2 Days Tour to Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya from Colombo

2 day

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Day Trip

Group Tour

Itinerary

Day 1: Colombo - Polonnaruwa

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. The Polonnaruwa Vatadage’s origins are hazy due to many sources claiming it to be built...
Itinerary

Day 1: Colombo - Polonnaruwa

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. The Polonnaruwa Vatadage’s origins are hazy due to many sources claiming it to be built by different rulers with different purposes. The most widely held story comes from the Culavamsa (a chronicle that has documented the monarchs in the country) where King Parakramabahu the Great built this structure to enshrine the sacred tooth relic. However, the Rajavaliya and Poojavaliya, which are also important ancient chronicles, state that it was built by King Nissankamalla (1198 - 1206 CE) and was built with the intention to hold the bowl used by Lord Buddha for alms.
The Vatadage is believed to have been an elaborate structure that had four entrances in which a sitting statue of Buddha presides at each entrance. The centre of the structure is the ruined stupa that once housed the sacred tooth relic.
Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Gal Vihara, 440/225 Palm Grove State Minuwangoda road, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka
The Gal Vihara is a creation of the great King Parakramabahu of the Polonnaruwa era (1153 - 1186), who is also credited for commissioning the great palace complex, and the Vatadage (stupa house) that housed the sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Gal Vihara got its name after the images of Buddha were carved out, however, before the sculptures came to being, this complex was called ‘Uttaramaya’ (Northen Temple). As the Gal Vihara is located in Polonnaruwa, within the Cultural Triangle it is culturally significant and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cave of reclining image shows the most intricate sculpture of the Buddha in the ‘parinirvana’ stance (nirvana after death), where the pillow on which the Buddha’s palm is resting. The attention to detail is so great that a subtle depression in the pillow under the head and the lotus symbols on the pillow end and on the soles of Buddha's feet can be visible.
Duration: 20 minutes

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). 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. The site is believed by some to be the ‘King’s Court’ of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom. The Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha was purportedly housed in the ‘Dalada Maluwa’, where the structure is currently located, in the Polonnaruwa period. ‘Mandapayas’, in the 20th century, were marked as recitation platforms on which remembrance ceremonies for those laid to rest were conducted.
Duration: 20 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. It is best known for being one of the largest temples in the country and the largest temple in Polonnaruwa. Boasting of impressive craftsmanship and religious significance, the temple follows a design that resembles that of its counterparts in Anuradhapura, implying the importance of Buddhism during the time. 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. The stupa was built entirely out of brick and has a base diameter of around 170-meters, along with a height of 33-meters.
Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Hatadage, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka
The Hatadage was built during the reign of King Nissanka Malla of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom that ruled from 1186 to 1197. Initially built as a 2-storey building to house the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha (which is now housed in Kandy), a number of legends surround this monument. One story suggests that the reason for it to be called ‘Hata’ (translated as 60), is that it contained 60 other sacred relics, in addition to the Tooth Relic. Another story states that the reason for its name is that King Nissanka Malla’s craftsman built the marvel in just 60 hours. Regardless of which story is true, the building remains to be an intriguing structure to many who explore the ruined building. As a result of the subsequent invasions from South India, which led to the fall of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom, the second storey was completely destroyed, however, much of the first storey remained intact.
Duration: 20 minutes

Meals included:
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight stay in a 3 star hotel in Polonnaruwa or Habarana

Day 2: Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya - Colombo

Stop At: Sigiriya The Ancient Rock Fortress, Sigiriya 21120 Sri Lanka
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress has been considered a marvel to behold around the world, skillfully transformed into a fortified sanctum for King Kassapa to dwell in by taking a natural rock formation where ancient artifacts still exist even today. The intricately crafted frescoes, the stone paws of the lion that once belonged to a detailed sculpture of an entire lion at the entrance of the Royal Palace of King Kassapa are just some of the artifacts that can be witnessed in all its grandeur. A climb up the ruined palace perched on top of the rock fortress is a must for any traveller that journeys around the Paradise Island.
Duration: 3 hours

Stop At: Dambulla Cave Temple, Jaffna Hwy, Habarana 50150 Sri Lanka
Officially marked as one of the important UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, the cave temples’ structure is ingeniously carved out and decorated with elaborate Buddha statues, murals and paintings along the wall making it just one of the more unique Buddhist pilgrim sites in Sri Lanka. Its unique architecture, its distinct wall paintings and murals, elaborate statues of Lord Buddha, kings and even Hindu deities make it the primary reason for tourists and locals to visit the historical site. The cave temples also serve as a cave monastery for Buddhist pilgrimages to practice their faith to the best of their ability.
Duration: 1 hour

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
Accommodation included: No accommodation included on this day
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Lowest Price Guaranteed
If you find a better price, we'll match it - just send the details to dollar-support@placepass.com.
Lowest Price Guaranteed
If you find a better price, we'll match it - just send the details to dollar-support@placepass.com.

Important Details

Included
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Entry/Admission - Sigiriya The Ancient Rock Fortress
  • Entry/Admission - Gal Vihara
  • Private transportation
  • Entry/Admission - Hatadage
  • 1 night accommodation
  • All entrance fees
  • Entry/Admission - Polonnaruwa Vatadage
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Entry/Admission - Nissanka Latha Mandapaya
  • Entry/Admission - Dambulla Cave Temple
  • 2x Lunch
  • 1x Dinner
  • Accommodation included: 2 nights
  • 1x Breakfast
  • Entry/Admission - Rankoth Vehera
Not Included
  • WiFi on board
  • Restroom on board
  • Gratuities
Departure Point
Traveler pickup is offered
We pick up from any hotel in Colombo

Airports

  • Bandaranayake Intl Airport, Colombo Sri Lanka


7:00 AM
Additional Info
  • 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
Voucher Requirements

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

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Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.