The second oldest of Sri Lanka's ancient capitals, Polonnaruwa was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its well-preserved archaeological ruins, which include palaces, pools, temples, schools, courts and other 12th-century civic features. It can easily be combined with one of the excellent nearby national parks, such as Kaudulla or Minneriya.


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National Parks

Polonnaruwa is close to several of Sri Lanka's excellent national parks, including Minneriya and Kaudulla. They include populations of sambar deer, macaques, hornbills and much more. Their main attraction, though, is their elephant herds. During the dry season, roughly May to December in this area of the country, it is possible to see upwards of 150 elephants grazing and gathering around the central tanks, or reservoirs – a truly amazing sight.

Nishantha Traditional Woodcarving Factory

Visit the nearby Nishantha Traditional Woodcarving Factory for an interesting demonstration in traditional carving using indigenous Sri Lankan wood: ebony, royal ebony, rosewood, teak, mahogany, sandalwood, rainbow wood, and coconut timber.

Polonnaruwa Ruins

Explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s second capital and yet another of the country’s remarkable UNESCO sites. Have a privately guided tour of its well-preserved monumental ruins, which evoke the splendor of the 12th-century garden-city, and include the Royal Palace, various temples, and a series of colossal Buddha statues carved into the side of a granite cliff.

Sri Lanka Regions

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