Explore the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

13 hr

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Day Trip

Group Tour

This private day tour takes you to Polonnaruwa, on a remarkable archaeological and nature-filled journey. Wonder at the ancient structures of the kings. Sri Lanka’s royal medieval capital in 1073, the well-preserved ruins of Polonnaruwa are one of the country’s most prominent cultural sites. The ancient city is in remarkably good nick and is a fascinating cultural site to visit, home to ruins of a palace, an enormous dagoba, stunning statues and a striking building...
This private day tour takes you to Polonnaruwa, on a remarkable archaeological and nature-filled journey. Wonder at the ancient structures of the kings. Sri Lanka’s royal medieval capital in 1073, the well-preserved ruins of Polonnaruwa are one of the country’s most prominent cultural sites. The ancient city is in remarkably good nick and is a fascinating cultural site to visit, home to ruins of a palace, an enormous dagoba, stunning statues and a striking building which has such unusual architecture that it is still unexplained by historians today. Some of the most impressive ruins are the sculptures at the Gal Viahara, which were cut into granite stone in the middle of the 12th century. The entire sculpture consists of four colossal statues of Buddha - a samadhi image in meditation posture; a seated Buddha image inside a cave; a standing Buddha image which is 23ft in height, and recumbent Buddha image measuring 46ft which depicts the passing away.
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Itinerary Details

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Statue of Parakramabahu I, Eastern Bank of the Parakrama Samudra Reservoir, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka

The first group of ruins you meet after entering the ground of the Ancient City is the Royal Palace Group. This group of buildings dates from the period of King Parakramabahu I (1153 – 1186). The King`s Royal Palace is a massive structure, measuring 31 m by 13 m, once including 50 rooms supported by 30 columns. Even today it is quite an impressive building, but picture it being seven floors tall with 3 m thick walls, as the archaeologists claim it once was!

Today only some of the walls are left, with holes to hold floor beams for two higher levels. If the building had four more levels above these stone walls, the archaeologists speculate that they must have been made of wood...
Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Statue of Parakramabahu I, Eastern Bank of the Parakrama Samudra Reservoir, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka

The first group of ruins you meet after entering the ground of the Ancient City is the Royal Palace Group. This group of buildings dates from the period of King Parakramabahu I (1153 – 1186). The King`s Royal Palace is a massive structure, measuring 31 m by 13 m, once including 50 rooms supported by 30 columns. Even today it is quite an impressive building, but picture it being seven floors tall with 3 m thick walls, as the archaeologists claim it once was!

Today only some of the walls are left, with holes to hold floor beams for two higher levels. If the building had four more levels above these stone walls, the archaeologists speculate that they must have been made of wood. Impressive building such a big palace in those days without machines!

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Polonnaruwa Vatadage, Sacred City, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

The Polonnaruwa Vatadage has been built around a small stupa with a base diameter of 27 ft. 8 inches. The Vatadage has two platform- the lower and the raised upper platform. The lower platform is 120 ft. in diameter and has a height of 4 ft. 3 inches from the ground level while the upper platform is 80 ft. in diameter and has a height of 5 ft. 3 inches from the lower platform. The lower platform is entered through a single entrance on the northern side while the doorway in four cardinal direction leads to the upper platform. The upper platform is surrounded by a brick wall on its edge. The center of this platform has the stupa which is accompanied by four Buddha statues depicted in Dhyana Mudra in seating posture. The statues face towards one of the four cardinal directions. These statues are 5 ft. In height and are seated on the stone seats with a height of 2 ft. 10 inches. Among them, two statues are more or less intact. Buddha head and shoulder of one of the statue has been chopped off and the condition of other one is also same. The stupa is constructed in Buddulakara or bubble-shaped design which is commonly seen in Sri Lanka. The upper part of the statue has been destroyed and there is only lower dome-shaped part remains.



Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Rankoth Vehera, Ancient Bhikku Hospital, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka

Rankoth Vehera is a stupa located in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. The stupa was built by Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa, who ruled the country from 1187 to 1196. The Rankoth Vehera has been built according to the tradition of the stupas of the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya and bears a close resemblance to Ruwanwelisaya. In fact, a stone inscription situated close to the stupa even identifies it by the name "Ruwanweli". However, it has later come to be known by the currently used name, Rankoth Vehera. In Sinhalese, ran means gold, kotha is the name given to the pinnacle of a stupa, and vehera means stupa or temple. Thus, the name Rankoth Vehera can be roughly translated to English as "Gold Pinnacled Stupa". Along with the Kiri Vehera, it is one of the most revered stupas in Polonnaruwa.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Hatadage, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

Hatadage is an ancient relic shrine in the city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. It was built by King Nissanka Malla, and had been used to keep the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha. The Hatadage had been built using stone, brick and wood, although only parts of the brick and stone walls now remain. It appears to have been a two-stores structure, but the upper stores has now been destroyed. Three Buddha statues carved out of granite rock are located within a chamber of the shrine.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Gal Vihara, 440/225 Palm Grove State Minuwangoda road, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka

This magnificent group of statues was built by king Parakramabahu (1153-1186) which was part of the Uthararama Complex. The first statute you will come across is a seated Buddha in meditation. He is seated on a lotus. The rock behind the statue is decorated with carvings of “vimana”. Four smaller Buddha statues can be seen on these decorations. Next is a smaller statue of Buddha (about 15 feet high) carved in to the rock. On the sides of the statue are two deities. It is believed this carving represent the Buddhas visit to heaven called “Thusitha” to preach to his mother. It is said that this statue was painted with pure gold and treasure hunters have burnt logs on the statue and melted the gold.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Kiri Vehera, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

The beautiful dagaba Kiri Vihara (meaning “milk-white”) was built in honour of the King`s Queen. When the archaeologists came to the area and cleared it from the overgrown jungle, they found the original lime plaster still in white perfect condition after 700 years! This is the best-preserved unrestored dagaba in Polonnaruwa.

Duration: 30 minutes

Important Details

Included
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Entry/Admission - Statue of Parakramabahu I
  • Entry/Admission - Gal Vihara
  • Private transportation
  • Entrance fees
  • Entry/Admission - Hatadage
  • Bottle Water 1l per person per day
  • Entry/Admission - Polonnaruwa Vatadage
  • Lunch
  • Entry/Admission - Kiri Vehera
  • Entry/Admission - Rankoth Vehera
Not Included
  • WiFi on board
  • Restroom on board
  • Gratuities
Departure Point
Traveler pickup is offered
We pick up travelers from any Hotel in Negombo

Airports

  • Bandaranayake Intl Airport, Colombo Sri Lanka


6:00 AM
Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
Voucher Requirements

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

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Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.