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Sri Lanka is a tiny island in the Indian Ocean but it is rich in a history that dates back to 30,000 years ago. Pollonnaruwa is a town that belongs to this historical era and was established in the 7th century. It was once a capital of Sri Lanka, the economic and cultural center of the country. In ancient times civilizations existed along the course of the Mahaveli River—the biggest river in Sri Lanka—and Pollonnaruwa lies in proximity to it. Since farming and cultivation was the means for survival irrigation systems were developed, and the Kings main objective was to build lakes and reservoirs that would sustain water. What is most intriguing about Pollonnaruwa is the fact that even today, the ‘Parakrama Samudraya’, a lake built 1200 years ago, provides water for the paddy land in the area.
Pollonnaruwa is a classic example of the irrigation technology, architecture and art that was predominant in the 7th century. It also provides an insight to the Buddhist and Hindu culture present at that time.