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There are many Polonnaruwa attractions, given that many of the ruins of this ancient kingdom are yet in good repair. The Royal Palace belonging to Parakramabahu I is a magnificent palatial structure of 7 storeys. The Audience Hall also in the Royal Palace Group is particularly noteworthy for the frieze of elephants, with each in different positions, displaying the architectural brilliance of the era.

The Thuparama Gedige which is the smallest gedige in Polonnaruwa is also the only one with its roof intact and dates back to the time of Parakramabahu I. A strong Hindu influence is apparent, but there are also several Buddha images in the inner chamber.

The Archaeological Museum is one of the main Polonnaruwa attractions and is meticulously designed with a series of rooms, each of which is dedicated to a particular theme including the citadel, the outer city and the monastery among many others. There are also scale models of some of the monumental structures of old, also depicting how they may have looked like during their time.

The Polonnaruwa Lake known as the Parakrama Samudraya too is of great significance and is an expression of imperial power and a remarkable achievement in the field of engineering centuries ago, as it was the source of irrigation for 18,000 acres of paddy fields for two seasons each year.

Some of the other Polonnaruwa attractions include the Vatadage, the Sathmahal Prasadaya, the Gal Viharaya and the Pothgul Viharaya.

A visit to the Minneriya National Park especially during the season of May to October for the large gathering of wild elephants is a phenomenal experience. The Kaudulla National Park and the Wasgomuwa National Park too are nearby attractions.

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