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Visit to UNESCO Listed Polonnaruwa Ancient City

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Polonnaruwa Ancient City was the main reason for our visit to Polonnaruwa, and it did not disappoint. Polonnaruwa was the capital of the central plains of Sri Lanka 800 years ago. There are hundreds of ancient structures – palaces, temples, tombs, statues, it’s all here in a relatively compact space which makes it very easy to explore. The ruins are basically divided into five groups. They are all close together and we were rarely in our vehicle for long. In 1070 though, the Chola dynasty was overtaken by the Sinhalese kingdom (King Vijayabahu I), which kept Polonnaruwa as his capital. And it was during this Sinhalese period that Polonnaruwa reached its high glory.
What to Expect
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Polonnaruwa Vatadage, Sacred City, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

The Quadrangle is a raised site with many important monuments some of which are temples of the tooth of Buddha. This area is one of the highlights as there are many buildings in a small space meaning our kids found it far more interesting. S vowed to go on every one and it was extra fun to explore this area.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Siva Devale No 2, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

This building is the oldest in Polonnaruwa and is still much like it was when it was built.

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Rankoth Vehera, Ancient Bhikku Hospital, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka

This was by far my favorite group with lots of amazing monuments and ruins. Rankoth Vehara Dagoba pictured above is just massive at 54 meters high – the fourth highest in Sri Lanka. The other bonus at this Polonnaruwa attraction is that there are some of the best toilets have ever experienced at an outdoor attraction as well as about a zillion monkeys nearby.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Kiri Vehera, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

The beautiful dagaba Kiri Vihara (meaning “milk-white”) was built in honor of the King`s Queen. When the archaeologists came to the area and cleared it from the overgrown jungle, they found the original lime plaster still in white perfect condition after 700 years! This is the best-preserved unrestricted dagaba in Polonnaruwa.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Gal Vihara, 440/225 Palm Grove State Minuwangoda road, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka

Gal Vihara Buddhist Temple at (UNESCO World Heritage Site) at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka is the most perfect specimen of Buddha statue hewn out of solid stone. Crafted during the reign of King Parakrabahu (1153-1186 A.C), Gal Vihara statues are still in complete preservation with their irresistible charm and sublimity. It is undeniable that the sculptors of Gal Vihara were of greater skill and expertise in the art of stone sculpture in Sri Lanka. The images at Gal Vihara have brought about higher level of awakening in the observers with respect of Buddhist art in Sri Lanka. Gal Vihara at Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka known as “The Northern Temple” in the beginning of its history, is a cave complex, about 27 meters in length and 10 meters in height at the center and sloping towards the ends, with sculptures carved on the solid rock in four shrines. Gal Vihara, like numerous other Buddhist shrines of Sri Lanka, is a shrine of Theravada Buddhism. Then again Gal Vihara testifies to the influence of Mahayana Buddhism during the 12th century.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Pabalu Vehera, Gal Vihara Road, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka

Pabalu Vehera, is another typical dagaba, dating back to King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186). This is the third largest dagaba in Polonnaruwa, and in excellent condition.

Duration: 20 minutes
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Important Information
Departure Point
Traveler pickup is offered
We pick up travelers from any Hotel in Negombo


  • Bandaranayake Intl Airport, Colombo Sri Lanka
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Private transportation
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Bottle water
  • Entrances fees to Polonnaruwa City
  • Entry/Admission - Polonnaruwa Vatadage
  • Entry/Admission - Siva Devale No 2
  • Entry/Admission - Rankoth Vehera
  • Entry/Admission - Kiri Vehera
  • Entry/Admission - Gal Vihara
  • Entry/Admission - Pabalu Vehera
  • Restroom on board
  • WiFi on board
  • Gratuities
  • Lunch
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.


Key Details
  • Duration: 11h
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Instant confirmation
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    Product code: 208805P3
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