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Polonnaruwa.

Polonnaruwa (Sinhalese - පොළොන්නරුව Tamil - பொலநறுவை or புளத்தி நகரம் as called by Cholas) is a town. It's the main town of Polonnaruwa District in the North Central Province, Sri Lanka. Kaduruwela area is the Polonnaruwa New Townand the other part of Polonnaruwa, remains as the royal ancient city of polonnaru kingdom.
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 to reunite the country once more under a local leader.
The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage Site.

History

While Vijayabahu's victory and shifting of kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considered significant, the real "Hero of Polonnaruwa" of the history books is actually his grandson, Parakramabahu I. It was his reign that is considered the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa, when trade and agriculture flourished under the patronage of the king, who was so adamant that no drop of water falling from the heavens was to be wasted, and each was to be used toward the development of the land; hence, irrigation systems that are far superior to those of the Anuradhapura Age were constructed during Parakramabahu's reign, systems which to this day supply the water necessary for paddy cultivation during the scorching dry season in the east of the country. The greatest of these systems, is the Parakrama Samudraya or the Sea of Parakrama. It is of such a width that it is impossible to stand upon one shore and view the other side, and it encircles the main city like a ribbon, being both a moat against intruders and the lifeline of the people in times of peace. The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was completely self-sufficient during King Parakramabahu's reign.

With the exception of his immediate successor, Nissankamalla I, all other monarchs of Polonnaruwa were slightly weak-willed and rather prone to picking fights within their own court.[citation needed] They also went on to form more intimate matrimonial alliances with stronger South Indian kingdoms, until these matrimonial links superseded the local royal lineage and gave rise to the Kalinga invasion by KingKalinga Magha in 1214 and the eventual passing of power into the hands of a Pandyan King following the Arya Chakrawarthi invasion of Sri Lanka in 1284. The capital was then moved to Dambadeniya.
The city of Polonnaruwa was also called Jananathamangalam during the short Chola reign.

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Wood Carving Factory

Polonnaruwa, the ancient kingdom of reservoirs, is widely known for its pristine beauty. It lies at the heart of the North Central Province of Sri Lanka which was once referred to as the pearl of the Indian Ocean. The well preserved ruins of the places, Buddhist and Hindu temples, gardens, Buddhist and Hindu temples, gardens and other religious and culturally significant constructions that once completed the prestigious fortresses of one of the most prominent Sinhalese kingdoms in the 10th century, encapsulate the grandeur of a by-gone era. Though a fast developing city, Polonnaruwa still pays homage to the antiquity that founded this marvelous place.

Masks used in various dramatic rituals in Sri Lanka can be classified as mythological, demonic, animal-spirit and human figures. Oldest of them are animal and demonic ( or animal-cum-demonic, human-cum-demonic). The significance and designs of mythological masks are associated with iconography of the folk religions of the historical period.

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Sigiriya

Sigiriya (Lion's rock, Sinhalese - සීගිරිය) is a town with a large stone and ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Central Province, Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. A popular tourist destination, Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescos), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. It is one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya may have been inhabited through prehistoric times. It was used as a rock-shelter mountain monastery from about the 5th century BC, with caves prepared and donated by devotees of the Buddhist Sangha. According to the chronicles asMahavamsa the entire complex was built by King Kashyapa (477 – 495 CE), and after the king's death, it was used as a Buddhist monastery until 14th century.
The Sigiri inscriptions were deciphered by the archaeologist Senarath Paranavithana in his renowned two-volume work, published by Cambridge, Sigiri Graffiti and also Story of Sigiriya.

Location and geographical features

Sigiriya is located in the Matale District in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is within the cultural triangle, which includes five of the eight world heritage sites in Sri Lanka.

The Sigiriya rock is a hardened magma plug from an extinct and long-eroded volcano. It stands high above the surrounding plain, visible for miles in all directions. The rock rests on a steep mound that rises abruptly from the flat plain surrounding it. The rock itself rises approximately 370 m (1,214 ft) above sea level and is sheer on all sides, in many places overhanging the base. It is elliptical in plan and has a flat top that slopes gradually along the long axis of the ellipse.

 

 

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Dambulla

Dambulla is a big town, situated in the Matale DistrictCentral Province of Sri Lanka, situated 148 km north-east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. Due to the major junction, it's the distribution centre of vegetable in the country.
Major attractions of the area include the largest and best preserved cave temple complex of Sri Lanka, and the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, famous for being built in just 167 days. The area also boasts to have the largest rose quartz mountain range in South Asia, and the Iron wood forest, or Namal Uyana.
Ibbankatuwa prehistoric burial site near Dhambulla cave temple complexes is the latest archaeological site of significant historical importance found in Dambulla, which is located within 3 kilometers of the cave temples providing evidence on presence of indigenous civilisations long before the arrival of Indian influence on the Island nation.

History

The area is thought to be inhabited from as early as the 7th to 3rd century BC. Statues and paintings in these caves date back to the 1st century BC. But the paintings and statues were repaired and repainted in 11th, 12th, and 18th century AD. The caves in the city provided refuge to King Valagamba (also called Vattagamini Abhaya) in his 14 year long exile from the Anuradapura kingdom. Buddhist monks meditating in the caves of Dambulla at that time provided the exiled king protection from his enemies. When King Valagamba returned to the throne at Anuradapura kingdom in the 1st century BC, he had a magnificent rock temple built at Dambulla as a gratitude to the monks in Dambulla.

Ibbankatuwa Prehistoric burial site near Dhambulla, where prehistoric (2700 years old) human skeletons were found according to scientific analysis gives evidence on civilisations in this area long before arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Evidence of ancient people living on agriculture have been detected in this area for over 2700 years according to archaeological findings. (750 BC)
It was earlier known as Dhamballai. This was ruled by Kings like Raja Raja Chola, Rajendra Chola, etc. during their tenure in the late 10th century and early 11th century.

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gem museum and showroom.

Jewellery

Jewellery is a form of personal adornment, such as brooches,rings, necklaces, earrings,and bracelets.
With some exceptions, such as medical alert bracelets or military dog tags, jewellery normally differs from other items of personal adornment in that it has no other purpose than to look appealing, but humans have been producing and wearing it for a long time – with 100,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells thought to be the oldest known jewellery.

Jewellery may be made from a wide range of materials, but gemstones, precious metals,beads and shells have been widely used. Depending on the culture and times jewellery may be appreciated as a status symbol, for its material properties, its patterns, or for meaningful symbols. Jewellery has been made to adorn nearly every body part, from hairpins to toe rings.
The word jewellery itself is derived from the word jewel, which was anglicized from the Old French "jouel", and beyond that, to the Latin word "jocale", meaning plaything. In British English the spelling can be written as jewelery or jewellery, while in U.S. English the spelling is jewelry.

 

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Gems

A gemstone or gem (also called a precious or semi-precious stone, a fine gem, or jewel) is a piece of mineral, which, in cut and polished form, is used to makejewelry or other adornments. However certain rocks (such as lapis lazuli) andorganic materials (such as amber or jet) are not minerals, but are still used for jewelry, and are therefore often considered to be gemstones as well.

Most gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their luster or other physical properties that have aesthetic value. Rarity is another characteristic that lends value to a gemstone. Apart from jewelry, from earliest antiquity until the 19th century engraved gems and hardstone carvings such as cups were major luxury art forms; the carvings of Carl Fabergé were the last significant works in this tradition.

 

 
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Kandy Dance.

Kandyan Dance is a dance form that originated in the area called Kandy of the Central hills region in Sri Lanka. But today it has been widespread to other parts of the country.

History

According to the legend, the origins of the dance lie in an exorcism ritual known as the Kohomba Kankariya, which was originally performed by Indian shamans who came to the island.

According to legend, the Indian shamans came to the island upon the request of a king who was suffering from a mysterious illness. The king was said to be suffering from a recurring dream in which a leopard was directing its tongue towards the king, believed to be as a black magic of "Kuweni" the first wife of the king "Vijaya". After the performance of the Kohomba Kankariya the illness vanished, and many natives adopted the dance.

It was originally performed by dancers who were identified as a separate caste under the Kandyan Fudel system. They were aligned to the Temple of the Tooth and had a significant role to play in the Dalada Perahera (procession) held each year by the temple.

The dance waned in popularity as the support for the dancers from the Kandyan kings ended during the British period. It has now been revived and adapted for the stage, and is Sri Lanka's primary cultural export.
Tänze (Uda Rata Netum) Ves Tanz "Ves" dance, the most popular, originated from an ancient purification ritual, the Kohomba Yakuma or Kohomba Kankariya. The dance was propitiatory, never secular, and performed only by males. The elaborate ves costume, particularly the headgear, is considered sacred and is believed to belong to the deity Kohomba.

Only toward the end of the 19th century were ves dancers first invited to perform outside the precincts of the Kankariya Temple at the annual Kandy Perahera festival. Today the elaborately costumed ves dancer epitomizes Kandyan dance.

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Relic of the Tooth of Buddha.

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of KandySri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple.

Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays there is a symbolic bathing of the Sacred Relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers, called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.The temple sustained damage from bombings at various times but was fully restored each time.

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Royal Botanical Gardens.

Royal Botanical GardenPeradeniya is situated about 5.5 km to the west from the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.and attracts 1.2 million visitors annually, It is renowned for its collection of a variety of orchids. It includes more than 300 varieties of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National Herbarium. The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres (0.59 km2), at 460 meters above sea level, and with a 200-day annual rainfall. It is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture.

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Tea Plantation and Factory

Tea production in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, is of high importance to theSri Lankan economy and the world market. The country is the world's fourth largest producer of tea and the industry is one of the country's main sources of foreign exchange and a significant source of income for laborers, with tea accounting for 12% of the GDP, generating roughly $700 million annually. In 1995, Sri Lanka was the world's leading exporter of tea, (rather than producer) with 23% of the total world export, but it has since been surpassed by Kenya. The tea sector employs, directly or indirectly over 1 million people in Sri Lanka, and in 1995 directly employed 215,338 on tea plantations and estates. The humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall in the country's central highlands provide a climate that favors the production of high quality tea. The industry was introduced to the country in 1847 by James Taylor, the British planter who arrived in 1852.

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Pinnawala.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanagenursery and captive breedingground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km (8.1 mi) northwest of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawalla is notable for having the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In 2011, there were 88 elephants, including 37 males and 51 females from 3 generations, living in Pinnawala.

The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to many of the orphaned unweaned wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC).

The Millennium Elephant Foundation is a separate registered private charity organization which is a retirement home for 7 elephants and a tourist attraction

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