Polonnaruwa, a marvel of a place, is in Northern Sri Lanka. The city once served as the capital of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa under the Chola Empire in the 10th century. This makes it the second most historic kingdom in Sri Lanka after Anuradhapura.
The entire town has two sections - the development and infrastructure part called the Polonnaruwa new town and the Old Site with ancient remains and monarchical structures.
The old part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has numerous ruins dating back to 800 years comprising of tombs, temples, statues and stupas. Within the town, is the celebrated quadrangle, Gal Vihara – Buddhist 12th century rock temple, Archaeological museum, Polonnaruwa Vatadage – holds the relic of the tooth of Buddha, Rankot Vihara – a 12th century stupa, Hatadage - an ancient relic shrine and the Lankathilaka – a cathedral type Buddhist temple and many other statuettes dedicated to Lord Buddha.
Another beauty is the wildlife in the Minneriya National Park dedicated to elephants. It has the most significant elephant gathering in the whole of Asia. A jeep safari there will show you around monkeys, iguana, crocodiles pelicans and various animals and birds in their natural habitat. The eerie ruins of Polonnaruwa are home to the Potgul vihara – an age-old library with domes for roofs that hold sacred books and a lecture theatre. The eternal city has beautiful landscapes for pictures. For instance, the Parakrama Samudra is one of the five reservoirs in Sri Lanka that has provided water to the people since the days of yore.
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