The golden age of Sri Lanka civilization at Polonnaruwa in the heart of the famed cultural triangle


Sri Lanka was a land of kingdoms and dynasties, and few places better reflect this ancient heritage than Polonnaruwa, which lies at the heart of our famed Cultural Trangle.

The city’s revered ancient structures now lie in ruins, but they still reflect the power and influence of our royal antecedents and the influence of Buddhism, the cornerstone of our society.

However, for the tens of thousands of international and domestic tourists who flock to Polonnaruwa every year, it is the simple beauty and powerful imagery that most attracts.


Writing in the Sunday Observer, Mahil Wijesinghe describes a recent visit “through wide carpeted highways lined with gushing waters of the irrigation canals, stretches of green paddy fields as far as the eyes could see”.

He notes that “Sri Lanka is home to one of the longest surviving civilizations on Earth, and as such, a repository of a rich and resplendent cultural heritage.

“Strewn over a relatively small area, called the cultural triangle, are Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Kandy, home to priceless Buddhist treasures that have withstood the ravages of time and which together offer a tantalizing glimpse into an aesthetic past.”


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