Polonnaruwa was the island’s second great capital in the medieval era (11th to 13th cen Ad) located in north central province of the country. It is 218km away from Colombo and midway on Colombo – Batticaloa highway.
History of Polonnaruwa goes back to 6th Cen BC, same as Anuradhapura city. Polonnaruwa was a strategically important place for the Anuradhapura kings since it was in between Anuradhapura and down south of the country. In 10th centaury AD local kings lost their glory at Anuradhapura and shifted to Polonnaruwa. Then onward Polonnaruwa became the medieval capital of Sri Lanka .The reasons were, Anuradhapura was always targeted to the invaders and Polonnaruwa was prosperous with tanks and paddy cultivations. Though they settled at Polonnaruwa they were able to stay there only for two and half century. Again South Indian invaders attacked to Polonnaruwa kingdom and locals retreated to Dambadeniya, north western part of the country. During those two and half century there were three main dominating kings in Polonnaruwa kingdom. Those were king Vijayabahu 1(1055 – 1110 Ad), the person who united the country and established the kingdom in Polonnaruwa, king Parakramabahu 1 the great (1153 -1186 AD) and king Nissankamalla (1187 – 1196 AD). All the monuments we see today in Polonnaruwa have done by them.
The Polonnaruwa ancient city comprises with inner city and an outer city. The Citadel with king’s palace, Royal court, bathing ponds and other necessary compartment include in inner city. The temple of the tooth relic complex, other all Buddhist and Hindu shrines are there in outer city. Following are some important places of the sacred city.