Polonnaruwa became established as the capital in the 11th century when Anuradhapura was abandoned due to foreign invasion. A well planned medieval city defended by enclosing walls (of which about 5km still remain), it was graced by palaces, shrines, monasteries, pavilions, parks and lakes.

“The Sacred Tooth Relic was transported here from Anuradhapura for safety from the Tamils, which is now in Kandy.”

The city is incredible, with the parliament house and temples and shrines still in remarkably good condition. The King was unable to have any children despite having over 300 women in his harem and a number of wives. This was a great source of sorrow to him as he loved to watch children play so he built a public swimming pool just outside the city walls from where he used to see and hear the children. The ruins of the Kings palace are all that stand of what was once a 7 storey, 400 room royal residence.