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The Chola army was finally defeated and driven off the island by the Sinhalese King Vijayabahu I in 1070, and he chose to retain Polonnaruwa as the capital city of the newly united Lanka.
Polonnaruwa’s glorious age came about two centuries later, during the reign of King Parakramabahu I in the 12 century.
Polonnaruwa was flourishing self-sustained city with a superb irrigation system.
One of the most striking features in Polonnaruwa is the vast Parakrama Samudra (Sea of Parakramabahu), an irrigation tank built, as the name indicates by King Parakramabahu the Great.
The archaeological sites are in a compact layout, within easy distance of each other, and tours are easily arranged either on foot or more popularly explored on bicycle.
As in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa too has its share of Buddhist sites, and tour buses of pilgrims can be often seen visiting the stupas and monasteries.
Water, which may have been perfumed, flowed into the bath from the sides, and the solid masses of stone ensured that even on the hottest day, the water was cool.
Another feature of this garden was a shower bath, which was “like a cloud pouring forth rain by (reason of) the showers of water which flowed constantly from the pipes of the apparatus.
An intricate network of irrigation canals supplied water from this reservoir to surrounding paddy fields, ensuring that agricultural production could be carried out year-round.Polonnaruwa is a testament to the discipline and greatness of the country’s mediaeval rulers and considered the best planned Archeological relic sites in the country.Polonnaruwa was declared the capital city of Sri Lanka by King Vijayabahu I who ruled from 1017AD to 1235AD.A number of superb bronzes in mature Choler style were found at this temple, and these can be seen at the Colombo Museum.This oblong brick image house occupies the southwest corner of the adjoining quadrangle. Inside the building, in the inner sanctum, is a ruined brick and plaster pile, that was once a seated image of the Buddha.