The Ruins of Polonnaruwa
Just 140km (90 miles) north of Kandy are the ruins of ancient Polonnaruwa, which date from the late 10th century when the Chola kings of southern India invaded Sri Lanka and conquered Anuradhapura. The invaders moved their capital to Polonnaruwa, strategically located for defence against attacks from the unconquered Sinhala kingdom of Ruhuna, in the southeast (which has lent its name to Sri Lanka's most visited national park). Their defences ultimately proved inadequate and in 1070 they were forcibly evicted from Polonnaruwa by the Sinhalese ruler Vijayabahu I. Recognizing, however, that Anuradhapura's location made it vulnerable to any assault from southern India, he and his successors made their capital at Polonnaruwa, adding enormous temples, palaces, parks, gardens and huge tanks. The ruins of the ancient city stand on the east shore of a large artificial lake, Named Parakrama Samudra (the Sea of Parakrama), it was created by King Parakramabahu I (1153-86), whose reign was Polonnaruwa's golden age. Within a rectangle of city walls stand palace buildings and clusters of dozens of dagobas, temples and various other religious buildings. Our tours of Polonnaruwa include an earlier map-based tour of just the Sacred Quadrangle, and a 360-degree VR tour of the entire archeological zone. The links below will take you to either the map-based tour of the Sacred Quadrangle or a map-based tour and a 360-degree VR tour of the larger archeological zone.
Polonnaruwa Sacred Quadrangle Tour
Tour of the Polonnaruwa
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