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POLONNARUWA

POLONNARUWA

The history of early Sri Lanka was very carefully recorded and written down by monks. The Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle) records the earlier period of the Sri Lankan, and Chulavamsa (lesser Chronicle), gives an accurate picture of the Polonnaruwa period. King Aggabodhi IV From this chronicle we learn that Aggabodhi IV (667 - 685) AD was the first Sri Lankan King who lived in Polonnaruwa, and the town came gradually to become the Country Residence of royalty. Polonnaruwa located 45 km from Habarana was the islands second ancient capital. In 11th 13th AD, the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa was one of the great urban centers in South AsiaToday the well-preserved ruins give you the chance to experience the grandeur of this period and marvel at the artistry of the island’s early craftsmen. Anuradhapura, the formal and administrative capital, was already a thousand years old, and kings increasingly favored the new city of Polonnaruwa, and developed it.

However it was the Cholas of South India who made Polonnaruwa the capital after looting and burning Anuradhapura in 993 AD. King Vijayabahu I In 1070 AD the Sinhala King Vijayabahu I liberated the country by defeating the Cholas, and kept Polonnaruwa as his capital. Vijayabahu succeeded in repairing much of the irrigation system in the island, encouraged trade and brought some prosperity back to the country. Polonnaruwa’s Golden age was dawning during the period of King Parakramabahu I (1153-86) raised Polonnaruwa to its heights. He erected huge buildings, drained swamps and planted vast areas with crops, planned beautiful parks, created wildlife sanctuaries, restored earlier monuments & even undertook military expedition’s against Burma and India. However his crowning achievements were the creation of the 2400 hectare tank (about 15 Km2 ), so large it was named the Parakrama Samudra (Sea of Parakrama) and the unification of the three orders of monks, the Maha vihara, Jetavana and Abhayagiri into one Sangha or Supreme Order of Monks. The greatness of his achievement was to ensure the survival of Buddhism in the dark centuries ahead. During this period Polonnaruwa was flourishing to become a trade and agricultural hub. Parakramabahu was the last great king of Sri Lanka.

King Nissankamalla King Nissankamalla (1187 - 96), although claimed himself to be a great builder, was not. And squandered most of the country’s wealth trying to match his predecessor’s deeds. The decline of Polonnaruwa after Nissankamalla’s death, Polonnaruwa went to decline, civil war, lawlessness and constant invasions from the South Indian Chola Empire, and Malay barbarians who sacked the city several times, virtually destroyed the social structure and religious order of the country. A whole century after this was the Dark Ages of Sri Lanka, a century from which few historical records survive. The capital was shifted to Kurunegala, and Polonnaruwa returned to the jungle; its great reservoirs survived as a series of swampy lakes, and its large brick buildings became lost under thick tropical forest. The Portuguese are said to have raided and looted Polonnaruwa, but by the early nineteenth century the site was completely lost. In the early years of this century the main monuments of the ancient city were uncovered. Polonnaruwa is a famous archaeological site, contains some splendid and spectacular statues. Lankathilaka, Thivanka and Thuparama are the most beautiful and largest Image Houses and Thivanka has the best example of frescoes of the Polonnaruwa period. Royal PalaceCouncil chamber. Rankoth Vehera and Kirivehera are well preserved large stupas, and Gal Vihara - a rock shrine, has four Buddha statues, two seated, one standing and one reclining and Shiva Devalaya, and Parakrama Bahu statue are examples of Sinhalese stone carver. The Vatadage is a unique creation of the Sri Lankan artists. Today, conservation and excavations continue, as part of the work of the Cultural Triangle.

 

 

 

 

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    "  Hi Cyril   We have had a fabulous holiday driven and guided by Cyril from CYRIL TOURS. Hotel recommendations were perfect and knowledge supertb. We would happy to introduce CYRIL TOURS to our frieinds and relatives. Thank you for the photos you are taken and send to us, they are a great reminder of our amazing experience in Sri Lanka.   We had a truly memorable time and we are grateful to you for all your knowledge and guidance throughout our trip, it would not have been..." Mr. Richard & Mrs. Bridget Simson and family from

    "Thank you Cyril for caring us and giving a very enjoyable tour to all of our family while we are on holiday in Sri Lanka. Definitely we will recommend you to our friends and relatives. Hitendra Molleti and family" Hitendra Molleti

    "We would like to say thank you very much Mr. Cyril for the excellent 7 night tour of Sri Lanka you provided us. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Sri Lanka and the itinerary you arranged. The four hotels (Earls Regency, Amaya Lake, Heritance Kandalama and the Colombo Hilton) were excellent and thoroughly deserved their 5 stars. Your driving skills was excellent. Also very friendly, calm, helpful, and courteous and always prompts. Sri Lanka is a lovely country and the people were very friendly. ..." Suresh and Prashanth

    "CyrilWe are now back at home after the lovely time with you in Sri Lanka, andvisiting Hong Kong.Thank you for driving for us while we were in Sri Lanka.In particular, we appreciated  - your smooth, calm and efficient driving through varied traffic conditions  - your calmness when things did not go quite as expected  - your being available at all times of day - I'm remembering our late  arrival at the airport, and our late departure  - your information about all sorts of ..." Cliff Hooker and Jean from Australia

    "Hello, We had 2 weeks exploring Sri Lanka and for most of that time Cyril drove for usto various towns, sites of interest. Cyril wsa a very pleasant chauffeur. Always prompt and greeted us with a smile. He was well informed about the sites we visited and pointed out many interesting historical buildings en-route. We had a great 2 weeks in Sri Lanka and Cyril's plesant and helpful nature contributed to this briliant holiday. Thank Cyril Sara and Steve from Birmingham, England" Sara and Steve

    "Cyril is one of the best experienced person in the industry" Ahamed Anver

    "We are an older couple celebrating a lot of years of marriage (and hiking) in Sri Lanka in February this year, for two weeks, and three days in the Maldives. Although we love to drive, we chose to go with a driver-guide, after planning the trip completely independently. (It turned out he might help us in the planning and selection of hotels, we own). The main advantage is reaching the sites, some of which are tired, refreshed after someone else used to bad roads, with bad signage - If you are i..." Sam

    "Thank you Cyril for making our Christmas holiday fun so smoothly and easy. We loved Sri Lanka and look forward to retuning again. Cyril, your knowledge and service was outstanding and it was so refreshing to have such a very highlevel of service. We will be sure to recomond your service and travel agency to our friends. Please feel free to use us as a reference, you can use my email or phone number to clients." Bruce Larson & family from USA

    "We had a trip planned with Cyril just when international travel closed down due to Covid. Cyril was great in planning a trip with me that had a great deal of flexibility and tailored to visit the places we wanted to seeUnfortunately we were unable to take the trip. Cyril's response to that was great, he dealt with everything for us in terms of cancellationsHe has kept in touch with us since then and has already contacted me with a revised plan for our trip to Sri Lanka. Which we will book with h..." Brian O: Keefe - Perth - Australia

    "Dear Cyril, Here are some photos for you as we promised, and also little gift to you. Here is some photos of elephant boy which we were took on elephant ride. Please give to them when you go to Habarana again. We are very grateful to you for your services that you have done to make our holiday in this beautiful country. Still we are thinking over our nice trip with you. It was fantastic, really! Here in Holland, life is normal again. Greeting for your wife and daughter too. George and Cala ..." George and Cala

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