The citadel of Polonnaruwa or the inner city area housed the royal palace complex of Vijayabahu the Elder and Parakramabahu the Great. The citadel was enclosed inside a thick brick rampart. This rampart foundation is seen today in a restored state. Three notable structures left in the citadel are described below.

Palace of King Parakramabahu
Palace of King Parakramabahu - Ancient city of Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka
Council Chamber of King Parakramabahu
Council Chamber of King Parakramabahu. Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka
Royal Bath (Kumara Pokuna)

Palace of King Parakramabahu (Vijayantha Prasada) – Ancient Cit Of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka

The Palace of King Parakramabahu is one of the most impressive ruins at Polonnaruwa. King Parakramabahu was the most powerful king of Polonnaruwa. He managed to win a civil war, reorganize Buddhist education, construct a huge reservoir, build a navy and sack coastal cities around the Bay of Bengal. He was a great patron of art. Most ruins at the archaeological complex were constructed with his funding in the twelfth century CE. Later kings of Polonnaruwa idolized him. His palace was originally seven storied. The lower three floors were built with brick and the upper four floors were a wooden superstructure. Today, the brick walls and vertical recesses for vertical wooden beams that supported upper floors are visible. The stone staircase leading to the upper floors remains intact. Patches of the original plaster remain along the walls in some places.

Council Chamber of King Parakramabahu. Citadel of Polonnaruwa Ancient City


The council chamber used by the king lies east of the palace. This is the place where Polonnaruwa was designed at. It is believed that the chamber was built upon the former king’s palace. The intricate stone carvings around the chamber show friezes of elephants, lions, horses, and mythical creatures. The entrance to the chamber is a perfect specimen of a traditional Sinhalese entrance. A flight of steps flanked by intricately carved balustrades and two lion statues greets the admitted, An elaborate set of pillars inside the chamber bear evidence of a slanting wooden roof.

Royal Bath (Kumara Pokuna) – Anceint City of Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka


The royal bath is a good example of ancient Polonnaruwa’s water management. Underground pipes from the nearby canal worked as an inflow through a carved stone shower while a conduit regulated by a stone slab drained out used water. A resting seat at the middle of the bath and royal changing rooms are seen not far away from the pond.