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The city of Polonnaruwa was the second great capital of Sri Lanka after Anuradhapura and is located about 100 kilometres to the south-east. Its prominence as the capital lasted for about 300 years, during which a number of major Buddhist structures were made. But while they were built in a later age, these structures were lesser in size and magnificence to those of more ancient times. Nonetheless, most of these are beautiful and significant. By the 13th century, Polonnaruwa became increasingly vulnerable to attacks from the north by Indian invaders, and was almost destroyed by decades of invasions and civil wars. Subsequent kings gradually shifted their capitals towards the south-west, and like Anuradhapura before it, Polonnaruwa was eventually abandoned. This ancient city is designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO.


Island of Light by T Y Lee