting aspect to follow. The wall construction and creation of the spaces are unique. 

Pabalu Vehera

Like the Rankith, this was one of the critical stupas at that time. This, too, was built by Queen Rupawathi, the queen of King Parakramabahu the Great. 

Walking among the ruins and enjoying the beauty of the historical heritage of Sri Lanka is very interesting. Also, protecting these ruins for the entire world to witness the beauty of Sri Lankan history is essential. 

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