The Palace of the King Parakumba (1153 – 1186) also known as Vijayotpaya/Vijayanta Prasada, is a must-see attraction of the Polonnaruwa UNESCO Heritage Site. The magnificent palace of the ruler who unified Sri Lanka form the invasions of Chola kings is said to be of 7 stories, with 1000 bedrooms. Having such a magnificent palace at such a first era of civilization is a testament for the advanced ancient Sinhalese hydraulic culture.
This palace had seven floors, thousand rooms and had taken about seven years and seven months to complete the constructions. However, as the great castle was destroyed by fire during the Maga invasion, there are only structural remains of three floors, 55 rooms, and burnt brick walls.
As you enter the palace premises, you would be able to see the foundation of the ruins of the palace running closer to an acre of ground. There are trees shrubs and ruins of stone walls surrounding the remains of the once extravagant Vijayotpaya.
You could see monkeys jumping from tree to tree posing as the guards of the palace. On your way in and out towards the castle, you would be able to see local vendors selling knickknacks, fruits and different types of teas. It’s strongly recommended trying the kithul water and Hibiscus Tea.
Featured photo credit: Paul Hibbitt. Do not reuse without permission.