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 Asia. Today 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 Palace, Council 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.
"We had a great time on last 10 days in on our honeymoon in beautiful Sri Lanka. Thank you very much for the stories, the explanations, driving, tips, care and always with a smile. Big thanks for you Cyril. We had an amazing honeymoon in this beautiful island! and you are the best guide and friend that we could have here!!! We will sure tell our friends and family about the trip and you!!! We will stay in touch and may be one day meet you again. Oded & Carol Israel 10 Oct 2014" Naim & Coral Fisher from Israel
"Cyril was an excellent guide and gave us a very good insight into the history and cultures of Sri Lanka. He was always polite, helpful and prompt. His driving was always calm and controlled - unlike some of the other vehicles we saw!!! We would recommend him to others traveling to Sri Lanka. WH - UK - January 2011" Wilson Harland
"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
"If you ever plan to visit Sri Lanka (and I think you should) this is your guide!!! Martha Iordanidou - Thesoloneki - Greece " Martha Iordanidou
"Thank you so much for your great service and making our honeymoon in Sri Lanka, so special and joyful. Best regards from Yuffa and Elad Abbo – Israel- 10 July 2008 " Yuffa and Elad Abbo - Israel
"Cyril Tours is a very good agency. Because we did use it from 01st of March to 14 March 2013. From the start till end of our emails, he has (Mr.Cyril) given all required details. Also he send us very detailed itinerary with pictures. Actually no need guide after go through it.Cyril Tours is not a big agency. He was a guide in Sri Lanka more than 26 years. Many clients recommend him to their friends and to relatives who want to visit Sri Lanka.They asked from him to travel, that is why he be..." John and Mary from Canada
"Dear Cyril, We just got back to Singapore today...I am will be back to work tomorrow.. :) Sad but true ha ha……. We were very lucky to have you as our guide. I don’t think there will be anyone else who could have done an excellent job that you have done. We will spread the word around and will surely sell your services...do keep in touch so we can work something out. Thanks for the photos they are great Will visit your website soon and put in some good words for you.. Ti..." Shuhanth Haridas from Singapore
"Dear Cyril, We would like to thank youthat you have arrange ourholiday which we have enjoyed so much, that we can call them the best holiday we have ever had. You are avery helpful guide- because you know about your beautiful country very much. We also appriciate your advices that you gave us during our two weeks long journey and your perfect trip arrangement we have enjoyed every single day. All the best to you and your family. Hope to see you again. Martha & Jarda 08 No..." Martha & Jaroslav Jirout
"We had a exellent and memorable trip. That all credit to you Cyril.Indepth knowledge about the place, roads, Culture and history. Very matuared and patient. We were in very safe hands on all the time. Thanks a lot, mainly it's memorable expeirience for all of us. We always recomond CYRIL TOURS to our friends and relatives in Dubai and in India." Awdhesh Kumar and gruop
"Thanks a lot for making great arrangements for the visit. The visit was very well organized with good hotels and the vehicle/ driver. I would highly recommend your agency and its services to everyone who wants to visit Sri Lanka. Anastasia - Russia, Feb 2011 " Anastasia