The Royal Kingdom of Polonnaruwa
These sketches show the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa. As a child, I frequently visited historic sites and gardens like these as they gave me a sense of calm and peace. Strolling through the old palaces, gardens, and sites reveals how magnificent the ancient civilization was and what we lost.
The ancient city of Polonnaruwa was initially a military post established by the Sinhalese Kingdom. Vijayabahu became its ruler in 1070 and played a significant role in taking the city to its glory. Back then, Sri Lanka was named Thambapanni.
After King Vijayabahu I, his famous grandson, King Prakramabahu The Great, took over and made the Kingdom entirely self-sufficient. Adamant on ensuring not even a single drop of water from the sky went to waste, King Prakramabahu redesigned the city to ensure every drop went towards the development of the land. Resultingly, trade and agriculture flourished, and the Kingdom soared to new heights.
However, the story of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa took a turn for the worse as the latter monarchs, after Nissankamalla I, violated its natural gifts. They fought amongst one another and formed matrimonial alliances with the South Indian Kingdom, which made the local royal lineage vanish entirely. Next, the Aryacakravartyi dynasty warlord Kalinga Magha invaded the Kingdom in 1214 and turned the cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to ashes. Today, the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.