Poḷonnaruwa

Poḷonnaruwa (Sinhala: පොළොන්නරුව, romanized: Poḷonnaruva; Tamil: பொலன்னறுவ, romanized: Polaṉṉaṟuvai) is the main town of Polonnaruwa District in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. Kaduruwela area is the Polonnaruwa New Town and the other part of Polonnaruwa remains as the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.

Kings ruled the central plains of Sri Lanka from Polonnaruwa 800 years ago, when it was a thriving commercial and religious centre.

Treasures from that age can be found in the archaeological treasures that still give a pretty good idea of how the city looked in its heyday.

That Polonnaruwa is close to elephant-packed national parks only adds to its popularity. And with good accommodation and plenty of bikes for hire, the town itself makes a pleasant base for a day or two, fringed by a huge, beautiful pool with a relaxed ambience.

You’ll find the archaeological park a delight to explore, with hundreds of ancient structures – tombs and temples, statues and stupas – in a compact core. The Quadrangle alone is worth the trip.

The second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first established by the Chola dynasty as their capital in the 10th century. The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage Site.

Currently the new Polonnaruwa is undergoing a major development project known as the “Awakening of Polonnaruwa”. This envisions the development of all sectors in Polonnaruwa including roads, electricity, agriculture, education, health and environment will be developed comprehensively.

Polonnaruwa is of unknown origin and was adopted by the traveller James Emerson Tennent. It’s Tamil form, Pulainari, is mentioned in Tamil inscriptions found at Polonnaruwa of the Chola period. The name is also derived from its ancient name Pulastya nagara or Pulatti nakaram meaning city of the Hindu sage Pulastya.

Previously known as Jananathapuram or Jananathamangalam. Later known as Vijayarajapuram as mentioned in the records of Jayabahu I, which probably was derived from the name of Vijayabahu I.

History

Polonnaruwa was established by the Cholas as capital city under the name Jananathapuram in the 10th century. Under this period flourished Hinduism. Raja Raja Chola I built Vanavan Mahadevisvaram, a Shiva temple at Polonnaruwa named after his queen, which presently is known as Siva Devale.

The temple among other contained Ganesa and Parvati statues of bronze. Sri Lanka was under this period ruled under Rajendra Chola I directly as a Chola province. However, following the year 1070 AD ended the Chola rule in the island, and Polonnaruwa was captured by Vijayabahu I.

Trade and agriculture flourished under the patronage of the king, who was so adamant that no drop of water falling from the heavens was to be wasted and each was to be used toward the development of the land.

You find irrigation systems that are far superior to those of the Anuradhapura Age were constructed during Parakramabahu’s reign – systems which to this day supply the water necessary for paddy cultivation during the scorching dry season in the east of the country. The greatest of these systems is the Parakrama Samudra or the Sea of Parakrama. The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was completely self-sufficient during King Parakramabahu’s reign.

 

Poḷonnaruwa the main town located in Kaduruwela area and hosts the remains as the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa. Ancient temples, places of worship and ruins dating back many thousands of years. A must visit location in Sri Lanka.
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