The second Buddhist capital after Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa is more accessible and better preserved than its predecessor.
The numerous sites are grouped in clusters outside the modern town and enable the visitor to easily imagine life in the ancient city.
The palaces, royal buildings and Buddhist shrines boast some captivating examples of master craftsmanship, the most notable being the Gal Vihara’s beautiful images of the reclining and meditating Buddha carved into the rock face. The level of detail in the carvings and their well preserved condition makes it hard to believe they are almost a thousand years old.
Suggested Polonnaruwa itinerary
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Polonnaruwa, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Polonnaruwa
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Polonnaruwa
- Minneriya National Park 11 miles away
- Sigiriya 18 miles away
- Dambulla 25 miles away
- The Cultural Triangle 31 miles away
- Pallepolla 36 miles away
- Passikudah 39 miles away
- Trincomalee 47 miles away
- Anuradhapura 50 miles away
- Kandy 52 miles away
- Nuwara Eliya 70 miles away
- Bandarawela 77 miles away
- Hatton 78 miles away
- Horton Plains 80 miles away
- Adam's Peak 86 miles away
- Negombo 95 miles away
- Uda Walawe National Park 100 miles away
- Yala National Park 101 miles away
- Colombo 106 miles away
- Sinharaja Biosphere 114 miles away
- Wadduwa 115 miles away
- Bentota 126 miles away
- Tangalle 134 miles away
- Jaffna 138 miles away
- The Southern Coast 142 miles away
- Galle 143 miles away