The city of Polonnaruwa is an ideal place for lovers of sightseeing holidays. Located in the central part of the country, Polonnaruwa is famous for its unique Buddha statues, palaces, gardens and other grandiose architectural monuments that have been preserved in excellent condition to this day. The museum city is a World Heritage Site and has been protected by UNESCO since 1982.
How to get to Polonnaruwa
It is most convenient to move around the country using the developed railway network. Cars are divided into several classes. You can comfortably relax in first class sleeping cars, enjoying the picturesque views of Ceylon, or book second class tickets, no less comfortable than first class.
Polonnaruwa is on the Colombo -Batticaloa route. The cost of a ticket to Colombo is approximately 420 LKR in a second class carriage and 700 LKR for a first class carriage. The railway station is located on the outskirts of the city. You can get to the hotel using the services of local transport – a tuk-tuk (three-wheeled scooter), the price of which usually does not exceed 25 LKR. Check liuxers for customs and traditions of Sri Lanka.
In addition, Sri Lanka is covered by a network of bus routes, which makes it easy to get to the most remote corners of the country. From Colombo there is a direct bus to the city of Polonnaruwa and costs about 250 LKR. Travel time is about 6 hours.
From Anuradhapura, the bus covers a distance of 100 kilometers in three hours. The ticket costs 140 LKR.
Buses in the country run by both state-owned CTB companies and private ones, while the cost of tickets for both is the same. It is worth considering the fact that the buses are narrow and old, the seats are often broken, and the air conditioners practically do not work.
Cuisine and restaurants
The national cuisine of Sri Lanka is diverse. Tropical fruits baked with meat or fish, seasoned with spices, spices and herbs – all this flavor variety can be enjoyed in Polonnaruwa. It is safest to dine here in hotels or guesthouses.
Popular among tourists is Polonnaruwa Rest House, located in the most beautiful place in the city near the main attractions of Polonnaruwa, on the lake. You can also go for a bite to eat at the New Araliya Sinhala Hotel, which also has European and traditional cuisine. Of particular note are kotthu rotti or pancakes baked with meat and vegetables.
The city also has a cozy cafe called Corner Cafe, which is located in the old city opposite the sitting Buddha statue, not far from the lake. All passing buses stop here, so the place is always very popular among both tourists and locals. Here you can have delicious pastries with sweet tea, rich donuts and rotti with different sauces for breakfast.
Entertainment and attractions of Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa is a city with a rich past that is of unique interest to fans of ancient history. Before you start exploring the main monuments and sights, you need to visit the Archaeological Museum. Here you can see a collection of household items, jewelry, statues and coins found in the city. The museum is open from 9:00 to 18:00. The Archaeological Museum has a small bookstore that offers a wide range of literature on the history and culture of Polonnaruwa. In addition, there are ticket offices where you can buy tickets to visit other monuments of the city.
The city has a huge number of temples, palaces and public buildings. So, the Building of the Council of Ministers, on the columns of which the system of government of the state is painted, is perhaps one of the most interesting places in Polonnaruwa.
One of the many magnificent temples of the city can be considered Khatadage, built in the 12th century and decorated with frescoes and inscriptions about the deeds of the king. Outside the city is the Lankatilaka Temple with a colossal 13-meter statue of Buddha, decorated with flower ornaments and figurines of gods. Next to it is the famous Gal Vihara Temple, where four huge and realistic Buddha statues are carved into the granite rock.
In addition, Polonnaruwa is close to the country’s national parks – Mennirya and Kadulla. These are picturesque places with unique flora and fauna, which are definitely worth a visit.
The city is famous for the ruins of the royal palace, the garden and the ruins of the pool, the water of which flowed through underground pipes from the reservoir and was scented with jasmine flowers. The garden was arranged in a unique way and included several sectors, each of which had its own name and a pavilion for science and entertainment.