Full Day Tour to Polonnaruwa from Colombo

A full day tour covering all historical places of Polonnaruwa, delving into the rich history of the former medieval capital of Sri Lanka. Explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, which majestically portrays Sri Lanka's grand past. Although nearly 1,000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura - Sri Lanka's first capital - and generally in better repair. The monuments are arranged in a reasonably compact garden setting and their development is easier to follow. This tour will give you an opportunity to dig into the history of this magnificent UNESCO world heritage site.

per adult from




11 to 12 hours


Mobile ticket

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  • What's included :
    • Air-conditioned vehicle
    • Private transportation
    • Bottled water
    • Lunch
    • All entrance fees
    • Hotel pick up and drop off
    • Entry/Admission - Polonnaruwa Vatadage
    • Entry/Admission - Gal Vihara
    • Entry/Admission - Nissanka Latha Mandapaya
    • Entry/Admission - Rankoth Vehera
    • Entry/Admission - Thivanka Image House
    What's excluded :
    • Restroom on board
    • WiFi on board
    • Gratuities
  • This is a typical itinerary for this product

    Stop At: Polonnaruwa Vatadage, Sacred City, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

    The vatadage is more or less unique architecture of ancient Sri Lanka, which exists in many parts of the country, but it is best expressed by this single monument in Polonnaruwa, as it is the least damaged and has undergone extensive restoration throughout the years. Since the Vatadage is located in the Dalada Maluwa or ‘Hall of Relic’, it is virtually surrounded by a gorgeous riot of artistry, with almost every surface carved in a melee of decoration. The reason for being one of the most visited monuments in Sri Lanka is due to its significant history, as it is believed that King Parakramabahu the Great (1164 - 1196 CE) built it as a shrine for the sacred tooth relic that belonged to Lord Buddha.

    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Gal Vihara, 440/225 Palm Grove State Minuwangoda road, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka

    The Gal Vihara has become one of the major attractions in Polonnaruwa, and in the whole of Sri Lanka, since it houses the best preserved caves where the sculptures of the Lord Buddha in the four stances reside. The Cave of Vijjadharas and the Excavated Cave houses intricately carved images of Lord Buddha in the Dhyana Mudra (meditative attitude). The Cave of Standing Image, housing a 7 metre tall stone sculpture of Buddha is the second largest statue in the cave temples. The largest sculpture being in the Cave of Reclining Image is 14 metres long with the typical intricacy of Sinhalese rock carving of the time.

    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Nissanka Latha Mandapaya, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

    Built by King Nissanka Malla and named after him, the monument once served as a recitation house for Buddhist chanting (pirith). The ‘Mandapaya’ is open on all four sides and acts as a shield for its visitors from the sun. An elevated stone platform lined with eight granite columns and enclosed by a stone wall. What sets it apart from like structures scattered across the country is its unique column carvings - the crown is carved into the shape of a blooming lotus bud while the rest of the column is carved to depict the lotus’s stem. An added distinctive feature - the towering columns are curved in 3 places and are said to perfectly embody ancient Sri Lankan architecture.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Rankoth Vehera, Ancient Bhikku Hospital, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka

    The Rankoth Vehera is believed to have been built during the reign of King Nissanka Malla of the Polonnaruwa era during the 12th Century AC. Although the king ruled for a short period, from 1187 to 1196, the king made significant contributions to the development of the kingdom, in terms of irrigation development and culture as well. One such remnant of how Buddhism influenced the culture of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom is the Rankoth Vehera. The vihara was built in the way of the Anuradhapura Maha Vihara, thus the reason as to why the Rankoth Vehera resembles that of the iconic Ruwanweliseya in Anuradhapura.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Thivanka Image House, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

    The origins of the image house have been traced back to the Polonnaruwa period of the 12th Century AC, during the reign of King Parakramabahu the Great. Upon completion of the image house, it is said that the monument housed a great many intricate statues of the Lord Buddha and many other Bodhisatva (monks who have attained Buddhahood). However, due to the Dravidian invaders of South India, the image house underwent a perilous time; being vandalised by the occupying invaders. Although experiencing such atrocities, the monument survived and was rediscovered during the late 1800s and underwent a period of restoration.

    Duration: 30 minutes

  • Departure Point :
    Traveler pickup is offered
    We pick up from any hotel in ColomboAirports
    • Bandaranayake Intl Airport, Colombo Sri Lanka
    Departure Time :
    7:00 AM
    Return Detail :
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Infants must sit on laps
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
    • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
    • Face masks required for guides in public areas
    • Face masks provided for travelers
    • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
    • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
    • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
    • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
    • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
    • Guides required to regularly wash hands
    • Regular temperature checks for staff
    • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
    • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.



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Organised by Crystal Holidays

Activity ID: V-240142P94

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