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Things To Do In Polonnaruwa
Blessed with a beautiful landscape and abundant with some really luxurious stay options, Polonnaruwa has a list of leisure activities for every kind of traveler in all age groups! With a rich and diverse spread of activities, Polonnaruwa is ideal for anything from a friends-reunion to a family vacation to a solo trip, and is a must-see tourist city of Sri Lanka. Aside from sightseeing tours, some other things to do in Polonnaruwa, include the following:
Ancient City Cycling Tour
One of the best ways of covering the ancient city of Polonnaruwa is to hire a bicycle and take up a cycling tour. Cycle around for about 10 km of these soft surfaces, tucked in between the remnants of this lovely city with an inspiring past and well-preserved ruins, ensconced within an impressive stone culture. With an experienced guide by your side, start as early as 8-8.30 in the morning.
Village Tour, Fishing & Lunch
One of the best ways of witnessing the fascinating countryside of Polonnaruwa is to take an authentic tour of the villages here aboard a tractor. Experience the fishing escapades and enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan lunch with some local hospitality. You can start the tour with a local guide at about 9 am and set out on a tractor for the Bendiwewa village, which is situated on a narrow path amidst paddy fields. On arrival at the village, indulge in a fishing tour on a boat, accompanied by a guide who’ll keep you engaged with interesting facts and village trivia.
Enjoy some local refreshments during your fishing experience and get to know more about the lake and its history with a lovely view of the surrounding mountains, birds and local fishermen, going about their daily chores on rowboats. At noon, get a warm welcome to one of the village houses for a delicious local meal, alfresco with beautiful views.
Wildlife Jeep Safari
Wasgamuwa National Park is one of the 3 national parks of Polonnaruwa, located in Polonnaruwa and the Matale districts. It was established to protect displaced wild animals during the development project of Mahaweli in 1984 and is a significant place of refuge for a large herd of Sri Lankan Elephants, in addition to being a major bird sanctuary in the country. The Wasgamuwa forestry includes a mix of dry zone, evergreen and dry forests.
It also has a beautiful display of one of the highest biodiversity of Sri Lanka’s protected area,s with over 150 species of floral varieties, reservoirs and riverine forests. Home to over 23 different species of animals, the park is inhabited by 150 elephants, purple langurs and toque-macaque, with the common sightings of water buffalos and axis deer, and some rare visuals of the sloth bear and Sri Lankan leopards.
The bird species at the Wasgamuwa National Park include 8 widespread genera, namely the red malkoha, Sri Lankan jungle fowl, yellow fronted barbet, spurfowl, peafowl, black-headed ibis, painted stork, the Eurasian spoonbill and rare species of chestnut winged cuckoo and Sri Lanka Frogmouth. The park also has 17 reptile types, of which 5 are endemic, including the endangered Fejervarya pulla, Lanka skinks, Sri Lankan bloodsucking lizard, brown-patched kangaroo lizard and the Indian flying snake. And then there are 50 specifies of butterflies, 8 of them being endemic and some other 17 species of fish.
Apart from the ancient and natural wonders of Polonnaruwa, you can also indulge in a few side trips to Minneriya National park, visiting the Pidurangala Rock or the Sigiriya World Heritage Site and Mihintale at Anuradhapura.