This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Polonnaruwa.
In Medieval times, Polonnaruwa was the capital of the island country of Sri Lanka. It was also the first true city in the country, formed in the 11th century. It became the capital after Anuradhapura was raided and burned. Today, the city is famous for the ancient ruins scattered through it, evidence of the kings that once lived there and watched their kingdoms.
Hostels in Polonnaruwa are usually on the expensive side because there is a high demand for accommodation in the area. You should check around for a good deal on a hostel before you book one. Depending on the season in which you plan to travel, it is a good idea to get your hostel booked and ready well before you get there.
While in Polonnaruwa, you have to visit the ancient city. This is a group of ruins that constitute the remains of the city that once stood there. You can check out the old royal palace, the grounds, and even the king’s private swimming pool (you can’t take a swim here, so do not try). Called the Royal Citadel, you can book a tour of this place from the entrance; although, you might be happier to take a booklet along and explore it on your own.
You should also check out the Gal Potha, or the Stone Book, in Polonnaruwa. This is a huge slab of pure rock on the side of one of the many temples in the city. An ancient king once ordered that all his deeds be recorded in the rock. There are records of the ancestry of the king, the wars he waged, and the origins of the stone itself. There are other relics in the city that were uncovered by archaeologists when the ancient city was discovered. Most of these relics are to be found in the many museums in the city.
Written by local enthusiast for Polonnaruwa hostelsJakob Lombardi