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see PollonarruaPollonarrua
or Polonnaruwa
, ruined ancient city, NE Sri Lanka. Pollonarrua, beautifully situated on a lake, was once the most splendid city of Sri Lanka. It became a royal residence in the mid-4th cent. and the capital after the fall (late 8th cent.) of Anuradhapura.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a settlement in northeastern Sri Lanka; it is situated near Anuradhapura. After the fall of Anuradhapura in the Middle Ages, Polonnaruwa became the capital of the second Sinhalese state and the center of Sinhalese civilization. The state flourished in the 12th century, at which time large temples and palaces were built in Polonnaruwa. With the decline of the second Sinhalese state in the 13th and 14th centuries, Polonnaruwa was abandoned.

Several monuments of the 12th century have been preserved, including the remains of palatial buildings, the shrine of Lan-katilaka with a brick statue of Buddha at the Buddhist Jetavana monastery complex, the sanctuary vatadage (circular relic-house) and the shrine of Satmahal Prasada on the grounds of the Buddhist monastery complex, and the stupas Rankot-dagoba and Kiri-dagoba. Also preserved is the cavern temple Gal Vihara, which has three colossal stone statues of Buddha and a stone statue of Buddha’s pupil Ananda; the shrine of Thuparama; and a statue of Parakramabahu I (undated, granite). Tourism is the main industry.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.