Sigiriya-The Rock fortress
Sigiriya, an ancient Rock fortress in the north (5th century A.D.).
The “Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World”, and the best preserved city center in Asia from the first millennium. Macro- and micro-hydraulics including a manmade lake with an 8 mile (12 km) dam and a series of moats, as well as water control and retaining systems display one of the ancient world’s most sophisticated hydraulic technologies. These miniature water gardens were created 5 centuries before those at Angkor in Cambodia or Mughal gardens in India.
Sri Lanka’s first capital, founded in the 5th century B.C. is situated 206 km. from Colombo. Attractions worth seeing are: The Sacred Bo Tree, Abhayagiri Dagaba, Jetavanaramaya, Brazen Palace, Thuparama Dagaba, Samadhi Buddha, Kuttam Pokuna and Mirisawati Dagaba.
Polonnaruwa is second in importance as royal city to Anuradhapura. In the 11th Century the capital was moved from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa, as it was hoped that this new kingdom in such an inaccessible area would be better protected from the notorious raids from the Indian Sub-Continent. As a result Polonnaruwa became a splendid kingdom and capital. During the reigns of king Parakrama Bahu the Great (1153 – 1186) and his successor Nissanka Malla 1187 – 1196 the Singhalese kingdom reached its last golden age, of which the splendour of its buildings and palaces, the impressive irrigation system with artificial lakes, tanks and channels give clear evidence.