Ancient City of Polonnaruwa (1982)
Sri Lanka

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Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. 

It comprises, besides the Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas, the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century. 

  • Sri Lanka 1980. View of the Shiva Temple in Polonnaruwa. 

Sri Lanka 1980. View of the Shiva Temple in Polonnaruwa 

United Nations (New York) 1984. The Circular Stupa House.

  • United Nations (New York) 1984. An elegant and beautiful circular relic house. The circular stupa house is a religious edifice enclosing a small stupa, Vata-da-ge, buit in the 12th century and still in a fairly good state of preservation. A wooden roof supported by concentric rows of columns had covered the stupa, around which are four Buddha statues facing the cardinal points. Four flights of steps flanked by guard stones and preceded by beautifully carved moonstones lead to the relic chamber. 

The city in its day was fortified with three concentric walls, beautified with parks and gardens and sanctified by many a shrine and sacred place. The city itself, as well as the surrounding plain was watered by a unique irrigational complex known as the Sea of Parakrama (Parakrama Samudra). 

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Sri Lanka section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
Copyright 1999 Heindorffhus
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