Polonnaruwa


Polonnaruwa

Infobox Settlement
name = Polonnaruwa
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image_caption = Statue at Gal Vihariya


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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Sri Lanka
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = North Central Province, Sri Lanka
government_foonotes =
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leader_title = Mayor
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established_title = Polonnaruwa
established_date = Before 1070 CE
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unit_pref = Metric
area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 = 3293
area_land_km2 = 3077
area_water_km2 = 216
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population_as_of = 2001
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population_total = 359,000
population_density_km2 = 117
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population_blank1_title = Demonym
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utc_offset = -5
timezone = Sri Lanka Standard Time Zone
utc_offset = +5:30
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latd=7 | latm=56 | lats=0 | latNS=N
longd=81 | longm=0 | longs=0 | longEW=E
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Infobox World Heritage Site
Name = Ancient City of Polonnaruwa


State Party = SRI
Type = Cultural
Criteria = i, iii, vi
ID = 201
Region = Asia-Pacific
Year = 1982
Session = 6th
Link = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/201
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader.

History

While Vijayabahu's victory and shifting of Kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considered significant, the real Polonnaruwa Hero of the history books is actually his grandson, Parakramabahu I. The city Polonnaruwa was also called as "Jananathamangalam" during the short Chola reign.It was his reign that is considered the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa, when trade and agriculture flourished under the patronage of the King, who was adamant that no drop of water falling from the heavens was to be wasted, and each be used toward the development of the land; hence, irrigation systems far superior to those of the Anuradhapura Age were constructed during Parakramabahu's reign, systems which to this day supply the water necessary for paddy cultivation during the scorching dry season in the east of the country. The greatest of these systems, of course is the Parakrama Samudraya or the Sea of Parakrama, a tank so vast that it is often mistaken for the ocean. It is of such a width that it is impossible to stand upon one shore and view the other side, and it encircles the main city like a ribbon, being both a defensive border against intruders and the lifeline of the people in times of peace. The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was completely self-sufficient during King Parakramabahu's reign.

However, with the exception of his immediate successor, Nissankamalla I, all other monarchs of Polonnaruwa, were slightly weak-willed and rather prone to picking fights within their own court. They also went on to form more intimiate matrimonial alliances with stronger South Indian Kingdoms, until these matrimonial links superseded the local royal lineage and gave rise to the Kalinga invasion by King Magha in 1214 and the eventual passing of power into the hands of a Pandyan King following the Arya Chakrawarthi invasion of Sri Lanka in 1284. The capital was then shifted to Dambadeniya.

Present Situation

Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned Archeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom's first rulers. Its beauty was also used as a backdrop to filmed scenes for the Duran Duran music video "Save a Prayer" in 1982. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Near the ancient city, there is a small town with several hotels (especially for tourists) and some glossy shops, and places to fulfill day to day needs. There are government institutions in a newly built area called “new town,” about 6km away from the town and the main road. The largest school in the district, Polonnaruwa Royal Central College is situated at new town.

Polonnaruwa is the 2nd largest city in north central province. But it is known as one of the cleaner and more beautiful cities in the country. The greeny environment, amazing ancient constructions, Parakrama Samudraya (a huge lake built in 1200 A.C.), attractive tourist hotels and most importantly nice people with hospitality, always attracted local and foreign tourists. One recent scientific observation is that of its climate changes. Historically Polonnaruwa had a tropical climate most of the year, although it was occasionally chilly in December and January. But in recent years the rain and chillyness has been increased noticeably. Although this is surprising to some people, it is more enjoyable for tourists. But sometimes paddy field farmers suffers when there is too much rain.

Kings and Queens of Polonnaruwa

* Vijayabahu I
* Jaya Bahu
* Vikrama Bahu
* Parakrama Bahu, The Great
* Nissankamalla I
* Queen Lilavati

ee also

*Anuradhapura
*World Heritage List
*Sigiriya
*Mahawamsa
*Gal Vihare
*Place names in Sri Lanka

Maps

* [http://www.liccavi-earth.com/Liccavi/Search.aspx?lat=7.94011&lon=81.00032&zoom=9 Detailed map of Polonnaruwa and Sri Lanka]

External links

* [http://discover.lankanest.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=72&Itemid=78.html/ Discover Sri Lanka - More information & images about Polonnaruwa]
* [http://discover.lankanest.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=71&Itemid=78.html/ Discover Sri Lanka - Historical background of Polonnaruwa]
* [http://discover.lankanest.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=49&Itemid=78.html/ Discover Sri Lanka - Old City of Polonnaruwa]
* [http://www.slmts.slt.lk/polonnaruwa.htm The Medieval Capital of Polonnaruwa]
* [http://thecolombo.com/data/polonnaruwa.htm Polonnaruwa]
* [http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=201 Ancient City of Polonnaruwa]
* [http://www.globalheritagefund.org/sites/apac/index.html Polonnaruwa Ancient City, Sri Lanka]
* [http://www.polonnaruwa.org/index.htm Ancient City of Polonnaruwa - World Heritage]
* [http://www.hindu.com/mag/2006/06/25/stories/2006062500460800.htm "Discovering Polonnaruwa"] - an article in The Hindu
* [http://www.lankalibrary.com/heritage/temples/galvihara.htm Galvihara - a unique display of rock art]
* [http://www.srilankatourism.org/ Official website of the Sri Lanka Tourism Board]
* [http://www.geocities.com/place.names/index.html A list of traditional names of cities in Sri Lanka]
* [http://www.tourslanka.com/Polonnaruwa.htm Places of interest in polonnaruwa]

References

* Balasooriya, Jayasinghe (2004). "The Glory of Ancient Polonnaruva". Sooriya Printers, Polonnaruva. ISBN 955-8158-01-1 (Archeological ruins)

Sri Lankan cities


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