The history of early Sri Lanka was very carefully recorded and written down by monks. The Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle) records the earlier period of the Sri Lankan, and Chulavamsa (lesser Chronicle), gives an accurate picture of the Polonnaruwa period. King Aggabodhi IV From this chronicle we learn that Aggabodhi IV (667 - 685) AD was the first Sri Lankan King who lived in Polonnaruwa, and the town came gradually to become the Country Residence of royalty. Polonnaruwa located 45 km from Habarana was the islands second ancient capital. In 11th 13th AD, the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa was one of the great urban centers in South Asia. Today the well-preserved ruins give you the chance to experience the grandeur of this period and marvel at the artistry of the island’s early craftsmen. Anuradhapura, the formal and administrative capital, was already a thousand years old, and kings increasingly favored the new city of Polonnaruwa, and developed it.
However it was the Cholas of South India who made Polonnaruwa the capital after looting and burning Anuradhapura in 993 AD. King Vijayabahu I In 1070 AD the Sinhala King Vijayabahu I liberated the country by defeating the Cholas, and kept Polonnaruwa as his capital. Vijayabahu succeeded in repairing much of the irrigation system in the island, encouraged trade and brought some prosperity back to the country. Polonnaruwa’s Golden age was dawning during the period of King Parakramabahu I (1153-86) raised Polonnaruwa to its heights. He erected huge buildings, drained swamps and planted vast areas with crops, planned beautiful parks, created wildlife sanctuaries, restored earlier monuments & even undertook military expedition’s against Burma and India. However his crowning achievements were the creation of the 2400 hectare tank (about 15 Km2 ), so large it was named the Parakrama Samudra (Sea of Parakrama) and the unification of the three orders of monks, the Maha vihara, Jetavana and Abhayagiri into one Sangha or Supreme Order of Monks. The greatness of his achievement was to ensure the survival of Buddhism in the dark centuries ahead. During this period Polonnaruwa was flourishing to become a trade and agricultural hub. Parakramabahu was the last great king of Sri Lanka.
King Nissankamalla King Nissankamalla (1187 - 96), although claimed himself to be a great builder, was not. And squandered most of the country’s wealth trying to match his predecessor’s deeds. The decline of Polonnaruwa after Nissankamalla’s death, Polonnaruwa went to decline, civil war, lawlessness and constant invasions from the South Indian Chola Empire, and Malay barbarians who sacked the city several times, virtually destroyed the social structure and religious order of the country. A whole century after this was the Dark Ages of Sri Lanka, a century from which few historical records survive. The capital was shifted to Kurunegala, and Polonnaruwa returned to the jungle; its great reservoirs survived as a series of swampy lakes, and its large brick buildings became lost under thick tropical forest. The Portuguese are said to have raided and looted Polonnaruwa, but by the early nineteenth century the site was completely lost. In the early years of this century the main monuments of the ancient city were uncovered. Polonnaruwa is a famous archaeological site, contains some splendid and spectacular statues. Lankathilaka, Thivanka and Thuparama are the most beautiful and largest Image Houses and Thivanka has the best example of frescoes of the Polonnaruwa period. Royal Palace, Council chamber. Rankoth Vehera and Kirivehera are well preserved large stupas, and Gal Vihara - a rock shrine, has four Buddha statues, two seated, one standing and one reclining and Shiva Devalaya, and Parakrama Bahu statue are examples of Sinhalese stone carver. The Vatadage is a unique creation of the Sri Lankan artists. Today, conservation and excavations continue, as part of the work of the Cultural Triangle.
"We had a exellent and memorable trip. That all credit to you Cyril.Indepth knowledge about the place, roads, Culture and history. Very matuared and patient. We were in very safe hands on all the time. Thanks a lot, mainly it's memorable expeirience for all of us. We always recomond CYRIL TOURS to our friends and relatives in Dubai and in India." Awdhesh Kumar and gruop
"We found Cyril on-line and after checking with lots of other guides we decided he is the one for us, that decision was the best one we did for our trip From the beginning, in our emails, Cyril listen to us and was very helpful, he gave us information and helped us to create the best trip for us.We had 10 days trip, for our honeymoon, to many parts of Sri-Lanka. the country is amazing, green, nice people and good food.Cyril was a great driver and even greater guide, he has so much knowledge and e..." Coral and Oded from Israel
"(10 days). Before the trip I did a lot of research here on the site and other sites on the tour options and after checking in we decided to go with a guide attached. Choice in was not easy and I started Travels "correspondence with more than ten guides to staying with the" chosen ". No doubt it was an excellent choice! Before Asbury on our guide, I wanted to note that after the visit, I understand the importance of taking guide (driver) suite. Roads and driving in Sri Lanka ..." Corey
"If you ever plan to visit Sri Lanka (and I think you should) this is your guide!!! Martha Iordanidou - Thesoloneki - Greece " Martha Iordanidou
"2nd to 15th November 2016 Dear Cyril, Thank you for arranging our first visit to your beautiful country. We had a very enjoyable, comfortable, safe, interesting and memorable holiday. All the accommodations you provided were very clean and comfortable and we will always remember the welcome, we felt when the smiling staff cheerfully looked after us and our every need. The itinerary you arranged was just right for us and made even better with the care you took whilst driving your very c..." Satwant and Doug from Australia
"Thank you Cyril for making our Christmas holiday fun so smoothly and easy. We loved Sri Lanka and look forward to retuning again. Cyril, your knowledge and service was outstanding and it was so refreshing to have such a very highlevel of service. We will be sure to recomond your service and travel agency to our friends. Please feel free to use us as a reference, you can use my email or phone number to clients." Bruce Larson & family from USA
"11th April 2014 01 week tour around Sri Lanka A fantastic week was had by all with Cyril, exploring Kandy, Nuwaraeliya and Bentota. Your meaningful insights & excellent explanations of the Sri Lanka’s culture, nature and traditions were invaluable. Your smile and charm helped is feel related and comfortable. Not getting stressed once. With your guidance & tips, the holiday flew by with only one problem: it was very short! Your comprehensive list of talents ranges from findin..." Ian Price and family from UK
"Dear Cyril, Thanks for taking care of the Dr.Sethukavalar and his wife very well. They were indeed very happy for all the care you have shown during your tour. They were very impressed of your patience and kindness. I look forward to see you soon and maintain this good relationship we have developed in a short period of time. We will not hesitate a second to recommend you to all our friends who would like to visit Sri Lanka. Taking this opportunity of wishing you all the best. Thanks fo..." HARIDAS KANDASAMY
"Dear Cyril, Thank you for truly amazing oneweek tour your beautiful country.We have seen so many amazing sites in such a short space of time. From Sigiriya to beautiful temples, Scenic tea gardens of Nuwaraeliya the colonial land ark hotel Mount Lavinia. We have seen so much more. You have made this an utterly memorable holiday with your expert knowledge, amazing, facinating stories, patience, careful+safe drivingand your unforgetable smile. We will cetainly recommonding your tours to all of fr..." Sara Kitson - UK
"We came for a wedding and then embarked on an amazing holiday. Cyril show us magnificent sights and scenery of Sri Lanka. To do the country just we need to return with more time. Many of the sites we visited just made us want to know more about them, even though Cyril was a fountain of knowledge. We have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Cyril and his excellent company, and it was so nice to go home a guardian angel looking after us. He is consistently courteous & good humored and now fe..." Andy Powell UK