Polonnaruwa is the second of Sri Lanka’s great ancient cities and is located in the Cultural Triangle. It was declared the capital by King Vijayabahu in 1070, taking over from Anuradhapura. It became a vibrant city, and much of it remains. You can explore the various temples, statues and tombs either in a car or better on bikes. Polonnaruwa is home to the extensive ruins of a medieval civilization which have been incredibly well-preserved and are still awe-inspiring to see. Besides ancient palace ruins and the remains of Buddhist and Hindu shrines, there are four breathtaking statues of Lord Buddha at Gal Vihara, a colossal dagoba and the ‘Satmahal Prasada’ – a seven-storey edifice which has such unusual architecture that modern-day historians remain baffled.