Best Things To Do in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Have you ever visited a new place and felt ‘wow’ about it? For many visitors, it happens at Polonnaruwa.

Polonnaruwa may not be as popular as other cities in Sri Lanka, but don’t let that fool you. Polonnaruwa is a smaller but beautiful upcoming tourist destination that is worth a visit. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination.

You might wish to revisit it someday again, to take a break and relax at Polonnaruwa.

If you have plans to visit Sri Lanka and are not sure if Polonnaruwa should be included in your itinerary, keep reading. In this list, we have put together some of the things to do in Polonnaruwa and around. We have a hunch that if you include this city in your travel plans, you will be thrilled you did so.

Tourist Attractions in Polonnaruwa

Here is the list of things to do in Polonnaruwa and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Gal Vihara

    Statue, Leisure

    Address: Nissankamallapura, Sri Lanka

    Gal Vihara, also known as Gal Viharya was previously called Uttararama. It is a part of the Polonnaruwa Park and one of the most popular tourist attractions of the Central Province in Sri Lanka. As you enter Gal Vihara, you will be amazed by the huge statues of Buddha, one in sitting position, one in reclining and the third one in standing posi...Read more
  2. Lotus Pond

    4.5 (469 Votes)
    Lotus Pond Image

    Address: Thivanka Pilimage Rd, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

    Also called the Nelum Pokuna, the Lotus Pond at Polonnaruwa is a beautiful historical monument. Found close to King Parakramabahu’s palace, the Lotus Pond is a small stone bath featuring tiers of eight-petalled lotuses, in a descending form. Built in the 12th century, this structure is today beautifully and nicely preserved. Its garden-lik...Read more
  3. Nissanka Latha Mandapaya

    4.7 (448 Votes)
    Nissanka Latha Mandapaya

    Historical Site

    Address: Sacred square, Ancient city, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

    Nissanka Latha Mandapaya is a square building with excellent rock cutting railing design in the old city of Polonnaruwa. This unique structure was built by King Nissaka Malla in Dalada Maluva area which comprises the most sacred and oldest monument in the city. In ancient days the site was used for reciting Buddhist scriptures. The edifice is a ...Read more
  4. Somawathie Chaitiya Sanctuary


    Address: Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

    Somawathie Chaitiya Sanctuary is a nature preserve which is esteemed as a holy place by the Buddhists of Sri Lanka. The venue attracts thousands of believers, being an ancient Stupa in the middle of the Sanctuary. The stupa is believed to be built during 2nd century B.C which embodies the remains of Buddha. The temple boundaries are encompassed ...Read more
  5. Angammedilla National Park

    4.4 (193 Votes)
    Angammedilla National Park

    National Park

    Address: Sri Lanka

    Angammedilla National Park, Polonnaruwa is a mix of dry-evergreen forest in Sri Lanka. Though not a very big forest, it boasts of a huge variety of flora and fauna. If you are looking for places to spend some peaceful time amidst greenery, head over to the Angammedilla National Park, Polonnaruwa. You will be bequeathed with a feeling of solitud...Read more
  6. Thivanka Image House

    4.7 (179 Votes)
    Thivanka Image House Image

    Religious Site

    Address: Thivanka Pilimage Rd, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

    The Thivanka Pilimage was built in the 12th century by King Parakramabahu as part of the Jethavanarama Complex. Here you will find three large images of Buddha and hence the name ‘Thivanka’ that literally translates into three curves. The Buddha statue here is 8 meters in height but today the statue is partly destroyed above the head...Read more
  7. Lankatilaka Vihara

    4.7 (57 Votes)
    Lankatilaka Vihara Image

    Religious Site, Ancient Ruin

    Address: Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

    Lankatilaka Vihara is a beautiful ancient Gedige type large image that was built by King Parakramabahu. The structure has two pylons at the entrance and houses a giant Buddha statue inside. The statue measures 42 feet in height while the surrounding building walls are 53 feet high. The entire structure is made of bricks and is one of the top att...Read more
  8. Kiri Vehera

    4.6 (86 Votes)
    Kiri Vehera Image

    Religious Site

    Address: Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

    The Kiri Vehera is one of the most beautiful stupas in the country and is located in Kataragama, Sri Lanka. The stupa is believed to be built by King Mahasena and dates back to the 6th century. Kiri Vehera is one of the Solosmasthana - the 16 most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites of ancient Sri Lanka making this one of the most prominent Buddhis...Read more
  9. Demala Maha Seya

    4.4 (108 Votes)
    Demala Maha Seya

    Religious Site

    Address: Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

    Demala Maha Seya is an enormous uncompleted Stupa located in Polonnaruwa.It is called ‘Demala’ as it has two levels. The construction was started by king Parakramabahu between 1153 and 1186. It was planned in such a way that it would be the largest Stupa in the world. However it was never completed and later a smaller stupa was buil...Read more