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Day Trip to Polonnaruwa from Colombo

Being the second-largest kingdom in Sri Lanka, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa has much in store for archaeologists, history lovers, and those who simply want to learn more about Sri Lanka. Today, the city is one of the best planned archaeological relic sites across the country, standing as evidence of the greatness and discipline of the first rulers of Polonnaruwa. UNESCO declared Polonnaruwa as a World Heritage site, thereby making it a popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. When you visit Polonnaruwa, you will see why it is one of the most beautiful and green cities in the country. It is home to stunning ancient constructions hospitable people, the huge man-made lake from 1200 A.C.

per adult from




11 to 13 hours


Hotel pickup available


Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • 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 - Rankoth Vehera
    • Entry/Admission - Kiri Vehera
    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 Polonnaruwa Vatadage is an ancient structure dating back to the Polonnaruwa period of Sri Lanka. It is believed to have been built during the reign of Parakramabahu I to hold the tooth relic of the Buddha, or during the reign of Nissanka Malla to hold the alms bowl used by the Buddha. Both these venerated relics would have given the structure a great significance and importance at the time. Located within the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, it is the best preserved example of a vatadage in the country, and has been described as the "ultimate development" of this type of architecture. Abandoned for several centuries, excavation work at the Polonnaruwa Vatadage began in 1903. Built for the protection of a small stupa, the structure has two stone platforms decorated with elaborate stone carvings. The lower platform is entered through a single entrance facing the north, while the second platform can be accessed through four doorways facing the four cardinal points. The upper platform, surrounded by a brick wall, contains the stupa. Four Buddha statues are seated around it, each facing one of the entrances. Three concentric rows of stone columns had also been positioned here, presumably to support a wooden roof. The entire structure is decorated with stone carvings. Some of the carvings at the Polonnaruwa Vatadage, such as its sandakada pahanas, are considered to be the best examples of such architectural features.

    Duration: 20 minutes

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

    Believed to have been constructed by King Parakramabahu, the Great, during the 12th Century, the statues are carved out of a cliff that extends over a length of 180ft and a height of 30ft. Yet, what is so captivating about these larger than life portrayals of Lord Buddha is that they are designed in such an exquisite and brilliant manner, that one marvels at the unmatched skills of the craftsmen of the bygone era. On the left corner is an elegantly carved seated statue of Lord Buddha, said to have been housed in the Cave of Vijjadhara. Also referred to as the Samadi Statue, the 15ft high statue depicts Lord Buddha in a meditative posture or Dhyana Mudra. Seated under a thorana or framed arch, adorned with images and objects, it displays the great reverence attached to Lord Buddha. The four miniscule Buddha statues that are designed in meditative pose, looking out from their dwellings, are said to portray the previous Buddhas and those of the future. The arch is also dotted with symbols of lotuses and diamonds. The pedestal upon which the statue is seated contains images of lions and vajra, a ritual object, and is said to portray Lord Buddha’s sublimity and nobleness of character. A similar, yet smaller statue is housed in the Excavated Cave. The arch that is carved behind this statue is also richly decorated with symbols and figures. The statue is seated on a lotus pedestal and flanked by two devas, believed to be Brahma and Vishnu. The cave also contains frescoes and located outside the cave is an ordinance inscription.

    Duration: 20 minutes

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

    Rankoth Vehera is a stupa located in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. The stupa was built by Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa, who ruled the country from 1187 to 1196. The Rankoth Vehera has been built according to the tradition of the stupas of the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya and bears a close resemblance to Ruwanwelisaya. In fact, a stone inscription situated close to the stupa even identifies it by the name "Ruwanweli". However, it has later come to be known by the currently used name, Rankoth Vehera. In Sinhalese, ran means gold, kotha is the name given to the pinnacle of a stupa, and vehera means stupa or temple. Thus, the name Rankoth Vehera can be roughly translated to English as "Gold Pinnacled Stupa". Along with the Kiri Vehera, it is one of the most revered stupas in Polonnaruwa.

    Duration: 20 minutes

    Stop At: Kiri Vehera, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

    This stupa popularly known as Kiri Vehera is located in Polonnaruwa District of North Central Province, Sri Lanka. The stupa is also a part of the archaeological site called Alahana Pirivena. The origin of this stupa not exactly traced yet. However, it is speculated that this was done by Queen Subhadra, a consort of King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186). This is the second largest stupa in Polonnaruwa. The lime plaster of the dome is better preserved compared to the most of other stupa found in Polonnaruwa. Probably the present name “Kiri Vehera” also derived due to this preserved lime plaster. In addition to that, the excavations have unearthed many mounds which were originally minor stupas containing the corporeal remains of the royal family and the prelates of the monastery.

    Duration: 20 minutes

    Stop At: Thivanka Image House, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

    Thivanka image house, located 400m north of the Lotus Pond, is so named following the thrice bend yet towering The Buddha Statue therein. The head and neck of the Buddha statue have now come off. Thivanka means three bends in Sinhalese. The Buddha statue is bent at three places: at the knees, at the waist and at the shoulders. The inner walls as well as the outer walls of the image house are exquisitely decorated. The paintings on the outer walls are purely decorative with figures of lions, gansas and dwarfs. The murals on the inner walls are masterpieces. Yet those 12th century frescoes depicting scenes from tales of previous lives of Buddha have now faded. According to the scholars these paintings depict a blend of popular and classical styles.

    Duration: 20 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.



Age Req.


Fitness Req.


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Organised by Wander-Lush Travels

Activity ID: V-211823P217

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