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Polonnaruwa

4.1
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura. The major attraction in Polonnaruwa is a packed archeological park protecting the ruins of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, a World Heritage Site. Its masterful stone carvings, palace complexes, and temples dating back to the 11th century testify to splendor and grandeur of the former kingdom. Two nearby national parks, both centered around large ponds, provide a sanctuary for Sri Lanka's most iconic animals: elephants. Many visitors also choose to head to an 800-year-old reservoir complex to enjoy a nice picnic site and explore wildlife reserves. Plan your visit to Polonnaruwa and other destinations in Sri Lanka using our Sri Lanka trip planner.
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Popular things to do in Polonnaruwa

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4.4
Duration: 3 hours
4.7
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.7
Duration: 30 minutes
5.0
Duration: 2h 30 min

Side trips from Polonnaruwa

4.5
Duration: 3h 30 min
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
4.3
Duration: 2 hours

Hidden gems in Polonnaruwa

4.1
Duration: 8 hours
4.6
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.7
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.7
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Historic Sites in Polonnaruwa

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4.7
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.8
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.5
Duration: 2h 30 min
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Duration: 1h 30 min

Nature in Polonnaruwa

4.4
Duration: 2h 30 min

Parks in Polonnaruwa

3.5
Duration: 2h 30 min

Where to stay in Polonnaruwa

Famous for its UNESCO-protected and often-visited complex of ruins, Polonnaruwa caters to its visitors with dozens of guesthouses, the majority situated along Batticaloa Road. A number of mid-range and four-star hotels sit on Parakrama Samundra and the shores of Bendiwewa reservoir. Nearby Giritale village, some 7 km (4.3 mi) away, also offers nice alternatives as a rural base. A number of budget-friendly bed & breakfasts can be found near the lake.
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Recently planned trips to Polonnaruwa

17 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular sights Preferences: February Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 10 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA August, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, popular sights Preferences: August, outdoors, historic sites, shopping Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 3 days in Polonnaruwa BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 2 days in Gampaha & Polonnaruwa BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA July, teens, popular sights Preferences: July, teens Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 1 day in Polonnaruwa BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 14 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 26 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA August, hidden gems Preferences: August Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 28 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in Colombo, Kandy & Polonnaruwa BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 32 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA March, popular & hidden gems Preferences: March Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 3 days in Dambulla, Polonnaruwa & Kalkudah BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA October, popular sights Preferences: October Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 45 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
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