Polonnaruwa is an ancient city located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. It was the capital of the country from the 11th to the 13th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are some prominent locations in Polonnaruwa:
Royal Palace: The Royal Palace complex was the residence of the Sri Lankan kings during the Polonnaruwa period. It consists of several structures, including the Audience Hall, King's Quarters, and the Council Chamber.
Quadrangle: The Quadrangle is a sacred complex that houses a collection of significant ruins. It includes the Vatadage (Circular Relic House), the Thuparama Image House, and various other structures of religious importance.
Gal Vihara: Gal Vihara is a rock temple renowned for its exquisite stone sculptures. It features four Buddha statues carved into the granite rock, including the famous standing Buddha statue, which is approximately 7 meters tall.
Polonnaruwa Archaeological Museum: Located within the ancient city, the museum displays a range of artifacts and exhibits related to the history and archaeological findings of Polonnaruwa. It offers valuable insights into the city's rich past.
Rankoth Vehera: Rankoth Vehera is a large stupa (Buddhist monument) that stands as one of the most impressive structures in Polonnaruwa. It is estimated to be over 1,000 years old and reaches a height of around 55 meters.
Lankatilaka Image House: This ancient brick-built structure is an image house that once housed a colossal standing Buddha statue. Though the statue is no longer present, the architectural beauty of the building remains.
Kiri Vihara: Kiri Vihara, also known as the "Milk White Temple," is a stupa that has been whitewashed and is one of the most significant religious sites in Polonnaruwa. It is believed to enshrine a relic of the Buddha.
Polonnaruwa Ancient Hospital: This site represents an ancient hospital complex with ruins of medical facilities, including a pharmacy, operating theater, and bathing ponds. It provides insights into the advanced healthcare practices of the time.
These are just a few notable locations within the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Exploring the area further will reveal many more fascinating historical and archaeological sites.