Mahawamsa and Culavamsa speak of Pulasthipura; the early historical name of Polonnaruwa; a UNESCO world heritage site, has a great history of conquest and struggle behind it and rightfully forms the third element in the Cultural Triangle. Located about 140 kms north east from Kandy, Polonnaruwa offers hours of endless pleasure for history and culture lovers, as there are numerous sights of significance.

Polonnaruwa became the capital of Sri Lanka subsequent to the decline of Anuradhapura and witnessed the Sinhala Buddhist civilization reaching much greater heights. The vast irrigation network with reservoirs that looks like inland seas sustained such classic balance in rice cultivation, during the rule of King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186 AD) and Sri Lanka came to be known as the Granary of the Orient. The main attractions are the conserved ruins of glorious royal palaces, massive Buddhist temples, and unbroken monuments in colossal statues carved from sold rock boulders.

Polonnaruwa, with its conserved ruins and renovated ancient irrigation reservoirs is a “must visit” destination of Sri Lanka. As much as the conserved cultural monuments would enlighten the tourists, the wild life sanctuaries in the district of Polonnaruwa affords ample opportunities for the joy and fun in the close range of wild elephants, other mammals to the lovers of wildlife. At the city of Polonnaruwa the largest ancient irrigation reservoir called Parakrama Samudra (the Sea of Parakrama) which is always lovely, and with the excess of birdlife, it is seldom that there is not something interesting going on upon its shimmering expanses of waters.

Polonnaruwa is located in between Wildlife at Minneriya National Park, Wasgamuwa National Park, Kaudulla National Park and Eco Hotels at Kandalama & Habarana.

Gal Vihara Is the Theravada Buddhist Temple at Polonnaruwa with three Buddha Statues of gallant proportions and a smaller image having a touch of Mahayana Buddhist influence is the most perfect specimen of Buddha statues sculptured out of solid granite. According to the Culavamsa, the historical chronicle, Gal Vihara, is an archaeological wonder of the orient near the Demala Maha Seya at Polonnaruwa was built by King Parakramabahu the Great. Gal Vihara statues, are magnificently perfected according to the Oriental patterns, on an abrupt boulder of dark granite about 27 meters in length and 10 meters in height at the centre and sloping towards the ends are still in perfect preservation with their irresistible charm. All four images hallowed out of the single massive slab, bringing to life serene facial expressions and graceful flow of the robes, are highly credible efforts to capture the boundless compassion and the infinite wisdom of Gautama Buddha. Ravages of time, rain, thunder and heat have done no harm upon the statues as if gods, the superior and resplendent beings in some other worlds have protected those for centuries.